Carol Bontekoe

This blog has been keeping track of my adventures since 2004. The stories and the adventures have come from my college dorm room to Uganda, Peace Corps Kyrgyzstan, learning Dutch in the Netherlands to living in the wilds of Homer, Alaska. I went back to school in Amsterdam to study Theaterwetenschap (Theatre Science) at University of Amsterdam. And now my adventures as a Fruit Fly, a Sexy Unicorn, and creating a movement with Team Sparkle in Chicago.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Stinky and Expensive Habit

It's not my stinky habit. I have a lot of friends who "just need to" do it pretty much every day or at least every other. It leaves you stinky, it ages your skin, and empties your pockets of any extra money you have.
No, I'm not talking about smoking. I'm talking about tanning. As in going to a Tanning Salon. My friends and acquaintances who are addicted to tanning say things about their addiction without a flinch of irony: "I'm super busy. I gotta go shopping, get lunch, and I HAVE to go tanning.", "No, seriously I have to go tanning. NO, seriously I am a light brown and I really NEED to be a dark healthy looking brown.", or "Yeah I think I might have skin cancer... but what can ya do. I gotta stop off at tanning salon later."
This idea that you NEED to go tanning I find ridiculous. Especially when in an excessive amount it seems to age skin at the kind of warp speed that you only see with chain smokers. It's kinda gross.
I went tanning today. I'm like one of those people who only smokes when they are drunk. They know it is bad and unnecessary but they do it anyway. I tan when I am extremely pale. I have only ever gone tanning at two other periods in my life. Once because I won two free coupons and John Fyolek and I went tanning together at the end of high school. Then again to get ready to go to Honduras, because I had gotten talked into being afraid of going to a sunny location with no prep.
I decided that it would be okay for me to go again since I rarely see the sun. I am starting to turn transparent. I also found out if I get really pale I start to look pretty sick, and not "sick" being used as slang for hot, no just sick.
The thing is, now I'm remembering that I didn't just stop because it's unhealthy, I stopped because you stink afterwards. There is that specific post tanning smell. My friends who are addicted to tanning don't seem to notice their distinct smell anymore, but it's there, lingering. While I never say anything about their post-tanning smell I'm quite taken aback by it lingering on my skin.
I have to go put some perfume on before I got to the bar and have my skin absorb in the second hand smoke. For once I won't mind it, the stink of a cigarette is a step up from the stink of a tanning salon.


  1. Anonymous said...

    I've heard that tanning can become addicting for people. It releases endorphins and that's what gives people that "good feeling" when they are doing it. Unfortunately, I've seen a few old classmates who are tan-a-holics and they already look like beef jerky. And why is it that they think they look good when they bleach their hair to look white with the whole get-up? They look like aliens!

  2. Sam said...

    Wow, I didnt know there was a stink to it... that makes it even more unappealing. The gym I used to go to got tanning booths, and the owner asked if I wanted a free one for my first time. I said "I prefer not to get skin cancer", and he told me that 'too much exposure to the natural sun gives you cancer. Tanning booths are more healthy'. I laughed at him and then left the gym. That said, I am sure your bronze skin is looking good right now, Carol!

  3. becky said...

    hey, there's nothing wrong with being fair-skinned! i am proud of my paleness... my skin makes me look a lot younger than other people my age who go tanning and are starting to get wrinkles :)