You are my Sunshine

If you’re like me, there are probably some things in your life you’ve emphatically claimed you’d never do again.  Eating raw oysters made my list, after we did a story on people accidentally poisoning themselves.  I decided I should stop karaoke-ing in pubic last year after the Miley Cyrus concert when some wise guys in the control booth thought it would be funny to roll tape on my performance of “Party in the U.S.A.” between live shots.  I’m still somewhat shocked that one hasn’t popped up on YouTube.  And lastly, I stopped going to the tanning bed back in 2005, after receiving a startling e-mail about a bride who cooked her insides from too many pre-wedding visits.  As it turns out, that one was an urban legend, but the story was memorable enough … I decided it was probably something I needed to steer clear of.

This afternoon, I violated my own code of conduct.  No sooner had the charge cleared my credit card before I was having a serious case of buyer’s remorse. I think I may have just unwittingly joined a cult called “Club Sun.”

For almost a year now, I’ve been driving past the new Suntan City down the street from my house.  Initially, I gawked, thinking, “Who in the world still goes to the tanning bed?”  Since then, however, I’ve noticed locations for the bronzing super center popping up on every street corner.

I don’t know if I’m still delirious from my recent spring break trip to the frozen tundra (AKA: Disney) or what, but yesterday, while loading groceries, I glanced over at the neon “Open” sign.  Like a moth to a flame, I decided that 2010’s tan would begin NOW!  Little did I know how much things had changed since my last trip to the fluorescent beach!  I think it’s time someone put out a book called “Tanning for Dummies.”

Before even going inside, I decided that I would buy a meager five visits.  It isn’t like I wanted to turn my skin into pleather like the chick on “Something about Mary.”  I just thought a little color might do me some good.  Plus, I reasoned that there are some kind of therapeutic mental health benefits to be had from the light therapy itself.  Boy, was I in for a treat.

The girl at the counter gave me the once over and asked if I’d like to take a tour of their beds.  I reluctantly agreed, wondering what my neophyte eyes would be able to garner from this little exercise.  It isn’t like I was going to take it home and use it as a mattress.  Mid-way through, I realized … she was speaking Spanish.  A bulb is a bulb, and time was wasting.  I cut the tour short, and we moved on to the contractual stage.  That’s right.  You heard me: a contract.  I couldn’t help but have a brief flashback to my last gym membership that went down in flames.  I still remember the day I showed up at the “For Women Only” to find the doors locked and an eviction notice on the window.  I think I did laps around the parking lot that day because I was already dressed to work out.  At this point, I could have been signing away my parental rights.  I just wanted to get my TAN ON!  Who has time to sort through all this paperwork?  I haven’t even filled out my census form yet!

Just as I was about to dart down the hall and change into my suit, she asked me if I would mind placing my index finger on a scanner so they could get my fingerprint.  She said, and I quote, “We just do this to ensure that no one tries to come in here and claim that they’re you.”  Seriously?  A)  Would anyone ever really want to be me, and B) Is there some band of identity thieves out there stealing people’s tanning sessions?  If so … that’s a news story!  I was so eager to get to the bed at this point I pressed my finger on the glass not once … but four times.  It wasn’t until later that it dawned on me … I didn’t get vetted like this when I worked for the TBI!!!

During the final stage of processing, the girl asked me how long I wanted to stay in the bed.  I said 20 minutes, thinking that was fairly modest by tanning bed standards.  She looked at the girl next to her, and they both burst into laughter before saying, “Honey, our managers won’t even ALLOW us to put you in there for 20 minutes!  You’ll burn to a crisp.”  Apparently, that was the equivalent of me asking to be thrown into a 400-degree oven.  Can you say Hansel and Gretel?  At the end of it all, I got a whopping five minutes, and they seemed really nervous about that.

On the bright side, I have UNLIMITED tanning.  If all goes as planned, you guys won’t even recognize me by this time next month!  Have a great week!


8 Responses

  1. You should have stuck with the “scared straight” urban legend and stayed away from the tanning bed. They are very dangerous, and now with the new Health Reform bill, the tanning beds are being extra taxed – like cigarettes. So, if you stop, you get a double savings – your healthy body and your money.

  2. Yes, definitely stay out of the tanning beds! Any dermatologist will tell you they are a major no, no. You might not see any signs of cancer now, but it will show up down the road. Please take care of yourself. Take it from a skin cancer patient, me!

  3. Please don’t publicize going to tanning beds. They should be outlawed as there is nothing good or healthy about them. When you see the effect it has on your skin in years to come you will wish you had never used one. And, with the incidence of skin cancer it’s just not a smart thing to do.

  4. Hi Jennifer! I used to work at Sun Tan City for a long time and I know what kind of a hassle it is going through their “process”. Just watch out for their sales tactics because they are “trained professionals”! =)

  5. Why not just use their spray tan stuff?

    • Because I don’t want to look like a contestant on Dancing with the Stars. LOL

      Actually… I’ve thought about it. I’m pacing myself. Really not looking to reinvent myself quite THAT much.


  6. Hi Jen,

    Just keep pacing yourself. Moderation is great and tanning really improves your mood.

  7. the best thing i can offer here is that you shouldn’t have to sensor yourself or stop doing things you love doing at all because of others. I would only suggest maybe doing things in moderation with the exception of exersize of course. Even that though is something that your body will keep you in check on. The sams club thing is a battle that i find myself fighting every time i go there. do i really need or even have use of a 1 gallon jug of lite mayoniase? or will i use it all up before it goes bad and has to be thrown out. for other things there is no question like most other food items. Sams can be a god’s send if you shop smart and in moderation. it’s all about self control and what is sensable. As for the kareoke thing, take it as flattery that someone would use that footage in something so prestigious as a show of hers. That is of course unless you totally wrecked the song when you did your version of it. For that there is no recovery unfortunately. this is the very reason i haven’t perforned much myself with kareoke in public. The times i have that were filmed and i thought went well were a total disaster when i looked back at the footage later on. Just goes to show you that you are never as good as you really think you are when you look back at things like that later on.

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