First and foremost, I must pay homage to my best bud Stef, for the title of this post. My gal pals and I have many memories, albeit spotty, of our bestie waiving her bronzed Italian hand over the bathroom stall door in the resident dive-bar we frequented, screaming, "Tan, Not Tan." We would stare in amazement as she referenced the stark white contrast of her finger "webbing" to tanned digits surrounding them.
My expansion on the title is really an indulgence to my indecisiveness about tanning. For me, it's a major turn-off to see a "tangerine-tinted buffoon" (thanks Bridget Jones) walk out of a tanning salon, quite content with his/her new fake tint. On the other hand, my pasty white skin is horrifying to look at every morning in the mirror, and I sometimes wish a miracle product that would produce natural color during the winter months. I have tried the creams and the aerosol sprays (sorry Mother Nature), they all leave streaks. If I had the funds that the Real Housewives of Orange County did, I'd be sure to host a monthly tanning party with the spray-on specialists............but I don't, and Mystic Tan is as close as I am going to get. I tried Mystic Tan at Euro Bronze about 7 years ago (when it first hit Manassas) and was totally discouraged when my $28 tan wiped off on my towel the next morning, post-shower. I think I'll pass.
The reason for my quandary, you ask? I am facing a virgin trip to Las Vegas in April, to celebrate a bachelorette party for a good friend. I am at a crossroads on whether to go with some color, or strut my pale complexion with confidence. I have daydreams of fruity drinks with umbrellas by the pool in Vegas, but do I try to save the potential onlookers from fright? Or do I risk it with a few tanning sessions of harsh UVB bulbs for an orange-ish glow, or a sub par spray tan the week prior to departing?
After much deliberation, coupled with some newly formed consciousness (dare I say vanity) around preserving my skin the best I can, I have decided to knock 'em dead with my marshmallow white color and go au natural. The benefits of avoiding the fake-baker and spray machine far outweigh any thoughts of tanning. After all, I'd rather spend the $30 on the slot machines, or on an extra poolside fruity cocktail than risk looking nicotine-stained. I work too hard to keep my crows-feet at bay, so you can forget about seeing me before my trip, Mr. Tanning Bed!