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.
Winter mornings and pottery
3 hours ago