By in Humor

Decisions, Decisions

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 » by Gerlach

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alexdg1 wrote on August 11, 2015, 12:33 PM

Spoken (well, written) like a non-Joan Crawford type of Mom. (I've never read Christina Crawford's memoir, nor did I see "Mommy Dearest," but I wonder how much of THAT story is true.)

MegL wrote on August 11, 2015, 12:33 PM

Love that term "farmers' tan". I have one of those. Hope you have your glasses ready for the tanning bed. Like you, I have never used one and have concerns about them. But what to do?

lexiconlover wrote on August 11, 2015, 12:42 PM

The airbrush tanning or store bought self done stuff is probably best for your situation. It will likely last for the duration of the event and you won't need to keep it up or put too much effort into it. I've seen a lot of people go to tanning beds and come out looking like lobsters after their first couple sessions

RonElFran wrote on August 11, 2015, 12:55 PM

I must admit this is an area I'm totally ignorant about. I'll be interested to hear how the tanning bed works out for you.

Feisty56 wrote on August 11, 2015, 1:32 PM

Aren't you fortunate? I do tan some while I'm out and about doing whatever in the yard or with the grand kids, but I'm just not going to sit in a lounge chair and bake. I know some folks enjoy that, but it's never been my thing.

Feisty56 wrote on August 11, 2015, 1:35 PM

This is my daughter's Cinderella moment, so I want to do everything I can to be a positive cog in the wheel for her. I did read Christina Crawford's account of her childhood. I don't know how much of it is true or hyperbole, but I do know that instances that happen in our early childhood years loom very large in our memories. It's only natural for a child to process input that way as they have such narrow frame of reference.

Feisty56 wrote on August 11, 2015, 1:51 PM

Because I will only be doing this for a short period of time, in brief increments, I think I will be in relative safety from the untoward effects of the tanning rays. At this point, I'm willing to give it a try.

How do you refer to such a tan as a farmer's tan there -- or is there really no single term for it? Farmer's tan is pretty descriptive, isn't it? : )

Feisty56 wrote on August 11, 2015, 1:52 PM

For now, I'm going to try the tanning bed for short increments of time. If I have any negative issues with it, then I'll have to scrap the idea and move on to one of the other two choices.

Feisty56 wrote on August 11, 2015, 1:57 PM

Thank you. When you think about the whole tanning issue in the context of our culture, it's pretty ridiculous. Porcelain skin was a must for ladies of good breeding back in the day. Only women who must work for a living were exposed to the rays of the sun. Then there's the issue among people of color that lighter color was thought to be preferable to darker color skin. And of course the whole racial issue between people of color and those who are not, all based on skin tone. We are a crazy and hypocritical society, to say the least.

CoralLevang wrote on August 11, 2015, 2:09 PM

Have the airbrush done. Better to expose yourself to a total stranger than to the harmful UV rays, naturally or otherwise.

bestwriter wrote on August 11, 2015, 10:51 PM

I have a simple solution. Change the pattern of your dress to hide all what you do not want others to see emoticon :tongue:

Paulie wrote on August 11, 2015, 11:19 PM

In Thailand, most of the women think their skin is too dark and they are constantly buying skin whiteners in hope that they can look like Snow White.

VinceSummers wrote on August 12, 2015, 1:15 PM

I wouldn't do a blessed thing! I was a sewer worker. Erm, no. I won't kid around with that one. I would just go as I am.

Feisty56 wrote on August 12, 2015, 4:16 PM

I'm actually rethinking my dress at this point, rather than worrying about the need to tan.

Feisty56 wrote on August 12, 2015, 4:22 PM

I agree with this idea. I've already shopped for an alternative outfit, so no tanning will be needed.

Feisty56 wrote on August 12, 2015, 4:23 PM

That is one thing that is consistent about human behavior the world over -- we always want what we don't have. I have straight hair, but wish it was curly. Those with curly hair wish for straight...and on and on it goes. : )

Feisty56 wrote on August 12, 2015, 4:25 PM

Maybe that would work for you and yours, but I just don't want to give my daughter one more detail about which to be anxious. I have instead, shopped for a different outfit, so no tanning will be required. Whew! Dilemma solved.

VinceSummers wrote on August 12, 2015, 4:28 PM

There you go. When in Rome, travel to France. That's my motto!

bestwriter wrote on August 12, 2015, 8:49 PM

That must be such a relief for you. I know you have your head on your shoulders

Last Edited: August 12, 2015, 10:38 PM

Paulie wrote on August 13, 2015, 12:29 AM

You are so correct. The grass is always greener on the other side.

CoralLevang wrote on August 13, 2015, 1:36 AM

Honestly, I am glad to hear this.

AliCanary wrote on August 13, 2015, 6:18 PM

Tanning bed is extremely dangerous, focusing the bad rays--the ones that specifically cause skin cancer. I'd go with the sunless tanner, but just the kind that builds up a shade at a time, like Johnson's lotion. In the mean time, you could let the "farmer tan" fade a bit, and the twain could meet. Good luck!