Monday, July 5, 2010

Preserve the Baking

Needless to say, I’ve been spending a significant amount of time by the pool these past few days. James, my little brother, always loved to say that when I go tanning, God has to wear sunglasses because I don’t tan, I actually just reflect. Little brothers can be so encouraging.

Over the years, I have developed a rather painful, but effective technique: grilling. Part of the problem is that I lack the patience required to cultivate a good tan. Especially when it's so hot and there's an NCIS marathon on. Lately, I just don’t have hours and hours to spend outside during daylight hours, thanks to having a real job. So, I must make the best of each opportunity.

This usually leads to burning. However, a few days later the pink fades and my skin is exactly 0.0043% of a shade darker. This process must be repeated every two weeks at the most in order to preserve the baking. Otherwise, I’ll be pale as a ghost again. I blame my Scotch/Irish heritage for my being pigment-challenged.

The funny thing about tanning is that we do it at all. I’ve often wondered why we consider it such an important accomplishment. I think it’s because it’s something we can control about ourselves. Let’s face it—nobody ever really likes who they are. Changing how we look is an effort to make people like us. Maybe if more people liked us, we’d be able to like ourselves.

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