Sunday, January 12, 2014

#181. or, I'm Pre-tanning

  I've started tanning again this year.

  Some of you know I do this, and yes, I've read the giant poster on the wall of the Health Unit that says 10 minutes of tanning can cause cancer, unrepairable skin damage, as well as the early onset of death. But so can trying to lobotomise yourself with a fork because you're about to go insane from not having seen the sun in two and a half weeks. And the death part might not in fact be accurate, because frankly, I didn't get to the end of the poster because my mind wandered off when I got to the picture of the beach. But there you have it, for better or worse, I'm tanning.

  The first reason I'm doing this, is for vacation camouflage. Because I'm going to look bad enough as it is with my shirt off, when we go to Cuba at the end of the month. Having a little colour before that happens, I'm hoping, will prevent me from being the poster boy for pasty white Canadians, when I'm strutting my topless, man-sexiness, around the pool. And by topless man-sexiness, I of course mean saggy old guy torso.

  The second reason, and more importantly, is I tend to burn quite easily in the tropical sun, or any sun for that matter, aside from any exposed skin on my arms below my t-shirt sleeve level. So inevitably, I end up shedding off layers of skin like a snake. And I have this vision in my head of those crafty Cubans creating an army of Ken-inatractor clones, from my discarded DNA, and scattering them across the countryside to perform menial farm tasks for little or no pay. If the world needs anything, it's less of me rendering in the Cuban sun.

 But any ways, the tanning. When I've tanned in the past, I have always used a stand-up booth. I've had friends tell me how relaxing it is, lounging away your allotted minutes, casually laying on a tanning bed model, but I think I still prefer to be irradiated while standing. However, due to a change of ownership at the place I used to do my tanning, there is no longer a stand up model available to use in our town. For the reasons above,  I decided I would give the lay-down model a go, because I have an open mind to try new things, and  really, there was no other option.

  Now, I've heard of prodigies who sit down at a piano for the first time in their lives, and are able to have grand masterpieces of music flow miraculously from their fingertips. Or how evolution has granted certain desert tribes-people with the ability to run endlessly without tiring, in order to be able to cover the ground required to feed their families. I've always wished that I had some sort of untapped innate ability, hiding just under the surface of who I am, waiting to break free and reveal itself at precisely the right moment.

  Unfortunately, my special hidden talent seems to be that I have the perfect storm of excess flab and back sweat to suction myself to the plastic base of a lay-down tanning bed and make horrific farting noises whenever I try to change my position.

  Every time it happens I imagine that across town, at the Spring Sun Restaurant, a group of people are roused from their Combo #2, by a far off and distant rumble.

  Needless to say, my tanning is anything but relaxing.

   On the plus side, I'm up to about 6 minutes at holding my back off the bed with my heels and shoulders, so I'm assuming there's some core strengthening happening.

   ..........I guess that's better than nothing?







26 comments:

  1. So that rumble was you? Geez,and here I thought it was a thunderstorm in the dead of winter.

    I'm with you about the stand-up. I much prefer that to the traditional horizontal cooker. As much as it can be relaxing to lie down, I always end up burning the middle of my back, which leads to people asking "Is someone cooking bacon?"

    Happy pre-tanning!

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    1. Hey Suzanne,

      Ya, that was me.

      I think in Canada, we all smell like bacon cooking when we tan. That's why I'm coming out with a line of maple syrup scented tanning lotions. Gotta play to your strengths! :)

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  2. Oh my gosh...you really write well. This made me laugh! I figured the tanning was for the trip. Excellent telling of your experience. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you McGuffy Ann.

      I'm always happy when you stop by :)

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  3. Ken my soon-to-be tan friend,

    This is AWESOME! Well done (see what I did there?) Oh my gosh, I was chortling all the way down here on the far corner of our shared continent. That, and FINALLY figuring out what the heck that sound was that occurred recently...yes, it resounded allllllll the way here!!

    So the tanning thing, I won't dare to say anything about the dangers and risks, etc. etc. You know them. I am guilty as well, although I gave up my tanning bed/booth days a long time ago. The gym where I currently hold a membership (notice I didn't say attended with regularity) also affords tanning as a side service. There are two rooms with those beds in them.

    So that while back that I was talking about, I would be on a treadmill or elliptical watching folks go into those rooms. They walk in with just a set of keys, or a bottle of water....NOOOO bag containing oh, a bathing suit, maybe. So I start getting all these crazy visuals of those folks doing what they need to do to crawl up in that literal hotbed of tanning cocoon and my brain FREAKED OUT. I had recently been in those very tanning beds (like you, I would go before a trip to pre-fry my skin). All I could think of was that I might as well have been pressing my nekkid skin parts to their nekkid skin parts and my brain was skeeved in the worst way!!! I KNOW they provide an antiseptic spray for the surfaces, but STILL!
    (shudder)

    Sorry - hope I didn't spoil your baking sessions...or let's just hope you are witness to some really lovely women folk going in those things or you might just have nightmares!!!

    Happy tanning! Can't wait to hear about your trip!!

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    1. Hell, my friend!

      All the way down there! Oh my!

      I know all of the warnings there is. I just can't seem to keep up on the applying of lotion, and inevitably, at some point in between trips to the pool, I end up burned red, and lose the better part of a day of my holidays wandering about like a plank because I can't bend anywhere. Which is probably worse for me than the 10 minutes I go, 2 times a week before my trip.

      I'm not trying to be one of those tanned to leather coloured handbag ladies you see. Just trying to prevent the burn. :)

      I have actually thought about the bed thing, (every time I go) That's one of the reasons I prefer the stand up model. The worst thing is, I'm pretty sure the waiting room of women in line behind me, as I walk out the door of the booth, are probably freaking out WAY more than I am. I always want to apologize to them.

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  4. Those suction farting sounds? Same thing happens to me if I try to lay down in the bathtub. Relaxing my arse.

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    1. Hey Vanessa!

      My arse makes those noises as well! :/

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  5. Loved this!! Particularly the bit about using your sheds to create Ken-inatractor clones. Just remember, none of them will be awesome like you due to the clone degrade factor, so it's an experiment that is guaranteed to fail those crafty Cubans.

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    1. Thanks Stephanie,

      You may have a point there, but if I could snag one or two of those clones to help me out here, I might be able to go on more holidays? :)

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  6. I look like a ghost these days. It gets dark so early this time of year, and... Ah, who am I kidding? I'm pale year round.

    If I went to Cuba, they'd think I'd been dead for a month.

    Of course, if I went to Cuba, there's a remote possibility I'd be getting pale in jail afterwards. You Canadians and your lack of 55-year international travel bans.

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    1. Hey Katy!

      I lean pretty hard toward the pale/death side myself.

      That's #1 on the top of my "must do" list while travelling abroad. Stay out of foreign prisons. I'm a bit too tender to endure anything like that. But, they keep telling us people like Canadians for some reason. Maybe they mistake, sitting in the sun thawing out as polite and well behaved?



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  7. I am totally with you on this post. My butt always seems to be roasting and the smell of cooked flesh is in the air everywhere. I do need to go to tan occasionally, like when we went are are going back to Hawaii because of the 3rd degree burns factor. SPF didn't matter too much either, with SPF 50 on, still turned brown- and I don't even tan very dark.
    I am curious, why Cuba? I always picture it as scary and dangerous.

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    1. Hi Funny,

      Mostly I tan for those reasons as well. Last winter, I went a few times because I was getting down in my mood toward the dark middle of winter and it helped to bring me back from that. But I do use it in moderation.

      Cuba. It is in the Caribbean. I don't know if you've ever been to the Dominican, but I think it's quite similar in climate to that. Since it's my first time there, it will all be new, but it seems there's a lot of historical architecture, and the locals are supposed to be exceptionally friendly. The food has the reputation to be a bit on the bland side, but the coffee is supposed to be world class and they do make the best cigars in the world. I let you know when I get back. :)

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    2. My husband will not vacation anywhere but the US despite all our friends' raving about Mexico and Bahamas and Turks and Caicos so we are going back to Hawaii next year. I won't argue, 85 in Feb is my kinda thing. I would love to see pics though!

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  8. OH! and I feel like I am in a coffin when I tan, do you think that is the plan? That they are preparing you for what is ahead if you tan?

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    1. Maybe that's why I prefer the stand-up. Run away from the light!! :)

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  9. Ha! I believe in tanning, but only under the parameters you just outlined. Pre-vacation sunburn prevention, or obtaining much-needed vitamin D during the winter.
    I could sure use a tropical vacation about now...

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    1. hi Natalie,

      Tanning in moderation only! So I don't end up looking like a brown dried up old raisin in my old age. I'll just be pale and old and dried up looking.

      Tropical "all-inclusive" vacation. So you get full benefit of that, treated-like-royalty-in-a-far-off-land, feeling. :)

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  10. I know exactly what those sounds can do to surrounding areas -- both geographic and corporeal.

    Funny, well-written read. Perfect for my Monday AM.

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    1. Thanks so much!

      ....and I'll try to keep it down, over here. :)

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  11. Ha ha ha! That cracked me up! That would be me, too, cause now matter how hard I try, I just can't be dainty.

    You know I've never tanned? Not because I'm some sort of tanning judger, it's honestly I'm just not good at the whole body maintenance thing. I have always thought those tanning beds looked pretty cool, though. They remind me of some sort of spaceship bed.

    And, just so you know, I finally got my new blog up and running. Here's the link, if you want to pop over and see me :) WritesyDaisy.com

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    1. Hey Kianwi!

      Thanks! :)

      Honestly, when it's dark and cold out, I end up with improved mood. That's supposed to be the vitamin D thing, and lack of sunshine in the winter. Plus, when the old guy looking back at you in the mirror doesn't look like a mushroom, that doesn't feel so bad either.

      And yes! Spaceship bed! And in the stand-up, I feel like Sam Beckett, quantum leaping about the time stream. Sorry, my inner nerd came out a bit there. :)

      I had noticed talk of big changes going on with you! I'll pop over and take a look. :)

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  12. Such a lovely image you've created in my mind's eye. I hope they clean those things well between customers.

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