There’s no use denying we all love to get the D — the Vitamin D, that is. I’m, of course, referring to tanning. Nothing is better than spending a day at the beach, or at the lake, or on a boat, or by the pool, soaking up rays while casually drinking with your besties. Unfortunately, spending every day of your life in ideal tanning conditions is far from realistic. First of all, winter is a thing. Also, Mother Nature can be a real bitch sometimes, and rainy days exist even in the middle of summer. Luckily, tanning salons exist, too. Tanning is everyone’s guilty pleasure, whether you’re a frequent customer or someone who only uses the 12 minutes of UV rays for special occasions. They’re like a perfect oasis where girls can go in wearing yoga pants without makeup, and leave feeling better about themselves. I love the tanning salon…except for when I don’t, at all, in times such as these.
1. When the white trash bitch with three kids brings her rugrats to wait while she soaks up the sun. There is a sign that clearly states “Do not leave children unattended in the lobby,” yet she insists on doing it, and you can’t wait for your Level 4 lay down without hearing the squeals of some illegitimate bastards.
2. When the girl at the desk insists on selling you the $80 lotion, even though you’re perfectly happy with the bottle you have. If you say no, you look cheap, and if you say yes, you feel like an idiot, because then you’re left with a half full bottle of a lotion you really like and a brand new bottle of some lotion that makes you look like Snooki.
3. The weird little stickers at the front desk. I understand they’re a way to gauge how tan you’re getting, but does anyone REALLY use those? If there’s anyone in the world who thinks it’s appropriate to tan a Playboy bunny onto her stomach, I don’t want to meet her.
4. The irrational fear that overcomes you when you see a sort of gross looking girl get out of the bed you’re about to use.
5. When someone has just used the bed before you and it’s impossibly hot no matter how high you turn the fan up.
6. For some reason, there is never reception in the tanning beds, which makes Facebook stalking, reading TSM, and checking Twitter difficult if you can’t fall asleep.
7. When they change the lamps in the bed and you get just burnt enough to ruin your day.
8. The provided cloth towels. You know someone is going to clean the bed after you, yet you still decide to wipe down the bed and erase evidence that your body is capable of producing any sweat at all.
9. The annoying XM radio station that’s always playing. No matter which girl is working the front desk, the music station of her choosing is the exact opposite of what you want to hear that day.
10. The completely irrational panic attack that occurs when the Mystic Tan machine starts. You’ve never been claustrophobic, but you start freaking out once your body is being doused with bronzer.
11. The annoying lines left by the salon-provided eyewear, and the salon’s insistence that you use it. Yes, I’ve seen the pictures of UV damaged eyeballs. No, I still don’t want strap lines across the bridge of my nose.
12. Trying to buy a package is more difficult than any economic test you’ve ever taken. Yes, you probably want the membership, but which one do you need? Realistically, you could do any of the base memberships, but then there’s all the add-ons, and you have to take the bonus days into consideration when swiping your credit card for monthly billing and bronzing.
13. The fact that the beds never COMPLETELY encapsulate you. I always have this fear that my left side is significantly paler than my right because of the way the bed pulls down, or that if I decide to use the stand up, some random panel of my body won’t tan because of where the door is.
14. Seeing the 50-year-old devout tanner leaving the salon looking like a raison and knowing there is a fairly good chance you could end up that way if you keep this habit up. You make a note to cut down your tanning exposure, but you know you won’t do so.
15. Running into any straight guy. The tanning salon is supposed to be the one place you can go wearing sweats, with your hair all over the place, without a stitch of makeup. I feel like tanning is a great hangover cure, which would make it even more excusable to look like a hot mess when you go in for a few minutes of quality time with some UV’s. Running into any moderately attractive straight guy you know is beyond mortifying. You look disgusting, your face has a slightly red glow right when you exit the bed, and you’re unclear as to whether your lotion actually smells good. Nobody, besides your besties, should see you in this state, and somehow, here’s the relatively normal frat guy saying hi to you as your try to make your escape unnoticed.