This has been one of those weeks. Since attending a funeral on Monday, the following days consisted of what appears to be a coordinated effort by a number of people to either drive me scream-crying into the street, or to force me to punch someone in the face.

“I am going to punch someone in the face,” is, in fact, my new mantra. Not that I had an old mantra.

Apparently, I am having some anger issues.

I DID manage to go to the gym twice this week and row myself into a state of calmness, which was nice, and may have saved several people from being punched in the face.

I also treated myself to a couple of trips to the tanning bed. I fool myself into thinking this is okay for me because I am vitamin D deficient and so the tanning session is actually therapeutic. Two days ago, the orange-colored young man who checked me in asked what I was using to tan. I told him, “myself.” He quickly went into the annoying sales pitch for tanning lotion that is the bane of my existence and yet another behavior that makes me want to punch people in the face.

He insisted that I apply my $20 credit toward some lotion to help with my tanning. Out of curiosity, I asked him how much the one he was shoving at me cost. He gleefully told me that after the $20 coupon, I would only need to pay $68 to have the joy of owning that lotion. I nearly spit at him. I DID laugh out loud, which he did not take well. His orange complexion turned decidedly rust colored.

I informed him that I don’t spend that kind of money on anything relating to my physical maintenance. Seriously. That’s Neimans money. I’m a CVS girl. But Palm Beach Tan wants me to spend $88 full price for something called “Dark D Light” or some such. Actually, he also showed me some “more affordable” options called “It Factor” and “Bringin’ Sexy Black.”

I kid you not. That is not a typo.

I don’t know who names these things, but I really want to punch that person in the face.

When I refused again, he warned me that when you don’t use lotion, your skin REFLECTS THE LIGHT FOR 8 MINUTES. Therefore, I wasn’t getting the best out of the tanning bed session. I found this confusing since they tell me I can’t stay in the tanning bed for more than 12 minutes lest I fry myself. But now I’m not doing anything but wasting time for 8 of those minutes? Make up your mind, people.

I don’t need this sales quota fear mongering – especially from some 20-year-old oompa loompa.

I refused to participate in the ridiculous conversation any longer unless he was going to let me punch him in the face, which I doubted.

So now, I have a little healthy color and have made it through the week without hurting anyone.

We’ll call that a win.

And maybe make some adjustments to the hormones I’m on.



Remember how much fun we used to have? Well, it was all bad for us. I think we’ve all figured that out by now, right? Riding bikes without helmets? Bad. (That part where you put your feet up and rode downhill with no hands was probably even worse.) Playgrounds with concrete, metal bars and stainless steel slides that were approximately 1000 degrees by mid summer? Bad. Sunshine? Bad.

We knew it wasn’t completely smart at the time we were doing it. They were telling us to use sun block. However, like all good teenagers, the more they told us to do something, the more we ran in the opposite direction. “Good grief! If I use sun block, how am I going to roast my skin to a nice crispy tan? Pass the oil. And the foil. Lemon juice for my hair? I believe I will, thank you.”

By the time I was a teen, I was obsessed with tanning. When I say obsessed I mean desperate. And obsessed. I have laid out on blankets, beaches, lawn chairs, car hoods, picnic tables, porches, backyards, trampolines, roof tops, rafts, driveways, canoes, sailboats, diving boards, logs, motor homes and decks. Not to mention tanning beds. Eventually, after years and years and thousands of hours spent basting in baby oil and iodine, I managed to get “some color.” Finally! I was elated. Hello, tan lines! Hello, honey toned skin! Where’ve you been all my life?

Flash forward to adulthood. It took me YEARS to back off the tan time. I have finally come to accept my pallor (to some extent.) I give myself little pep talks about how I may be colorless, but at least I won’t look like a “saddle bag with eyes” one day. This makes me feel better for about two seconds, then I schedule a spray tan session.

Last week, despite my better judgment, I was looking in the mirror and noticed a spot on my chest. It’s right where I can’t look at it directly because it’s too high, so I have to lean into the mirror and study it. It’s misshapen and a little raised. Sure, it’s probably nothing at all. I have an appointment tomorrow to find out. My parents and friend’s parents have been going through this for years – getting little chunks of themselves removed thanks to a little too much time in the sun. It just might be my turn now.

 If I could have foreseen this as a teenager, thought it possible to get bad news from the dermatologist – other than “you have incurable acne,” would I have changed my behavior?

 Pass the oil. And the foil.

 What can I say? I’m obviously an idiot.