Pre-Marital Tanning

Yesterday, I tried an exercise that I would suggest for any and all women in relationships.

I took my fiance tanning.

Let me just start by saying that I'm not an avid tanner. I've read the articles, seen the statistics, and been warned by health teachers throughout my teen years. When I go out in the sun, I wear sunscreen. I wear hats. I visit the doctor fairly regularly, and check for abnormal spots. I know it's bad for you, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Our wedding is in a week and a half, with a sunny honeymoon right behind - and we are pale.

I say that all women should take their significant other tanning because my experience revealed a Blake (my fiance) that I had never seen before.

It went something like this...

Earlier in the day, I mentioned to Blake that we should have 4 or 5 tanning sessions before the wedding. He was surprised at this number, as he had thought we would go in once and - presto! - we would be a toasty shade of cappuccino. Not so. But he agreed, and promised that, later, we would.

In the afternoon, we went to pre-marital counseling. As we left, I suggested that we go tanning right then. At this suggestion, he became immediately agitated and decided that he'd like to go back to work instead.

An hour later, I got a phone call from Blake, saying that he was now ready to go tanning. I got in the car and hoped that he wouldn't change his mind before I got to the office. When I arrived, I waited at least 20 minutes before he was really ready to leave...

I had to drive. It's a rare thing for Blake to voluntarily get in the passenger seat, but this time he did. If I hadn't gotten behind the wheel, I'm not sure we would have ended up at the tanning salon. I assume we would have been side-tracked, probably by the Chinese food restaurant along the way.

This was Blake in the car:
"Dave said I shouldn't go tanning. He said he went once and never got any tanner. He said it's a waste of money. Are you paying for this? I don't want to pay for this. Why don't we just sit outside instead? How long do I have to be in there? 5 minutes! What are peepers? Do I have to take everything off? Should I wear sunscreen? The girl inside is going to think I'm whipped. She'll probably wonder why I'm here with you. What time does this place close?

Oh look, it's Ashley."

Running into one of our mutual high school friends at the salon didn't help with the embarrassment.

The woman behind the counter asked Blake if he had been there before, and handed him and newcomer's form to fill out. "Oh boy," he said.

"Do I have fair skin? I think I'm probably fair. Do I burn easily? Well, I don't burn every time I go out. Stevie, what should I say for this one? What if they don't let me in because I have fair skin? I'm not putting my email address. I don't want emails from this place. See, I told you. They put a warning here. You have to sign it. New bulbs? What does that mean? I should do 5 minutes. How do I know when 5 minutes are up?"

As I paid for our tanning sessions and eye pieces (pink for me, blue for Blake), Blake was trying out how those suckers fit on his face. An elastic band wrapped around his head, securing those little blue peepers in a goggle-esque fashion. The woman behind the counter laughed. As he checked himself out in the mirror all I could think was that this was the future father of my children... "Oh boy," I said.

At that point, the woman behind the counter was so sick of us that she let me show Blake how to use the machine. I told him how to turn it on, where the fans were, and that it would turn off when the time was up.

I went to my room across the hall, got in the bed and was about to turn the bulbs on when I heard Blake's voice...

"I forgot a towel!"

I told him he didn't need one.

When our time was up, I stood outside Blake's door waiting for him. Walking out, he surveyed his arms and legs.

"I don't look any tanner."

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