The “C” Word

** In the midst of planning my wedding vanity became more and more a driving force in my life. Logic and Reason, not so much.**

I’m sure you have been wanting confirmation of the fact that I am living due to the length of time it’s taken me to get back into the habit of writing these little updates. Good new is that I AM alive, but I recently almost died –ish. For those of you who do not know I am technically about a quarter German but based on the translucent nature of my skin you would think I am more likely a quarter Casper The Ghost. Thanks to my father’s heritage the mere mention of the word “SUN” can send me to the hospital for third degree burns. Sadly this has come to mean that skin cancer runs in the family. The dermatology community has slowly been hacking away at my Dad for years… always something to biopsy or cut out. Because of that I have come to live with a realistic fear of experiencing the same fate. I stopped going to the tanning bed almost a decade ago and stopped laying out the sun for hours as well. I’m white, and totally ok with it……Most of the time.

Turns out that one of the times in my life that I was not ok with it was for my wedding. I wanted to have a “natural glow” on the big day and decided that a slightly increased risk of dying a slow death was worth a bronze tone for one day. I decided to get a 6 visit package to the local Cancer Shop Tanning Bed and went in to sign up. The first indication that this was a bad idea was that the owner, who was working the counter, had achieved a tan the color of Coke a Cola. Very strange. After mentioning that I have not had a tan since 1985, and only wanted to go in for 5 minutes to start with so I didn’t burn, he said that he had a product “just for you!” It was a “tingle” lotion that would enrich the tanning process without exposing me to any more rays. He said that it did, in fact, “tingle” a little but did not hurt at all. I agreed and slathered the crap all over me as if my life depended on being tan. I then crawl into the tanning bed ready for a relaxing few minutes of peace, turned on the radio and fan and waited for the bed to be turned on.

What I wasn’t expecting was the effect the “tingle” lotion actually had on my see-through-German-skin. As soon as the bed turned on it felt like he had set the temperature to SCORCH THE SHIT OUT OF THAT WHITE GIRL!!!!! It felt like I had just laid down on the surface of the sun. My skin was already on FIRE and I only laid there for 30 seconds. I leapt from the bed screaming bloody murder. The owner came running back and assured me that it was going to be ok and that my flesh wasn’t ACTUALLY on fire. (yes, it was!) He tried to convince me to get back in the bed and I told him, very politely, what I thought of his establishment. As I was standing there I realized that the burning sensation was actually getting worse and then the owner threw some “cooling spray” over the door and said it would help. Well, I practically DRANK the bottle and it did nothing to stop the burning. I was so fed up I just scrambled to get dressed and go home to shower. As I was changing I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and OH DEAR LORD I was red. Not a little, we are talking red Crayola marker RED with white blotches all over. I looked like some kind of polka dotted red chili pepper and I was FREAKING out.

I rushed home and the response I got from Brad was no help at all. He basically told me that if I stayed in this condition he would reconsider the offer to marry me. After 3 showers, 2 tubes of topical Benadryl and 2 days later the redness finally went away and I resigned myself to being a pale bride because I was NEVER going back to the tanning bed again!

Lesson learned.


  1. You left out the part where a few weeks later you were so completely convinced that the tingle had actually resulted in full blown cancer that you called into work, sobbed hysterically, updated your last will and testament and made the dermatologist cancel her morning appointment for your emergency visit...then your "tumor" turned out to be an ant bite!

  2. You girls are in the wrong business. I'm sitting here laughing my ass off at Rebecca's blogs & then the addition of Jenn's input. lol

  3. I know the pain of pasty skin...I've never braved a tanning bed, and after reading this I don't think I ever will.