“Let’s get a spray tan for vacation!”
She was so excited. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I had ZERO interest in looking like one of Willy Wonka’s Oompa Loompas on the beach.
But then she said the magic words:
My mom has always been something of a sun worshiper. Despite the undisputed evidence that overexposure to UV rays is harmful, the woman insists time spent in the sun is healthy. Let me rephrase that: the woman insists hours in the noonday sun sans sunblock is healthy.
No harm in a spray tan, though, right?
Here’s how that shit went down:
We arrive early and wait. And wait some more. We wait so long I inevitably have to pee, and of course that’s when we’re called back to the room. A lovely young lady instructs us to strip and then promises she’ll be back in “just a sec.”
“Why would you come back?” I ask, crossing my legs to avoid accidental piddle.
“To spray ya!” she answers a little too enthusiastically.
She closes the door behind her and I just stare at my mom.
“What. The. Eff. MOOOOOMMMMMMM?!”
Along with my mother’s affinity for sunbathing, she takes great pleasure in watching me muddle through uncomfortable situations. She says it’s when I’m at my best. I think that’s code for, “you broke my vagina in 1980 and this is payback.”
When the perky spray tanner returns, I’m still fully clothed. I start rambling about how I was under the impression this was a booth, like on the episode of Friends where Ross forgets to spin, ohmygod that was hilarious!, do you REMEMBER that?!, and…
The poor girl’s eyes beg me to stop talking. Her only response: “We don’t do the booth anymore.”
She tosses me a pair of mesh thong underwear like they’re going to make a difference and I fight the urge to attack her. And then I give myself a pep talk:
Calm Stephanie: You have given birth to two human beings, and many a stranger has seen your lady bits. Why do you care what this bouncy blonde with her flawless complexion and stretch mark-free body thinks of you?!
Nutjob Stephanie: Well, for one, she ain’t catching any of my babies and see her wrist tattoo that says “Laugh”? That’s exactly what she’s going to do once I disrobe.
Spray tanner: “Ready when you are!”
Whatever. I get nekkid. And then say a lot of inappropriate stuff:
“You don’t mind spending so much face-time with strange women’s cha-chas?”
“Have you ever sprayed a dude?! Was his junk just, like, OUT THERE?!”
“I wish I would have known booths are a thing of the past. I would have ladyscaped a bit better, knowwhatI’msayin?!”
She smiled politely, silently willing me to shut up.
Between the spray, the fans, and the roaring air conditioning, my “girls” were standing at attention, and at one point (no pun intended), the sprayer brushed up against them. If I were a more mature person, I would have ignored it and moved on. But I think we’ve established that I have the sense of humor of a sixth grade boy. So I said something like, “If you break’em, you buy’em!”
The entire time I’m making an absolute ass out of myself, my mother is standing stark naked in the corner laughing so hard that everything on her is shaking. Everything. I will carry that image with me always.
Finally we’re both sprayed and standing, still in a state of undress, in “drying position:” with our hands on our heads like the next order of business is a good frisking. We’re informed that we can’t wear our bras because they will smear the tan, so we’re free-fallin’ out to the car. I admit my skin looks good, healthier, because I have a penchant for pleasing my parents. But when I get home, I really inspect myself: the tan has seeped into every crease, crevice, and stretch mark on my body.
Like a highlighter, the tan is calling attention to every imperfection as if it’s yelling, “Look at this a-hole! She thought she was going to look like a Victoria’s Secret model, but she’s lookin’ more like a cross between There’s Something About Mary’s Magda and Bob Barker! FOOL!”
Shut up, spray tan. Never again.
Unless my mom pays.
Stephanie Jankowski loves words, hates math, and has a penchant for making people uncomfortable with her honesty. An English teacher by trade and a smack-talker by nature, Stephanie's family often tires of listening to her speak. Fortunately, her blog, When Crazy Meets Exhaustion, affords an acceptable medium to verbally vomit all over the Interwebs. You should be her pal on Facebook and Twitter because that's what a decent person would do.