Monday, March 09, 2009

Yes, I am Irish.

Every spring when the weather starts to warm up and I put on shorts I am shocked by my very white legs. Now, they are not just a little pale. They are so white they actually have a glare and people around me require sunglasses.

Years ago when I had more money than sense I would go to a tanning salon. I would start out at a slow, low level and lay there for just a few minutes. My intent was to put just a little color in my otherwise pasty skin. At one point I complained to the technician (what do you call the person who assigns you to a room?) that nothing seemed to be happening so maybe we needed to turn it up a notch. She told me that one of the beds had just had the bulbs changed so that might speed things up. And, she was going to set the timer for a longer period of time.

Huge mistake! The combination of the intense bulbs and the longer duration caused me to end up at the emergency clinic with what they called "solar poisoning." I was in horrific pain and looked like a cooked lobster. That was the last time I subjected myself to a tanning booth.

Spray on tan seemed like a good idea. No risk of pain. I had no idea what I was doing when I used a coupon to get the "look like you have been to the islands." I had a date that evening and as the evening progressed I noticed my arms were getting darker and darker. A little while later I went to the restroom and I laughed when I saw how white my teeth were. My skin continued to get darker and my teeth kept looking brighter and brighter. Again, the need for sunglasses for those around me to cut the glare my smile was emitting. My date and I had a good laugh as we made bets on what would be my final ethnicity.

Then there are the do it yourself self tanning lotions. I tried that, too, but you have to purchase just the right lotion and be very careful how you apply it. It was too much trouble to try and keep things even. I would end up with extra lotion in the crease of my elbow or at the wrist or behind my knees which gave the appearance I needed a bath. How many times did I have to wear long pants in the summer to avoid the inevitable stares?

I have a coworker that must be using a self tanning lotion because he keeps showing up with rusty looking hands. No thanks. I will keep telling myself that my very white skin complements my very white hair. Whatever!


mortonlake said...

i have vivid memories of a tanning lotion that still gives me care,love mort xx

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I am Irish, so fade during the winter, but also American Indian, so after a little sun, I start to darken a bit. I have to be careful early in the season though. Funny stories, thanks for sharing.

Lori said...

I used to tan in the sun when I was young, but gave it up at about the age of 20 because I realized I was doing a lot of potential damage to my skin. I stay away from tanning salons too. Loved this humorous entry! I am very Irish (and Scots) too, and very white. But next to my husband and kids, I'm going to look white, no matter what, so I just don't even bother anymore! lol

a corgi said...

LOL, Donna, this was cute! I decided after I turned 50 to stop wearing shorts above the knees and just go with capris with varying lengths below the knee. That was it is less to worry about tanning, LOL


Sonya said...

I found it too much trouble to worry about a tan too. I just wear capris and let the white shins show. ha.