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Self Tanner Phobia

Posted Dec 23 2008 9:28pm

I have tried on a total of one swim suit in my recent quest. It was just too depressing. It wasn't just the fact that the size small top was not small enough for my chest, it was the fact that I am so pale. Pale is such a nice way of putting the fact that the color of my legs resembles the white out bottle on my desk.

I am a natural redhead, pale and freckles are a part of the package. I do not tan, I burn. I am in a constant state of fear of skin cancer. I would never step foot in a tanning salon, but I would try sunless tanner. I must admit however; that I have a self tanner phobia. This stems from the summer of 1986.

I was in 7th grader at Del Robbison Junior High in Las Vegas. The kids on the honor roll were being rewarded with a trip to Wet & Wild, a water park on the strip. A few weeks prior, my mother had allowed me to buy my first bikini. It was a glorious shade of florescent orange with ruffles. The ruffles helped hide the fact that I was still far from developing. I felt great in my new swim suit. At school the girls were all a twitter, discussing their swim suits. One of my friends bragged about the fact that she had already started laying out to get her base tan. After school I rushed home to start on my base tan too. I put on my bikini and stared at myself in the mirror in horror. Florescent orange on a florescent white body, I was doomed. There was hope... my mother had recently purchase a tube of the "new sunless tanner". Bain de Soleil was one of the only ones on the market at that time and it was fairly pricey. My mother promised that she would help put the lotion on before the trip. This eased my mind, I too would have a tan just in time to hit the man made beach.

The day before the trip I kept pestering my mother to help me with the lotion. She said that she would get to it sometime that evening. Patience is not a virtue for a thirteen year old. While my mother was cooking dinner I went to her bathroom and took out the Bain de Soleil. My tan was in my fingertips. I squeezed out the fowl smelling white lotion and began to apply it all over my body. There were directions on the tube, but I knew how to put lotion.

A few hours later my mother told me that she could help me with the lotion now. She did a double take and started to giggle. The giggle got louder and louder until she had tears welling up in her eyes. Once she calmed down she asked, "did you use my Bain de Soleil without me? Common sense would have told me to fess up, but common sense is rare in a thirteen year old. I rolled my eyes and replied, "no". My mother said well do me a favor and check yourself out in the mirror.

I rushed to the mirror and looking back at me was an orange ompalompa. I pulled off my clothes and saw orange hand prints,streaks,and spots. In a dead pan voice my mother asked one more time, "are you sure that you didn't use my Bain de Soleil ?" I was caught orange handed literally. I spent the rest of the evening trying to scrub off the orange, I rubbed my skin raw, but it was no use.

The next morning, I announced to my mother that I was simply not going to the water park. She replied, "oh , yes you are." I managed to survive the embarrassment of the water park, but to this day I am terrified of becoming orange again. The formulas are so much better now, I know.

I learned a lesson that fateful day in 1986, sometimes mothers do get the last laugh.
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