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A Mom's Adventure: The Spray Tan


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Sarah Cody

Mommy Minute

8:36 AM EDT, May 2, 2013

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We moms don't have a lot of time for personal maintenance...am I right?

My son's teacher asked me if I got a haircut the other day and I replied:  "No, this is just the unusual, dramatic results of a brush and blow dryer."  Our clothes display spots of breakfast and boogers...the iron becomes a relic from the past.  We bond with wrinkles.

So, in late March, when I was at the height of my rumpled glory, I heard the dreaded words"

"PHOTO SHOOT."

Jim Altman and I were asked to pose for a few fun pictures, in advance of the "Daytrips & Destinations Travel & Family Fun Expo" coming up on Sunday, May 5th at the Cromwell Crowne Plaza.

"How do I pull the Old Girl together?" I thought, looking at the calendar for any opportunity to partake in some self-care.  I carved out a few hours while the kids were at school and set-out on a mission.

As I was leaving the hair dresser, I spied a foreign mecca of glamour...one which I had never set foot in.

THE SPRAY TAN SALON.

"Hmmm," I thought.  I had never felt compelled to get a thin layer of fake dye sprayed on my body but I was self-conscious about this photo shoot, coming after the busiest, longest winter ever.  So, I decided:  "What the heck?"

I walked in and faced the 20 year old sales woman with some trepidation.

"I've never done this before," I said, sheepishly.

"Oh, it's simple," she advised.  "You just stand in the booth, stuff is spayed on you...and VOILA!  You're tan!"

Sounds easy, right?

Wrong!

I hadn't really thought about HOW I WOULD BREATHE while freezing, smelly liquid clouded around my face.  I had an instant panic attack and fumbled for the door knob of the booth.

"GASP!"  I took a huge breath of air through the small crack in the door and attempted to collect myself.  

"I can do this.  I must be tan," I decided, bravely turning back to the machine.  Suddenly, it stopped.  Is it over?  Is the tanning torture complete?

I was perplexed...then, it hit me.

FLIP!

I spun around, subjecting my backside to the icy daggers, so that I wouldn't look like a zebra, of course...but, was still very uncomfortable with the whole set-up.  The second - I mean, THE SECOND - that machine stopped again, I jumped out of the booth.

"WHEW," I thought, as I breathed a sigh of relief.  "I survived the spray tan!"

But, then, why is the machine still making noise?

AAARRRGGGHHH, it's a dryer!

By the time I jumped back in, the dryer, naturally, had stopped.

"Um, excuse me?"  I called shakily over the wall partition, looking for help from my young tanning expert at the front desk.  "I kind of missed the dryer.  What do I do now?"

"Oh, just stand there for a few minutes and drip-dry.  You'll be fine," she sang out positively.

Those were some of the strangest few minutes of my life....as I stood naked, cold and wet...in a weird little room...in a weird little establishment.

But, alas, I was bronze!

Aside from a hideable stripe, all the way down my arms (I apparently didn't hold my limbs correctly during my freak-out) the spray tan actually looked pretty good...and did the trick of making me feel a little bit more sure of myself while I smiled and posed.  And, folks noticed!  "Where have you been?" envious friends asked at school pick-up.

Little did they know...it wasn't Bermuda or Aruba....just a shopping plaza outside of Hartford.

But, will I ever embark on this adventure again?  Probably not.

The spray tan smelled gross...left marks on my pillow...and rubbed off in a few days.

Oh yeah, and when I blew my nose, tan stuff came out.

YUCK.

But, it's a good story, right?