03 June 2005

orange-tinted glasses

I am not an avid sun worshipper. I don't race outside in an itsy bitsy teeny weeny bikini at the first glimmer of sunshine when it hits 65 degrees. I had neighbors that did that. Thus, I am not destined for the leathery, corrugated skin they sported at age 40.

Still, I like the sun. I enjoy lying in 80 degree weather, absorbing the heat. It improves my mood. Indeed, research shows that sunlight stimulates the brain to produce tryptamines, which improve mood.

Also, I like being at least somewhat tan. Fortunately, I bronze fairly easily and do not easily burn. But any summer glow doesn't last long and I acquire that worked-too-long-under-fluorescent-lights sallowness.

Lately, I've grown tired of my pasty, Ohio-winter complexion. While summer slowly creeps in on little cat feet, there's no promises it will provide enough sunshine and/or opportunity to adequately burnish my skin.

Thankfully, we aren't wasting too much money on trivial R&D endeavors—like cures for cancer—and there's plenty of cash flow to develop technologies like sunless tanners. My vanity is validated.

I have not tried any sunless tanners since I was 12. My best friend growing up, Leslie, and I plunked down our $4 for a tube of Banana Boat, speeding home from Drug Mart on our 3-speed bikes to slather ourselves with the foul-smelling cream.

Of course, we turned orange. Blotchily and streakily orange. We thought it was great. Until Leslie puked orange-tinted food and bile for two days.

Yesterday, I decided the time was nigh to try again. I carefully selected a bottle of Neutrogena "Build-a-Tan," which seemed more conservative and controlled. I exfoliated and carefully evenly applied the lotion all over my body except my face. Then I went to bed.

I woke up with a couple tan splotches on the underside of my wrists. Worst were the streaks one my one ankle. It looked like I rubbed a Root Beer popsicle on it. (That was a grade school technique of self-tanning.) But overall, not too bad.

I am supposed to go to a wedding reception tonight. I took Caution, opened the window and said 'bye' and applied a second coat, including on my face. Sometimes, in life, there are risks.

In a few hours, I should be able to notice any new changes or cosmetic disasters I will have to rushedly correct before 7 p.m. tonight.

I'm so living on the edge.

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