Sixty-seven days to my daughter's wedding. I have nothing beyond a slight farmer's tan (lower three-fourths of arms, face and neck). My dress for the wedding is sleeveless and a bit more low-cut in front and back than my usual summer shirts. Must look decent for wedding pictures. Must not stand out in my striped paleness.
I am not a sunbather. Haven't been for decades. I know the hazards of sun exposure, of ultraviolet light. But I am pale in places that I should not be, wearing a semi-formal dress for the wedding ceremony. My mind whirs through the options available to me to rectify my paleness: Self-tanning products, airbrushed tanning, tanning bed.
Self-tanning products: I've used in the past with moderate success. Applying them at the same amount on all skin, avoiding putting too much on elbows, knees, ankles. Color of tan produced so-so.
Airbrushed tanning: I could go to the salon a few days before wedding, expose my body to some stranger who will paint me what I hope will be a glorious tan that will not fade in spots prior to picture day. Price is not too bad for a one-time event.
Tanning Bed: I've never used a tanning bed, again because I recognize the hazards. The cost would be prohibitive, but I belong to a fitness club where use of the tanning beds is included in the fee.
What to do, what to do?!? I speak with my daughter, my bride-to-be, to elicit her suggestions. She is appalled I would consider self-tanning products or airbrushing, because in her opinion, I would turn out orange. The tanning bed is the only option she finds suitable, unless I am willing to sit out in the sun itself and bake my body.
My thoughts are at war in my head. Really, a tanning bed? Are you sure that's what you want me to do, dear daughter of mine? You know your mother has qualms about the safety of their use. You know your mother has issues with enclosed spaces.
Okay, for you daughter, because I love you and want your wedding day to be without undue anxiety, your mother will give the tanning bed a go.
Off to the fitness center I go, feeling emboldened by my desire to make my daughter happy. This will go well, I reassure myself. And then I am there -- ready to take on the tanning bed.
Image Credit » https://pixabay.com/en/tanning-bed-tanning-wellness-165167/ by Gerlach