Wednesday, February 5, 2014


You guys? My friend Kim is getting married this weekend! Weeeee! I'm so excited for the wedding, and I'm DOUBLE excited that I am a bridesmaid!

So, I've got my shoes, some jewelry, the dress, the hair and makeup appointment, and I really thought I was all set. Then these two enormous zits popped up on my face. Oh, and I'm...bustier in the dress than I was 10 pounds ago. I sort of panicked. What does a girl do when she's going to be in a formal event in 3 days in order to detract from her "before Proactiv" face and her pasty, untoned arms?

She goes tanning. Spray tanning.

It all sounded like such a good idea. I found a coupon for a free spray tan and had a night free, so I gave approximately 2 minutes of thought into the decision to just go get me some color. I had done it successfully like 8 years ago, so I just assumed I'd be a pro.

When I got to the salon, they gave me a choice between an enclosed spray tan booth and an open one. The fumes from the UV beds were already choking me, so I opted for the open booth. It was a VersaSpa booth or something. I pored over the instructions on the wall while I took off my wedding rings, tucked my hair into the shower cap and slathered something called "Barrier Cream" on my hands and feet. What does it do? I don't know. But Instructions told me to put it on, and I'm not about to go with the flow on this one.

I was standing in the booth when that scene from Friends punched me in the judgement part of my brain. You know, this one?

So I only have a few seconds to super-panic before the VersaVoice announces the spray is going to start. I snap to attention and obediently stand in the first position. It sprays and dries. It's surprisingly gentle and tickle-y. Oh crap, I forget what's next! OMG! What's the next position? Luckily, technology has advanced in 8 years and the voice came on again to tell me where to stand. Spray, dry. Position 3. Spray, dry. Turn around, spray, dry. It all was going so well.

But then I go through one more drying pass and step out of the booth. I'm starting to dab my fingers and elbows, as instructed, when the voice inside the booth interrupts my self-congratulations.

"Press green button to begin bronzing level."

What?! No one said anything about a SECOND round! What do I do? What do I do?! OMG! WHAT THE EFF DO I DO!? Will I get four 4's? HELP!

Like any obedient robot, I got back in the booth. Images from Kim's wedding flashed through my head. Me, ruining every picture with my orange skin. Me, staining Kim's wedding dress with Cheeto-y smears the instant I hug her. Me, wiping tears of joy from my eyes as Kim walks down the aisle, only to notice my professional makeup job is dripping down my broken-out face. Why was I back in the booth!?

I was accidentally (but luckily) in position 1 when the spray started. Then the drying. Then instead of positions 2 and 3, the VersaBot ordered me right to position 4. I spun around and it was at that moment I realized my ENTIRE BODY was shaking. My body was rebelling against the unexpected sprays and my relentless need to follow instructions. I was shaking so badly that I could feel the once-gentle mist being violently flung from my body.

The VersaTron released me from it's casual dictatorship with a "Thank you for using/nearly passing out in VersaSpa. Use caution when exiting the booth." I leapt out of the booth carelessly and slipped. This is why we follow instructions, people! As I was considering taking the complimentary towel and smearing all the still-moist color off my body, it occurred to me that the VersaGod had not previously instructed me to exit the booth with care. I was not supposed to have gotten out the FIRST time.

And then I remembered that in discussing my color options, the girl up front told me that I could choose from three color levels and two finishing tones. After careful consideration and probably 20 minutes of discussion with the girl, I had chosen level 1 and bronzer in order to achieve a healthy glow. Had I stayed out of the booth like my fear-instincts wanted me to, I would have left with a light tint to my skin and no bronze.

The VersaQueen had not steered me wrong. I had gotten exactly what I had (not) paid for and my heart had settled back in my chest after jumping into my throat. I got dressed and breathed a huge sigh of relief. And when I got home, I could already see a tiny tan line starting to form and was definitely pleased with the results.

The stress, however, has angered my zits and I fear they may not recover quite as quickly. Oh well, at least my face is tan now.

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