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Let’s Get Naked!

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Let’s get straight to the point.

I’m beginning to think I have some sort of complex with being naked … buck naked.


Take yesterday for example. I was looking a little pasty, and rather than wait thirty days to get a nice, even tan in the cancer beds, I thought I’d hop in the spray tan booth. You know, that machine where you awkwardly stand on a metal plate waiting for automatic sprayers to cover you in a tan mist from head to foot? Good times.


So, I get to the tanning salon, and I see all these signs advertising airbrush tanning. Great. That must be what they’re calling the spray tan booth now. Must be a new marketing strategy. I decide to empty my bank account to purchase three tanning sessions. A reasonable purchase, I thought, especially in a recession.


Typically, the cute college girls at the front desk have to program the tanning machine for you. I walk back to the room and wait … and wait. About five minutes later, the girl finds me and informs me that I’m waiting in the wrong room. Actually, I’m not. I could spot this evil contraption from a mile away. “No,” she says, “You’re getting an airbrush tan, that means it’s done by hand.” Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.


You must be joking. “I’m not sure that’s going to work,” I said. “I don’t like tan lines, I tan in the nude.” “Yeah, no worries, most people do,” she said, “but we have disposable tops and bottoms if that would make you feel more comfortable.” And it did. But it didn’t stop my heart from beating so hard it felt like something was going to burst right out of my chest. You know, like that scene from the movie Alien.


She leads me to a new room, and on the way there she convinces me airbrush tanning in the nude gives you the best results. I agree to do it. What can I say? I’m a sucker for a good deal.


We get to the room. She tells me to take off all my clothes and put on this horrible, little cotton hat to protect my hair. What? It’s not bad enough to be completely buck naked in front of a stranger? You’d rather me look like a naked lunch lady? Seriously? Seriously. She leaves. Meanwhile, I look for some sort of window and plan my escape.


A few minutes later, I hear this knock on the door, as if she were trying to protect my privacy. “Are you ready?” she says. “Well, I’m naked, if that’s what you mean!” The next few moments seemed like an eternity. My mind was racing with all these random thoughts. And for some reason, the most important question seemed to be, how to you pose when someone is about to see you buck naked with a cotton hat? Covering up is pretty much pointless. Do you cross your arms? Would that make my boobs look weird? Should I try to be sexy? That’s weird. I ultimately chose the “hand on my hips, suck in the gut” look.


And … in she comes. Of course, she was completely professional throughout the whole process. I was the one sweating like a hooker in church.


For the next ten minutes, she proceeded to spray down every inch of my body, both front and back. Stopping only to say things like “lift up your boobs” and “spread your legs wider.” What? No dinner? No movie first? Wow, my standards have dropped. She did try to engage in some polite conversation while exploring the most intimate parts of my body. It’s a technique also used by most gynecologists. Why on earth would you get more chatty while giving me a pap smear? Concentrate woman! I’m self-conscious enough without hearing about the fabulous entree you ordered at that fish restaurant.


I digress. Back to my other awkward situation …


Ten minutes to hose me down. Another ten minutes to hand dry my entire body, using a unique combination of a blower dryer and electric fan. And that’s pretty much it. I left the salon looking like the female version of George Hamilton. With a little less money and a lot less dignity.


Actually, that’s not true. Well, the money part is true, but my dignity is just fine. To be honest, I’m somewhat annoyed with myself for feeling that self-conscious about my body. I’m not an insecure person. And my body is not that unpleasant to look at. Give me another ten or twenty years, and I’m sure I’ll change my tune. But, until gravity gets the best of me, I have no reason to not be proud of what my momma gave me.


So, don’t be surprised if you see me at that same salon again. Or, perhaps I’ll sport my birthday suit in a more casual environment, like walking my dog, going to the grocery store, or washing the dishes.


Hey, at least I’ll be tan!

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