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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pearl Gets Her Wish, or You’re Going to Ruin the Gravy That Way…

I’m leaving for a short vacation in a few days and so have decided that the in-the-box condition of my skin tone (opaque) will not do for the near-tropical sun of the southern shores.

You know, my skin color used to bother me. Raised in several locations amongst Native Americans, I yearned for brown skin, brown eyes, dark hair. White, particularly in the winter, was embarrassing: the red nose, the white legs, the blue veins. Sure it’s patriotic, but I didn’t want patriotism! I wanted sloe-eyed, exotic mystery!

Since attaining maturity, however, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I am irrevocably Caucasian.

And I’m okay with that.

Or am I? Because I am going south, to the edge of the U.S., where, from what I understand, even the walk from the airport to the rental car can cause freckleage.

So I did what thousands before me have done.

I decided to buy a tan.

Now, let me give you a word of warning regarding the purchasing of tans. When the teenager behind the desk at the tanning salon sorrowfully tells you that she can only fit you in for your first visit for 15 minutes, I want you to remember this, fellow pale folk:

Fifteen minutes is too long.

Truth be known, since yesterday, I am no longer white. I am red. Candy-apple red, to be specific, which is a wonderful color for, say, a '68 Ford Mustang convertible, but a horrible color for a human being.

They put me in the “ompetition 2123”, a tanning bed whose “C” had been pried off by some enterprising patron, a tubular contraption that looks something like a cross between an MRI machine and a bivalve with a grudge. The lid lifts, you slide in, all Space-Odyssey like and such, and 15 minutes later you pop out thinking things like “I don’t recall my skin hurting like this before…”

I have no one to blame. I did it to myself.

The primary areas of burn are centered on my torso, head, and limbs. You can imagine the difficulty this has given me in the area of eating, sleeping, and dressing for work.

Otherwise, I feel fine.

So what did we learn today?

That teenagers don’t know what they’re talking about; that I, apparently, can’t be bothered to do any investigation before engaging in a new experience; and that, in a twisted sort of way – and with no disrespect to my friends up on Blue Earth – I’ve finally gotten my wish and gone from white to red.


Jodie Kash said...

Fifteen minutes is too long.

Way the hell too long for us opaque’s. I only tanned once, during a short stint of unemployment when my hairdresser gave me a free pass to a little place. Think I did three-four minutes to begin and still came home with tiny blisters on my boobs.

Yep, a commando in the tube. Now I embrace the porcelain.

Jodie Kash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jimmy Bastard said...

It's just been on the news over here hen, the 'ompetition 2123' has just been recalled by Toyota for safety issues.

Better let hubby have a good feel of your airbags perhaps?

Krëg said...

Why would a tanning bed say "Competition"? Is there some competitive sport tanning on ESPN2 that I've missed? Or maybe naming it that just increased sales in New Jersey.

Joanie M said...

ouch!!! I hope the pain leaves before you leave for vacation.

SparkleFarkle said...

*sniff-sniff sniff* Is that burning Fritos I smell? OH.NO. It's you. Sorry to hear about your George Foreman moment gone wild. I am pronto on my way to the post office to send you a case of THIS and several bottles of THAT. Drink them both, if you have to. Then do what dogs do. No, not lay by your dish. "Heal!" You gottah get bettah so you can enjoy your trip!

powdergirl said...

Oy, Pearl!
She sent you in there for 15 friggin' minutes? She should be summarily executed.
But, if you don't want it to peel off, go buy an aloe vera gel ( Preferably Maui island Burn to Brown), its an astringent so it takes the sting out and keeps the tan from falling off. It really works.
Have a fun vacation !

reasonably chubby said...

I'm sorry you're burned. To a crisp. Oh, well enjoy your vacation dummy...:)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Ouch! I feel sore just thinking about you!

Simply Suthern said...

Pearls are spose to be white.

Can I call ya Rosie?

Unfinished Rambler said...

The only thing that this post really is missing is photos: to show us your redness. So, that said...


Flea said...

This is nothing compared to the treatment that Mr. Golden Sun will give you at the beach. Bottles of aloe. Refrigerated.

Pearl said...

Pearls ARE supposed to be white, aren't they?!

I cut into my aloe vera plant last night -- WOW. What an amazing plant. I am only in SLIGHT pain today (the post, of course, was written yesterday) and should be as close to normal as I'm going to come by flight time Sunday.

Rock on, babies!

mapstew said...

Come to Ireland for your holiday, you'll fit right in complexion wise! :¬)


Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Why do white people go to the tanning salon? You should know better. And since when are you so vain. You are the bomb babe. Some of us like that 'just out from the underground shelter' look. Run a comb through that mop of a hairdo and you should stand out amongst all the liver spots. Like Queen Elizabeth with her harlequin make-up.

Gregory said...

reminds me of my first x wife... when married she bought a tan in pill form, slowly turned her skin orange, I will never forget the day "honey, do I look orange to you?" I think she was in a hurry to get the tan and doubled the dose... I seriously had a good laugh

Hilary said...

Oh ouch. Please be extra careful in the real sun while on vacation. Your skin needs to heal.

Ponita in Real Life said...

Ouch! Pearl, the people at the tanning salons are supposed to NOT let you go in for that long! I've tanned prior to winter vacations in Mexico and always started with 3 minutes and worked my way up to 8 over a month!

That said, make sure you have lots of 45+ SPF sunscreen with you... otherwise, you'll have to change your name to Rosie after you get out of the burn unit at the local hospital.

Have fun!

Hilary said...

That was pretty funny.
I too, am sickeningly pale and when I do get sun, I get red. And freckly. It is unavoidable.
Thanks for stopping by my blog.
And for your kind words.

Tamsin said...

Tanning just isn't good for you, Pearlie. But, if you can endure standing spread-eagled wearing disposable underwear in front of a perfect stranger, spray-tanning might be the way to go.

And get some sun screen, will ya?

(I think that was a lecture.)

Cloudia said...

Any tropical sun is not good. Damage is permanent. I always wear a hat here in Waikiki and it has saved my skin. I always hear that I have lovely skin - and now you know why. One sun burn is too many! Pear, you have lovely skin. The Hawaiians loved the shade. Look out at the sun, don't lay out in it. I always see women half my age with leather skin - not attractive!

My two cents with Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral

SweetPeaSurry said...

Oh wish you would have asked us deary! I'm sure us 'hard core' tanners would have told you to start out at 2-3 minutes. (in a 20 minute bed) I do hope the redness does down a bit for you soon, we all know how uncomfortable it is!

best wishes!

IndigoWrath said...

Hey Pearl, my mum always made us bathe in calamine lotion if we got sunburned. This was revolting and massively inconvenient, so why the hell did we not bother with sun cream in the first place? Feel better, Indigo