Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fake Bake and Fakin' Bacon

Yesterday, I was "that person."

"That person." We all know them.

The fool in the room that has no idea what is going on. At the gym, it's the woman lifting the 1 lb weights in some non-existent lifting move as she walks across the gym floor, only to put them down and mount a machine and use it completely wrong as to not only not be a totally ineffective exercise, but also probably take years off of her life and inches out of her cartilage.

The fool who gets on the T and taps his paper ticket on the Charlie Card reader, or the person who steps up on the T and stops completely thinking he can ride the T in the stairwell, completely ignoring the LINE OF PEOPLE behind him.

The fool who has never once used a PC, then tries to fill out a job application at Target on the PC, but can't work the mouse and it takes him 4 minutes to move the arrow to field 1, with only 399 more fields to fill out.


Well, when it comes to tanning at a tanning salon, I'm THAT GUY!

I live above a tanning salon. Yes, it's true. The basement level of many Boston apartments serves as anything from a bar, to a restaurant, to Real Estate offices, to anything. I happen to be above a tanning salon on on side (yay!), and a really great yummy pub with pub food on the other (booo, not on nutrition plan!)

I've never been against fake baking, but I just never "got it." I likely would never have done this had I not had to worry about my farmer's tan for the show. Some people overdo it, and that's I think why a lot of people start to wonder about tanning salons.

I have quite the ridiculous farmer's tan from this summer. Later on down the road, I'll be getting some spray tanning, some paint-on tanning, and maybe some bronzer. I'm not sure.

But in the meantime, my goal is to minimize the appearance of my farmer's tan. Given that my posing suit will be rather minimal in size, simply tanning in the bikinis I have, might leave even more of a tan line that I'd have to worry about later. So we're doing this in the birthday suit.

Now, my first day at the tanning salon, I told the girls I had zero idea of what to do. They were so nice to explain the entire thing to me like I was an idiot, which I am. Soo many types of beds, different lamp wattages, standing, laying down, spray tan machine, some have aromatherapy, some have face lamps that shut off, some have extra lamps, all the machines use different quantities of the minutes package you buy... it's so much information.

Then the goggles! Oh these things are so silly looking, but of course, required unless you'd like to burn out your corneas.

So, the girl and I decided that the stand-up machine was going to be the best bet. She demonstrated everything for me. You go in, close the door behind you, then there's a little room to change. Then you go into another room inside with the lamps and close the door behind you. You hold onto the two straps above your head, and put your feet where it says "place feet here." After you tell the desk how many minutes you want, they program it in, and you have about 3 minutes to change out of your clothing and get into the lamp sub-room.

I'm going to say it right now, but I was so scared the first time. I'm not usually scared by new experiences, but I guess it was a mix of fears, including burning the sh*t out the parts of my skin that have never once seen the light of day, getting electrocuted, and having the goggles fall off and I go blind for all eternity.

I'd like to say this is the scariest thing I've ever done in my life. No lie. NOTHING scares me. I went skydiving last year, wasn't scared before, after, during, nothing. I do all the roller coasters, scary plane rides, nothing. But for some reason, this whole tanning thing sort of freaked me out a bit.

I had decided to cover my face with a towel, of course over my goggles, to reduce the amount of tan on my face. I don't want wrinkles, and my face is already tan enough, despite wearing 15 SPF lotion on it 365 days a year.

So, my first time tanning, I go into the little room, disrobe, put my junk on the floor and the little itty bitty chair, and carefully into the little pod with the lamps and close the door behind me. I put the towel over my head, my hands on the straps and wait patiently.

As soon as the lights flicker on, the towel on my head disappears. I start to panic: WHERE DID IT GO? With my goggles on, I can see through the little windows in 'em, and I am looking on the floor for my towel. I can't find it ANYWHERE. I sort of panic, where could it have gone?

I soon realize it's plastered to the ceiling of the light pod I'm standing in. I didn't realize that the light pod is actually one huge vacumn with strong fans below and above me. I quickly peel the towel off of the 2 foot fan above my head, and hold it over my face with alternating arms for the duration of my first 4-minutes tanning session. All I hear is the fans, and it starts to get a little warm. 4 minutes seems like a long time.

The lights eventually turn off, and I carefully find the door (this part reminds me of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, where Gene Wilder searches tirelessly for the exit door in the tiny room with the crazy black and white walls, with all of the children and their parents, and then the exit door is also the entrance door, and all the parents yell at him for being loony.)

I put my junky clothes back on (because that's what I wear in my apartment, and technically, this is my apartment, it's just a fancy basement), and go up 1 set of stairs to the street, then go up the stairs into my apartment building.

I'm so proud of myself. I went again tonight for 3 minutes, as my white skin has never once been tan in some places, and I already notice a difference. In order to avoid having to hold the towel over my head, I brought the headbands I wear while working out and basically bagged my head in a towel. I put the towel over my head, then put one headband around my forehead around the back of my head, and the other headband around my chin area and around the back of my head. It worked; the towel stayed in place and I can hold the straps which helps get an even tan all around.

Tonight I also put sunblock on my already-tan body parts, as to not continue to tan those parts. I want them to stay sort of where they are. I wonder if getting rid of a farmer's tan this way will really work. Either way, tanning isn't that expensive. I think I spent $75 on something like 150 minutes. That's a lot of minutes, considering each day is about 4 minutes on average.

My workout tonight was decent, but certainly not great. I'm considering maybe doing something in the mornings before work, like an additional workout. I just worry I won't be ready in time......

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