Tuesday, September 30, 2008

In Which I Experiment With Spray Tan

As I've mentioned on Facebook, I went to a spa today to get a spray tan.

Let me back up...  My sister is getting married in 3 weeks and I have been really bad about using sunscreen since, oh, forever...  And so I am striped.  Random farmers keep coming up to me and saying, "Nice tan, there.  Are you in corn or soy?  How many acres?"  And of course Megan chose strapless dresses.  So, I need to even myself up a bitlot.

However, I am frightened of the whole tanning bed scene.  For one thing, it sounds hot, and I don't do hot.  What if I sweat?  Do I have to clean the puddle of sweat out of the bed, or does someone else do that?  Do I tip the sweat cleaner?  Will the pool of sweat magnify the UV rays and, like an ant under a magnifying glass, cause my butt to burn?  For another, it'll probably just make the darker spots darker, and that's not going to work because I'll just be a darker shade of striped.  For a third, you have to wait for it to wear off, and I don't want to wait.  I don't wait well.  Especially when I'm orange.

So, spray tanning seemed like a logical solution.  Of course, all I could think about was this:

(Oh, Friends, how I miss you...)

So I went today to do a little fact finding while the kids were with Allison (and I was supposed to be at work).

The salon/spa place was really nice and clean, in spite of the fact that it's in kind of a crappy old 70s era strip mall.  The girl was really nice.  I explained my concerns.

"It only lasts 4 to 7 days," she said.

"See, I have kind of ridiculous luck, and I know that if I do it for the first time 3 days before the wedding, I will either end up orange or I will break out in hives.  If I break out in hives, I'll have to take Benedryl, but then I'll hit the open bar and I'll end up passed out under the cake table or something..."

But I didn't want to pay the $40 fee twice!  I didn't even spray tan before my OWN wedding!

So, I talked her into just doing a test spray on my stomach, so I could see if I like the color and whether or not I break out in hives or welts or horrible, oozing boils from whatever magic solution they put in the air brush gun thingie.

I am such an optimist.

The girl agreed to take me back into the room to do my little demo tan on my stomach.  She tells me to get undressed, and then she'll come back in and do the airbrushing by hand.  I must have looked at her like, "Huh?" because I was still thinking about Ross ("I'm an 8!"  "Mississippilly?"), and she explained that they do it all by hand.  There's no anonymous room with a booth.  There's just this tiny little perfectly bodied college girl, and me.

In my granny panties.

Because you KNOW that I didn't plan ahead to do this.  Oh no.  I was wearing my Hanes Her Ways that are older than both of my children.


The door into the room where she took me was directly behind the giant plate glass window, and if you had stood at the front desk and merely glanced to the right, or if you'd happened to be walking by at just at the right time, you would've seen me.  In my granny panties.  And nothing more.

So what's the protocol, here?  I'm not really a spa girl.  I've gone ONCE before, when my friends chipped in to get me a gift certificate for my birthday, and there was a lot less nudity.  There was no airbrushing.

The only thing I could come up with, short of hiding in the closet and then popping out and yelling "Surprise!" when she got back, was to stand inside the door and to the side, so that I wasn't immediately visible to everyone on State Road 52 when she opened the door.  She came in (after about an hour and a half, they always give me about ten times more time to undress than I need...  Whether I'm at the spa or the doctor or whatever...  What are other people doing in there for 20 minutes?  Am I supposed to be doing something that I'm not?) and looked at me like I was a little stupid.

"I was afraid if I stood anywhere else I might flash your UPS guy or something," I stammered.

She was so sweet.  She didn't laugh at me until after I left.

So she takes me in this shower, basically, and warns me that the airbrushing machine is a little loud.  She tells me that it might feel cold.

Since the salon was about 40 degrees inside, I kind of expected that.

The actual spraying tickled like crazy.  Amazingly, I neither broke out in hives nor turned orange.  It's actually a very subtle color.  So crazy, it just might work! 

Then after a few awkward moments when I wasn't sure where to put my arms, or my boobs, she turned on the fan and left me to dry.

At least she wasn't there to watch me as I tried jogging in place (still only in my granny panties, of course) to keep warm as the fan dried me off.  There was probably a hidden camera - look for video on YouTube.  I was just beginning to wonder if they trained aesthetiticians in how to treat frostbite, when she came in and told me that I was probably dry enough and that I could get dressed and come out.

Finally warmish, I was standing at the desk making an appointment for a facial this weekend, and for a Level 1 Spray Tan (all over!) on the Thursday before the wedding, when guess who walked in?  The UPS GUY!  And I started cracking up, because it takes a while for the nervous laughter thing to wear off with me, and stammering about how he almost saw me naked, and he looked at me like I had completely lost my mind, and left.

All of this is what led to my Facebook status, earlier today, which was:

"Amy just went and got her first spray tan, on her tummy.  My stretch marks now look so sexy!"

In my next life, I want to be a man.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the laugh!!

Brandi said...

I laughed out loud and read it to Dawn on the phone. Your friggin hilarious!

RobMonroe said...

If it helps, I consider myself a man (since birth!) and I have worse stretch marks than most post-pregnancy moms do. Stupid kidneys.

Glad that you didn't break out in hives!

Barbara said...

I loved the post. I was laughing so hard. My girlfriend Kelly had a suspicious mole that fortunately turned out to be nothing; so she doesn't do tanning beds anymore. She also has tinea versicolor....so little random white spots everywhere. You thought a farmer's tan was bad! She and I spray tanned once for a wedding at a place here that does full body spray for just $25. So, I am afraid you are getting ripped off in this fancy spa. I looked on their website and they use the "Mystic Tan" system; unfortunately, the closest business that uses Mystic Tan is 40 miles from you. Bummer.

Just be sure to put lotion on your nails, elbows, feet, and knees and dab away any excess drips with a towel. Take your sweet time in front of the fan and wear dark clothing...to include your Grannie Panties. God forbid they be ruined with spray tan stains. Good grief!

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