I am turning orange. I am not BRIGHT orange – at least, not yet. But there is no denying that I am indeed turning orange. You would think I would have learned this lesson when I was 12, but history tends to repeat itself.
First, I should explain that I am blonde and have fair skin. I am a 5th generation Southern Californian and we abuse our skin with the sun here on a regular basis. A few years back family members started dropping from skin cancer. And by dropping, I mean dying. And yes, I even managed to have my own scare. So I swore off the sun. Sort of. Meaning I no longer just BASK in it the way Californian's do. I am a little OCD with the sunscreen and I tend to cover up much more at the beach and by the pool than I ever used to. So prudent. So boring.
In a couple months we plan to take our first family vacation since my car accident. It has been about 2 years and we are very overdue. What's the point of going on vacation when you are going through nonstop surgeries and cannot enjoy yourself anyway? But this summer we only have one week with TR home and we are going on a family vacation regardless. Tickets were purchased and reservations made long before we knew there would be a surgery #4 or surgery #5. We are going to Hawaii … and everyone knows you cannot go to Hawaii without a tan or you will burn to a crisp your first day there. My plan to fix my very white body was to go to one of the zillion tanning salons in Orange County. I have never tried a "spray on tan" but it sounded just perfect. I thought I would begin fake tanning about a month prior to our trip.
Suddenly last week my plans changed. I was at rehab (where I spend the majority of my time) and my physical therapist was working on me. As he worked the muscles going down the side of my waist (from armpit down) I noticed he got … well, what you might call a nice little extra handful of flesh that just maybe shouldn't be there. "Stop touching my fat," I said. His response was a look that seemed to say, "If it wasn't there I wouldn't be touching it." Now, maybe this is where I explain that I have known my PT for years and normal stranger rules don't apply. Things just come right out of my mouth that possibly never would otherwise. (A quality I am sure I have never had with other people I encounter!) Anyway, that evening I looked in the mirror and thought, "Hmmm … not just FAT, but worse yet – it is WHITE FAT!"
All of a sudden waiting to go to a tanning salon no longer seemed like a viable option. We can't have white fat … dark fat is so much more appealing. So I rummaged through cupboards until I found some self tanner I had bought TWO YEARS AGO AND NEVER USED. I never stopped to question expiration dates or any such thing because I had a "white fat emergency" going. I was so proud of myself, I lathered on the self tanner to the best of my one-handed ability. Of course, I knew I just MIGHT come out a little patchwork-ish because I couldn't do my back and I was limited to my one uncoordinated hand to apply the stuff. On went the self tanner. I walked around naked for a good 20 minutes just so it would dry well and not come off on any of my clothes. And then – I promptly got busy with other things and forgot entirely about it.
The next morning I was going through our normal family "rush hour" of trying to get everyone out the door. I quickly put on some sweats to get the kids off to school and then proceeded on for a little exercise. I returned home mid-morning to shower … and that is when I noticed that my skin color was taking on the oddest tone. I tried to tell myself it was kind of a "golden" tan. But not quite. By that evening there was no denying the very orange cast to my skin. The odd thing is – a day later I was even MORE orange. The self-tanner that just won't stop! I guess it will eventually fade away and I just need to stay as covered up as possible until it does. I am cringing at the thought of rehab this week though. I can already imagine the reply when I say, "Stop touching my orange fat!"