Local Color: a fake-bake gone wrong
Standing there, my gaze was fixated upon my reflection in the office lady's room mirror.
Something was off.
Tippy-toeing in my snake skin ballerina flats, I slowly leaned over the cold and wet countertop of the Jack and Jill sink, stopping when my hot breath appeared on the mirror. Raising my brows up and down while pursing my lips, I turned my head ever so slightly from side to side, examining my complexion with as much intensity as a mom de-lousing her daughter's lice-ridden tresses.
Realizing I had assumed an immensely awkward position in a semi-public restroom, I jolted upright and backed away from the mirror.
That's when I saw it.
My pasty, sick-Victorian-child-like complexion was indistinguishable from the chalk-colored bathroom walls. My dark blue ripped jeggings looked like they stood unassisted by my skeleton. Horrified, I doted on the winter white-girl syndrome that had ravaged my body.
How long had I walked around looking like printer paper?
How long had I gone without a spray tan?
As I pulled into Jamaica Me Tan's parking lot off Fairview in Meridian, I quickly remembered the franchise had been bought out by Electric RAYS Tanning. I was awestruck by the fabulous upgrades installed by the new owners during my tour of the place. Then I saw the new Versa Tan spray booth—a magical machine that delivers a sun-kissed-looking tan in 60 seconds. Best of all, the solution would be warmed prior to making contact with my Casper-like skin.
Stepping into the booth wearing nothing but a smile, I assumed the first of four positions that would ensure an even application.
Position 1 || Chin up, backed arched, shoulders back, and slightly bent knees with arms behind my back—CHECK!
Position 2 || Face the right side of the booth and freeze in a walk like an Egyptian pose—CHECK!
Position 3 || Face the left side of the booth and freeze in a walk like an Egyptian pose—CHECK!
Position 4 || Chin down, backed hollowed, shoulders rolled forward, and straight legs with hands in front of my stomach—CHE...Wait, wut.
Mouth wide open, I stood there frozen in fear.
My front side was Ross'd while my posterior chain resembled that of Mr. Rogers. It was an awful day in the neighborhood, and I needed help ASAP. Barefoot and sprinting down the hall wrapped in a towel, my tour guide from earlier took one look at my two-toned body and immediately took action.
Just as she was about to replace the solution, the two-gallon jug filled with my hopes of taking decent headshots the next day, sprung a leak. A moment later, the jug started hemorrhaging brown solution. A senior in high school, the rep's eyes grew as wide as saucers, and I could see the panic starting to wash over her.
As I stood there looking like my dad's beige and brown two-toned Suburban from the mid '90s, I stayed calmed, assuring the teen that everything would be alright.
And it would be. 20-minutes later, the manager arrived, the malfunction was fixed, and we found a way to exclusively Crayola my rear view.
Hours after the fact, all is well and thanks to the quick response and wonderful staff at Electric RAYS Tanning, I no longer matched the bathroom walls at the office.
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