Locked Doors and UV Rays: The Terrors of Tanning Beds

I have always been somewhat pale.

And, proud of it – I relish in the fact that I will have great skin when I am older and will just always have a few really good/really bad sunburn stories to share at parties (since this is clearly a pretty gross thing to discuss at parties, you can probably surmise my level of social interaction skillz). Freckles come and go, but a tan? Never.

And then I joined a gym. I was looking to get in shape, but the memberships come with free tanning. Did I tell myself not to try it and spare myself the skin cancer? Yes. Did I listen? No.

So before I knew it, there I was – naked and frantically making sure I knew how to get out in case of an emergency in a stand up tanning booth. I read the stickers about how to work up a base tan for pale people; I had researched this. However, either anxiety or my conscience kicked in and I felt the foreshadow of a burn coming on, and wanted out. However, before I could re open the pod bay doors, I was suddenly enveloped by a purple UV light from all directions, piercing right through my skin. I yelped a little, being totally insecure and unsure what to do now. There were no stickers about this stage. But then I read my eyes should always be covered. Oops. I placed my fingertips over my face, but moved them often so I wouldn’t get weird tan lines. Meanwhile, a loud fan suddenly kicks on annnnnnd I realize I’m sweating profusely. The UV light is getting to me – I’m done. I reach with my elbow to nudge the pod bay door open… And it won’t. Panic.

What happened next is best described as “Liz Lemon-esque physical comedy” as I tried desperately to escape my death chamber holding my eyes shut and wildly pushing against the door with an elbow, naked. I managed to somehow turn the fan off and turn the radio station louder, but no door opening. I risked all eye tumors in the world and opened them, pushed the button to open the door, and quickly stepped out into my dressing chamber, soaked with sweat and and dripping wit anxiety. Leaving the booth and avoiding eye contact with the other people waiting to soak up their own UV rays wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies either.

So, needless to say, I don’t exactly recommend tanning booths. Or maybe just booths with lockable doors in general. Or UV rays. Now watch me skin cancer on my elbow now just from that traumatic incident. Thanks, irony.

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