Monday, November 22, 2004

Do I look Mystically Tanned, because I sure feel that way

Well, thanks to my job as a secret shopper, I had the opportunity last weekend to do an assignment in a tanning salon and I was given $10 to tan. Since I didn't have to pay to tan, I figured, what the heck, I would try the Mystic Tan. For those of you not familliar with Mystic Tan, think back of the Friends' episode where Ross goes into this booth to tan and faces the wrong way each time, so that only his front side gets sprayed with the self-tanner. So he comes out looking like a massive freak.

Why I'd choose to try this after seeing that episode is beyond me. But in my defense, the Mystic Tan people think that Ross's hijinks were great publicity, because they list it under their coverage section on their Web site. That would be like me mentioning in my blog that I was called a pizza face by my supposed best friend in grade 9. Being in PR I'm not absolutely 100% sure about this, but shouldn't you only list the positive things that were mentioned about you? But what do I know...

Anyway, I decided to do the Mystic Tan thing, because after years of laying in a bed feeling like I'm beginning to smell like a roast chicken, I have begun to worry that my boobs are going to look like the ones of the old woman in There's Something About Mary.

I know, it's all about shallowness in my world. But dang it, it makes me happy.

The girl at the tanning place was very nice. She showed me the video about Mystic Tan and then decided 30 seconds into it that it was too boring and that she'd explain it all herself. I had been taking copious notes until then and I became worried that this 20-year old very tanned girl with five percent body fat would leave something important out and that I would turn glow-in-the-dark orange like John Kerry did (note: Sweetie Pie only told me after I got home and told him what I did that Mystic Tan was why John Kerry was that odd color for a week).

Putting my life in the hands of that perky 20-year old girl was a leap of faith, but I felt ok with it. After all, I work from home now. So more than likely, I wouldn't have to see anyone but my husband for a week if I needed to.

Thirty minutes later, I felt qualified enough to be sprayed down like a cow at an auction. I began to undress (yeah, I know, I should not have put that horrible visual in your head) and without my glasses on, began looking for the barrier cream and the nose plug and the goggles and the biohazard suit that were all supposed to protect me yet allow me to be evenly tanned.

Well, here's what I've learned. If you're going to put something that sounds as important as "barrier cream," keep your glasses on. No questions about this please, just take my word for it.

Now here's the problem. I couldn't find the goggles or the nose plug anywhere in the room. Even once I put my glasses back on.

So here I was, naked as a plucked chicken wondering what to do.

And so I had no choice. I put my clothes back on over the barrier cream and went to find tanned girl to ask her about the goggles and nose plug.

"Oh, you don't need those," she replied.

I DON'T NEED THOSE???? What the hell is she on???? The video and the brochure both mentioned them. And then they both said something about how it would take inhaling 500 sessions of Mystic Tan to begin growin a furry tumor on the side of my neck.

I didn't know what to do. So I just crawled back to the booth, gulped and went into the torture machine.

There I stood in the weird position that the girl had demonstrated, my arms sprawled out like some inactivated puppet, naked, goggle-free and noseplug-free.

An ominous voice told me that my tanning would be activated in 5-4-3-2-1 and just as I was taking my last breath, an icy cold stream of some liquid began spraying me down from top to bottom. And just when my lungs felt like they were going to explode (a.k.a. 30 seconds) the ominous voice told me to turn around and that my tanning would be activated in 5-4-3-2-1 and then my backside was sprayed down.

Now here is why Lakik surgery is a good idea. Blind as a bat, I stood in front of the spray. Not in the back with the non-slip strip like I'm supposedly supposed to do.

This didn't cause death or anything like that. But it did cause me to develop racing stripes on the back of my leg. As weird as this might sound, it's really not that odd looking. And I'm pretty sure that if I chose to go for a run, I would be very fast now.

So how did it turn out? Well, when I woke up Sunday morning (the tan takes 6 hours to come in), I asked Sweetie Pie how I looked. He was blown away! All he could say was "whoah..." Which I think is a good thing. He told me my face was awful dark. Which really, is the best compliment a girl can get, right?

I have a white spot on my right arm, like I've been hit by white paint, but besides that, the tan is very even.

And no, I'm not orange.

The craziest part is I'm definitely doing this again. I'm looking about 2 pounds lighter tanned, so I'm thrilled.



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