So, I decided to lead off day two of my new blogging life with one of my absolute favorite stories, and one which never gets old with my friends. Although this sounds like something that would take place in a poorly funded sitcom, I can assure you this is my life.
At the ripe age of sixteen, I took a good, hard look at myself in the mirror and came to one conclusion. I'm extremely pale. Not just like "she needs to go outside a little more often" pale... more of a "I really hope this girl doesn't suck my blood and leave me lying here" kind of pale.
It was a little sad.
At any rate, I decided I would try to tan before my junior prom. My first attempt was with a good ol' tanning bed. Although I fully recognized the risks, being tan ranked quite a bit higher than living through my sixties. Who wants to be old and terrifyingly pale anyway?
So I began tanning. After I left the bed after four long minutes, I took a look in the mirror. So. Many. Freckles. Everywhere, just absolutely everywhere. I was a little concerned, but I decided I would keep trying just in case it was possible to completely cover myself with freckles, and at least create the illusion that I was tan.
That night, however, I began to itch. This was unlike anything I had ever experienced, and after trying literally everything, I ended up in the emergency room with what appeared to be an insatiable scratching seizure. Apparently, I lack melanin in some areas of my skin, so when they're exposed to sunlight, my skin tries to crawl off. Or at least that's what it felt like.
In other words, I'm part albino.
Fantastic. So, I can't tan. The only alternative I could see was a fake bake. I opted for the booth instead of time consuming cremes and sprays. After all, prom was only a week away.
Upon entering the tanning booth, you are instructed to remove all of your clothes, put this paste between your fingers and toes to prevent weird brown lines, put on goggles, put up your hair, step into the machine, press the button and hold your breath. I followed the instructions perfectly, and it did absolutely no good. As soon as the spray turns on, all air is instantly sucked from your body. It feels like being punched in the stomach with a giant, cold, tan fist. Also, the stuff tastes like poison when you try to breathe.
Eventually the machine takes a break to allow you to turn around so it can effectively molest your backside. At this point, I'm choking, terrified, freezing and totally committed. No one wants to be half tan. So, I turned around expecting a couple of seconds to recoup.
I was wrong.
As I turned around I was hit with another sickening wave of brown spray. I choked, and before I knew what was going on, I wet myself. Lovely.
After wiping myself off after jumping out of the booth as soon as it shut off (the excess has to be removed along with the sweat and terror) I looked in the mirror to see the damage. Couldn't see a difference whatsoever. I felt completely jipped, and after I got in the car with my mother, very disappointed and very pale.
Unfortunately the fake tan has a time release effect, so the longer I waited, the tanner I got. My mother's terrified looks from the driver's seat prompted me to look in the visor mirror.
Good God, I was Mexican.
Not only was the brown overwhelming, but the white around my eyes was shocking. The goggles prevented any type of color around my eyes, so I ended up as a Mexican raccoon. Even worse, when I got home and stripped down, the insides of my thighs were pure white from my little accident. I wasn't attractive, I was hilarious.
After exfoliating all weekend to try to wash away my mistake, I braved class. I looked like a skin cancer patient. Not only were my eyes hollowed out and pale, but the exfoliation left a nice, blotchy uneven, odd orange color. Needless to say, my blue dress didn't exactly match when Prom came around.
Unfortunately, 16 year old me was a little too embarrassed for photos, so I have nothing to show for this. Just try to imagine a brown, streaky, hollow eyed blonde with giant eyes and a blue dress coming at you with all of the anger and angst of a 16 year old girl...