For the first time since dinosaurs roamed the earth, I wore a very small bikini. It was a gift in bravado presented me by Sweetest G who quipped, “You took off twenty years when you took off that coverup.” Well then.
I was in LaLaLand and full of cocktails and misplaced muster. That is, until I spy my stomach upon return to The Dale. The shade of red rivals the crimson in Crimson Tide. Roll whatever, it’s burnt. One discovery, however, is tummy topographical maps courtesy of three ten-pound children, look better with some color than their freakishly albino native tone.
Always a fan of self-tanner; for some reason I’ve used it only on appendages that stick out. Legs, arms and face know their fair share of the elixir of the gods. It saves us whiteys from scaring folk with our glow-in-the-dark carcasses.
Self-tanner entered the realm while living in the Minnesota hinterland where the month and a half of sunshine never turned my skin from pasty to even pale. Slathering on the concoction changed my life and allowed for shorts and tennis skirts (I was younger then) without anyone having to shield their eyes.
If I were to run into the guy or gal who invented this magic potion, I’d kiss them full on the mouth.
I don’t bring home just sunburn. I bring home its’ after effects. In a meeting room filled with businessy types, I blanche in horror. A forearm is peeling ala The Lizard King in full molt. It’s not cute little flakes on the nose. It’s full shedding as if skin no longer fits and my body is purging it’s way through spring shed. I try a casual brush off sending slivers of epidermis onto my dress. The burgundy hue is the perfect palate to proudly display what appears to be a dandruff storm.
Damn you LaLaLand. You convince me to lay about poolside sans cover up. You tantalize me into believing I can be a bathing beauty, all tanned and toned. I am swept up in your beautiful, bronzed, beachy haired nymphs and for an afternoon believe I am one. What do I get for my adandon? Skin flakes blurting my secret: I am a whitey in disguise–a mere pretender in a world of tanners, swept up in temporary hubris that I, too, could breathe in the sun and walk away all healthy glow.
Instead my pallidity turns cherry and peels off in front of witnesses. Underneath is fresh, sort of glowing, itty bitty bit tanned skin. Maybe. I don’t know. I’m so slathered in self-tanner who could tell?
Yet another reason to move to the South where peaches and cream, minus the peaches, is all the rage y’all. Those girls simply put up a parasol and feign helplessness in the God awful heat. Why am I baking in the 120 degree heat here on the surface of the sun? Oh, yeah it’s a dry heat. Pfft.