Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Faking It

I could not resist any longer, and now my recklessness has come back to haunt me.

I am not talking about an extra-marital affair here. I am talking about my inability to withstand the lure of the fake tan bottle. However, as with an extra-marital affair, I am left with a sense of guilt, disappointment, and a concern about how I am going to get the stains out.

Being the less-than-proud owner of very pale skin, I have always been fascinated with fake tan – but only on my legs. I am happy to ignore the obvious discrepancy between the colour of my legs and the rest of my body, and have always spent the summers looking like one of those children’s books where you flip the different parts of the head, body and legs to create a hybrid creature.

My love affair with fake tan started with the late Eighties arrival of the mighty (stinky) Duo Tan. The directions promised that after liberal application of this clear cream, I would wake up in the morning with beautiful bronzed legs. In fact, although my legs always did change colour (more ‘rust’ than ‘bronze’) this was eclipsed by the horror of looking at my bed sheets. I still remember the heated discussions with my mother that, no, I really didn’t need to take Immodium.

Then there was a craze for tanning tablets, which my mother forbade me from using (this from a woman who, in the post-War period, used to soak her own legs in cold tea). These tablets consisted mainly of beta-carotene and carrot powder, so you can imagine the resultant shade of ‘tan’ that they produced. I believe you can replicate this effect in your kids if you give them plenty of Sunny Delight to drink.

You would think that I would have seen enough fake tanning products to put me off for life. But no, like the gullible fool I am, I am always ready to try a new one. Of course, it always ends in tears. The initial rush of delight and euphoria quickly wears off, along with the tan.

To try and prove the triumph of optimism over experience, I have recently been experimenting with the much-lauded Johnson’s Holiday Skin. It all started off really well, and the last few days have seen me springing about with apparently sun-kissed limbs. But this morning I noticed pale streaks on my shins, and dark, dry patches on my battle-scarred knees. The overall effect suggested by the nicotine shade is that my legs have a forty a day habit.

I have a glass of Wolf Blass Yellow Label Cabernet Sauvignon (Tesco £5.48 down from £8.48 until 15/5), and as I am enjoying its slightly minty smoothness, I am stretching my blotchy legs out in front of me.

Presumably I will either have to wait for the fake tan to wear off, or scrub at my knees until I remove the top layer of skin. Or, I could do what I probably should have done in the first place, and just wear trousers.


rilly super said...

drunk mummy, fear not, your salvation lies in the fake tan spray booth where for a small fee you can get that all over even golden glow of the mediterrean love goddess and if you've any scratches on your car, just take the offending door or wing in with you and get that done at the same time. In the meantime, mind you don't get your bottles mixed up won't you dear.

mutterings and meanderings said...

I do the Johnson's one in the summer but you need to give it a wee break for a few days and then start reapplying it.

Like you, I am a fake tan the legs sorta girl, as the legs are generally covered in jodhpurs during the daylight hours I am not in the office...

A friend at school in the '80s got some fake tan and I put some on my arms. She put it everywhere, including her face. She refused to go to school the next day. She looked as though she had well and truly been Tango'd!

beta mum said...

Don't you know, drunk mummy, that pale is the new tanned?
Learn to love your pasty legs. Why give in to this yearning to be like everyone else? It's so much work, apart from anything else.
I'm drinking whisky.

And why do I have to set up a new bloody google account every time I try to post a comment?
It's enough to send me to alta vista.

dulwichmum said...

Darling Drunk Mummy,

I have regular unhappy experiences with my Fake Bake, but still I persist. Last week I went to bed dreaming of waking up sun kissed, only to be greeted by Winnie Mandella when I looked in my bathroom mirror.

I blame my love of white jeans on this unfortunate addiction. Wine always improves my mood on these occasions - but 7 am in the morning is obviously far too early to partake...hic!

Stay at home dad said...

I won't ask how you understand the similarities with an affair!

The Secretary said...

I purchased a spay on tan that you do at home. Exfoliated, moisturised and then put my foot up on the loo lid to spray my leg. Sprayed one leg, did the other leg and then went back over them again - just in case I had missed a spot.

Looked at my legs two hours later - nothing, still pasty white. Oh well I thought, nothing tried nothing gained. It wasn't until I kicked my shoes off in the staff room and put my feet up on the coffee table that I was told I had bright orange soles on the bottom of my feet.

I had put my feet in the spray tan that had gone on the loo lid from spraying each leg - that'll learn me!

Drunk Mummy said...

Rilly - what a great multi-tasking solution!
I won't get my bottles mixed up - although a nice burgundy colour on the legs may be an improvement on the nicotine.

M&M - This fake tan is dangerous stuff. At least with hair dye you can just re-dye the resultant mess, with fake tan there is no going back.

betamum - you are right - a pasty leg rebellion is in order.
Do you have the google a/c problem on other sites?
I am always very impressed by women who drink whisky - they can usually do wild things like yodel, or lasso a horse.

Dulwich Mum - I have always wanted to give those spray tanning things a go. Maybe I could rig up a hosepipe in the back garden and get the kids to blast me with it.

SAHD - I only know about such things through friends (who must have a lot more energy than me) of course!

secretary - after a couple of hours, did you have a 'Banksy' style orange mural on your bathroom wall as well? Those sprays are a nightmare.