My 70-year old mother (yes, I have to boast her age), is going on a cruise next week. This is my mother:
She LOVES cruises. Loves them! She goes on at least one cruise per year. However, she's not what we might call, a person who is naturally tan. In fact, if you've ever seen my pasty white legs, then you can picture what my mother must look like and has looked like for the majority of her life. She does not tan; she burns. Quite frankly, I've lived with this type of skin my entire life, and there are ways around it, but it involves actually working to tan yourself. Therefore, I must admit without any regret that I have in the past frequented tanning beds to acquire that natural glow that JLo boasts so well. Of course, I was always disappointed when I emerged from the tanning beds looking like a slightly tinted version of myself instead of looking like the beautifully tanned Jennifer Lopez. I have, however, come to accept my fate.
So, when my mother mentioned that she was going to get a spray tan about a year ago, I cheered her on. Unfortunately, it did not go well. I believe she looked like a streaked, tan zebra instead of the gently tanned beach goddess we all hope will emerge from these things. Oh well. I chastised her for failing to consult me on which type of spray tan to get. She got the Mystic tan instead of the much-superior Versa tan (read in sarcasm). And I guess she looked a bit like this:
So, this year, she mentioned that before her cruise she was considering getting another spray tan and wanted to know the name of the tan that she should get. I told her Versa was the better version of the spray tan, but encouraged her that if she really wanted to get a more natural looking glow that would last more than a few days, she should just go ahead and get into a tanning bed. Now, as a disclaimer, let me assure you that I am not telling my 70-year old mother that I thought she should get a tan that would turn her into this (and try not to vomit):
No, I'm simply saying that a good base tan would be better than a spray tan. That's it. Will skin cancer ensue? Maybe, but I hardly think her chances are much worse now than they were before she got in the tanning bed. So everyone that's against fake baking, just get over yourself and hold your tongue. I digress.
If you don't know, I try to call my mom every morning. I'm a rockstar daughter like that (*wink, wink*), but really the morning phone calls were initiated when I realized the poor woman could die in her sleep and be eaten by cats before anyone would know because she lives alone. Pleasant, right?
So on my recent morning phone calls, my mother -- oh, dear Shazza -- has been giving me the update on her tanning adventures. First she told me that she is not getting tan. I assured her that it is a slower process than getting a spray tan and just to keep going. She decided to stop putting on "the lotion" because she thought it was keeping her from getting tan. After finally wheedling out the fact that "the lotion" is the tanning lotion that they told her to buy and not some sort of sunscreen, I told her to definitely keep using the lotion. She pushed back a bit until I told her, "No. Mom. Listen to me. When people who are more experienced than you with this tanning bed stuff tell you to use the lotion, then you need to listen to us and use the lotion."
I think she continued to use the lotion, but she also continued to tell me that she just wasn't getting tan.
She started increasing the time she spent in the tanning bed. I got a niggling sense in the back of my mind that maybe I should be a little worried. I'm not exactly an expert at this, but 7 minutes for your first few times in the sun-coffin-of-death can really give you a bit of a burn. So, when my mom told me she was increasing her time, I started to wonder, but I pretty much had to accept her assessment . . . until today.
Today, on my daily phone call, my mom asked with excitement, "Guess what I found out yesterday!"
She sounded so happy that I started smiling into my phone and asked, "What?"
Shazza, "When I was at the tanning place yesterday, I figured out that the top of the tanning bed pulls down."
Me, "Bahahahaha! HAHAHAHA!!! HAAAAA!" *snort* "HAHAHAA!" *snort, snort, breathe* "So you've been tanning with the top of the bed up?!?" I started laughing uncontrollably and then exclaimed, "Mom! Oh. My. Gosh! Are you kidding me?!"
Luckily, she was pretty much laughing too, or maybe she wasn't. I couldn't really hear much over my own laughter, but I did her her say, "Well, I didn't know it came down. I've never done this before."
My attempts to gather myself a little to spare her feelings failed as I asked, "What? Mom, how could you not know that the top pulled down?"
Shazza responded, "I told them I had never done this before. How was I supposed to know that it came down? I only found the handle after I finished tanning yesterday."
Me, "Mom. It's kinda obvious."
Shazza, "Not if you've never done it before."
Me, "Uh, Mom . . . if you had never chewed a piece of gum before, don't you think it would be obvious to take the wrapper off before you put it in your mouth?"
There was a pause on the other end of the phone before she said, "Well, I didn't know. And now my back is burned and the only way to even it out is to go back to the tanning bed and lay on my stomach."
I burst out laughing again at the image, rolled my eyes at her over the phone, and told her I still couldn't believe she had done this but the entire thing had made my day. I mean, come on.
Seriously, that woman--that wonderful, crazy woman--
cracks me up!!!
cracks me up!!!