"Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity." ~ Gilda Radner

Sunday, January 23, 2011


I should have seen this coming.

"Mom, can I borrow your goggles?"

My goggles?

"Yeah, ya know...you used to have like five pairs of tanning goggles."

Waddya need them for? (In immediate retrospect, a stupid question.)

"Gonna start tanning for prom."


"Don't tell me tanning's not good for me cuz you used to tan for your class reunions."

Yeah, but...

My mind racing for some small snippet of rationale...Do as I say, not as I did? Nah. That old-school parental adage just doesn't hold water with kids these days.

"So can I borrow your goggles? My appointment's in like five minutes."

(Stalling, stalling...)

Sorry, honey, no idea where my goggles are.

"Then I'll borrow a pair from Austin.  Love you. Bye."


The boy had me in a corner, and he knew it. What could I say? Wear sunblock?

Hell's bells, my generation INVENTED tanning for prom (though I dare say guys didn't tan for it back then).

Of course, we didn't have tanning beds back in the dark ages, either. We had to tan for prom the natural way. Outside, under the real sun, in shorts and t-shirts, starting on the weekends in the merry -- and chilly -- month of March (though a Cincinnati March was a tad warmer than an Ioway March).

Yup. Had to build that base tan s-l-o-w-l-y.

Unless, of course, like me, you happened to have inherited your older sister's GE Sunlamp.  Hold your face in front of that blazing bulb for 15 minutes (timer, schmimer), sans sunglasses,  and voila!  A mug the color -- and smell --  of burnt magenta, swollen eyes and a small blister or two.  But if you were lucky, once the red faded, the swelling went down and the blisters healed? A slightly tanned face, which was really all we really cared about anyway.

It is amazing, actually, that I have a face left, considering I started laying out in the sun at age 14, during the worst possible, burning hours between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., my face glistening with Johnson's Baby Oil and sweat.  Or John's Baby Oil mixed with, of all things, Mecuricome (that dark, red topical antiseptic containing mercury, no longer manufactured due to FDA regs).

Or hows-a-bout that Crisco Vegetable Oil...

Yes, one day my pal Kim and I decided to grease up with Crisco. Figured if it turned pale, raw chicken brown, it might be good at attracting the sun and giving us golden tans.

It attracted the sun all right.  And a thousand gnats.

Kids, do NOT try that at home. Or the beach. Or anywhere. Totally bad idea.

Naughty girls
Oh, the sins of the mother, how they come back to haunt...

First toilet papering. (Never did tell him about the time my friends and I went TPing and we accidentally locked the keys in the trunk of Linda's car and promptly removed the back seat in order to retrieve the keys from said trunk...)

Now tanning for prom.

What's next?  My college years?


My lips are sealed.

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