Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Battered and Fried

** Here's the last entry, folks! Read carefully, weigh your options, and vote!

*If you are just now joining us, and wonder what is going on, please refer to this. Then come back and play along!

The first time I went to a tanning salon was during 8th period Aerobics. My best friend, Laura, and I had carefully orchestrated the rendezvous so as not to arouse suspicion in our parents, who were all against such vain and harmful practices as broiling the outer layer of one's skin. I remember that we stopped by Little Caesars for some crazy bread before taking the leap. I needed all the courage a pound of butter and a mole hill of salt had to offer. I was nervous.

Laura was an old pro. She was an old pro at a lot of things that I was yet unfamiliar with, and all too generous in her encouragement to, "just do it." It is because of her giving spirit that I now sport four holes in my ears, and a yearbook photo of me in a mini skirt. Her mini skirt. That I changed into when I got to school, and out of after 8th period Aerobics. She should have been a spokes model for Nike. If nothing else, she had the tan for it.

Anyway, we walked into the little shop of skin cancer. She ordered "the usual," or something like that, and I said, "Yeah, that sounds good. I'll take what she's having." Did I mention that I have very fair skin? And that I had never been tanning before? And that Laura's olive skin was about 15 shades darker than mine? We'll get back to that.

We were escorted to our separate rooms and given brief (and vague) instructions. The employee disappeared (probably for her daily dip in a deep fryer full of tanning oil) before I had a chance to think of all the questions I had. My stomach was feeling like a bucket of snakes, and I longed to leave that retched little room for the comfort of the coconut-scented waiting room with all its leather-faced employees. What was I doing here? Was I supposed to leave my bra on? What about my undies? Laura's last words kept running through my head, "Put this small band aid in an inconspicuous (she didn't use that word - she was failing English) spot so you can tell how tan you got." I placed it discreetly, climbed in my spaceship-looking pod, and was delighted to find the experience quite relaxing.

I checked my skin periodically that evening, but was disappointed to find no contrast in color between where I had put my band aid, and the surrounding area. Stupid tanning booth.

Then I began to itch. Man, did I itch. It was unbearable, and I was quickly glowing neon red, but desperately hoped it would all sooth out by morning. Did I mention that I had a big presentation scheduled for 1st period Psychology the next day? That was why we decided to get tans. We both had presentations. I, in my donated mini skirt, on Schizophrenia; and Laura, in a cute mini dress, on Trichotillomania. The plan was to wow our audiences with both our knowledge AND our knack for exotic skin color. It was flawless. Oh, except for one tiny little detail called pain. We hadn't carried that factor from the one's column.

I had experienced sunburns before. When I was twelve I spent one morning at a swimming pool, and that same day's afternoon at a lake, and came home with blisters from the burn, making it impossible to sleep on my back for days. That was a sunburn. But this! This, my friends, was incredibly new to me. Never before had my entire being been on fire. I couldn't take off my clothes, I couldn't put on my clothes, I couldn't sleep on my stomach, I couldn't sleep on my sides, I couldn't sit down, I couldn't bend my elbows, etc. etc. Mercifully, my eyelids had been spared, thanks to those very fashionable goggles bestowed by tanning booth personnel. Unfortunately, I could not sleep on my eyelids. Believe me, I tried.

The redness actually subsided much quicker than a real sun-induced burn, and I was able to wear my outfit of choice the next morning, but alas, no amount of coaxing could convince my poor tiny helpings of (engulfed in flames) chest to endure a bra that day. It was with my tail between my legs (and my back arched and arms crossed) that I delivered a diluted version of my Psychology presentation. It was a sad day for Schizophrenia.

I was thenceforth cured of fake tans and band aids (well, fake tans for sure), and I'm not altogether certain that my current lack of volume up front isn't due to either stunted growth caused by radiation that day, or karma for skipping class and lying to my parents.


Mardee Rae said...

LIE! I vote this one. You know, part of me is hoping that you admit that all of them are true. But I'm just glad to know that at least 3 of these are true. I vote this one because you alluded that your parents didn't find out, but if you were really scorched, wouldn't they have started asking questions?
Although I'll be happy if it's true.
Since my logic is obviously flawless, you may delete this comment, it being the first and likely to spoil the fun for all the others who would NEVER figure it out without me :)

Mardee Rae said...

ps: this has been so much fun. Can you do it again? You're good.

Andrea said...

Mardee, although it seems like it, I don't write EVERY detail of every story. I have to sweeten-condense, so as not to cause a power outage at blogspot central. I covered all my bases with my parents: they thought I went to lay out at Laura's house after school (I laid out a lot, so it was nothing new). Then I spent the rest of the evening at a seminary fireside. I really didn't even see them that day. The next day, like I said, my sunburn was pretty faded (at least on the spots of my body that had seen the sun before), so it never came up.

OR, my parents DID know, and just never mentioned it, knowing (as they always did) that I had punished myself enough.

sharlee said...

Are you going to delete your last comment as not to persuade other voters?

Sleeping on your eyelids...now THAT would be something!

Shall I vote now or later? I'll wait just a bit.

Parley and Anna and family! said...

My vote: The Skating Game! But I'm like others--I love them all! I've had my hubby read these stories and he thinks you have to be about the funniest person he's ever met (via blog)!
Thanks for making us laugh, whether true or false!
Love Anna

Stephanie said...

Although very tempted to change my vote to this entry, I am going to have to stick with thumping the teen.

Rozel (a.k.a. Michelle) said...

There is a poll options in the blog layout. You should make the truth or lie poll and have people vote.

LOVE this story but want to know . . .where did you put that band aid?

Amber said...

I am sticking with my first vote: the boyscout beat down. I can totally see "you" coming through in this story, so I totally think this one is true for sure!

Amber said...

ps. Can you come visit again? I just keep thinking how much fun I had. I need a friend like you around!

sharlee said...

My vote is for the roller skating date and I'm sticking with it.

Higham Family said...

If this one is true, I feel your pain. If it's a lie, you nailed that pain right on. I would rather give birth than endure the pain of too high and too long in the tanning bed. (although skin cancer aside- I love to be tan)

Amy Jason said...

Im sticking with the disco skate, although this fake and bake story made me doubt wether Im making the right choice. Im anxious to know the truth!

Christy said...

HAHAHA!! oh my heck. I laughed the whole way through! I could see myself in this situation and I am so like you! haha. hmmm...lie or truth though?? That is the question. I might have to sit on these stories for awhile and then vote.