Sunday, November 23, 2003

Semi-Vacation


I am now officially on Thanksgiving vacation, at least until Thursday night. No school, no work.. I’m free to be lazy and bored, and maybe recuperate a little. Yesterday during my second round at work, I started feeling like I might be coming down with something yet again. I mean, this would pretty much make it the third week in a row that I have been sick and it’s getting a little old. I still have a cough from the last go-around, so I think my immune system will probably appreciate some rest.

It was suggested to me by Mikey during my makeover that I might benefit from a little color – i.e. I should visit a tanning bed – mostly to make the dark circles under my eyes less pronounced. I agreed that color would help, but I have always had issues with the whole tanning salon thing. First of all, being always tan is bad for you and totally increases your risk of skin cancer. My grandfather on my mom’s side died at a fairly early age of melanoma, so not only am I at definite risk, but I’m a bit more sharply aware of the reality of skin cancer.

Then, there’s something really vain to me about actually paying to go somewhere and get tan, no matter what the season. I mean, I really like being tan and all, but would never actually pay to do it.

What finally swayed me is me and my damn skin problems. I originally thought I had eczema, since it was just dry, itchy skin that I would occasionally scratch raw, but a girl at work with psoriasis is convinced it’s not eczema, but psoriasis instead. I could deal with having eczema, because it’s nowhere as ugly as psoriasis. I can’t afford to go to a dermatologist and find out for sure, but one remedy to clear up trouble spots is to tan. Apparently a B vitamin you can only get through the skin from the sun is transmitted also in the UV rays in a tanning booth, and this B vitamin helps the skin heal.

So today I went to a tanning booth for the first time. I was a total tanning virgin and had no idea what to do, or how long I should tan. I have the Scottish fair skin and rosy complexion of my grandfather and I tend to burn really easily. I once got a third-degree sunburn on my left shoulder after driving three hours in a tank top.

The girl and I decided on eight minutes, she filled me in on everything, and then showed me my bed and how to work it. It’s amazing how long eight minutes can be when you’re in practical sensory deprivation. I got out at seven minutes to check the time left; I was sure it had been at least eight, maybe ten, minutes.

Anyhow, eight minutes seems to be a good amount of time. I did get a little burned, but in some random places – the backs of my calves, my back – and what freaks me out a bit is that some of the tan patterns looks suspiciously like the tube lights in the tanning bed. Like I put my right elbow right up against the bed so the eczema-whatever patch there could get good exposure, and now I have a semi-diagonal sunburn stripe up my outside forearm.

So, like, I want to know how one is supposed to tan in a bed like that without getting stripes. Are you supposed to shift around in there, or what? Gimme some tanning tips.

Otherwise, my skin feels nice and warm, like I spent a good day outside. I just hope my mom doesn’t kill me when she finds out I’m tanning… she’s always been so on me about protecting my skin against the sun.

I take it back – I’m definitely sunburned. Ow. I’ll definitely have to invest in some sunscreen or something.

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