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March in Connecticut

This is the time of year when we look at ourselves in natural light—and then quickly draw the blinds because, My God.

Back in high school, this would be the time I would start climbing into the tanning bed every week, for 30 minutes of relaxation while I let the UV rays soak into my sickly, cadaverous skin. I didn’t know I had a problem until I looked at my senior prom picture, and all I could see were teeth and eyes.

I knew I had to find a healthier alternative to tanning beds. A couple of years ago a friend suggested the Spray Tan. I called to book an appointment:

Lady: “You’re all set. Just come in and we’ll get you started with our technician.”

Me: “Is this a nude event? … Hello? Are you still there?” If there’s one thing I hate, it’s surprises.

Like the time in second grade when I dressed up as Hiawatha for Native American Day at school—only to find out that Hiawatha was a man.

But back to the Spray Tan. For the next 15 minutes I found myself stark naked, trying to make small talk with a woman I’ve never met:

“Er… so, you ever watch football, or …” “Turn around and lift your buttcheeks so I can get the back of your legs.”

The next morning I woke up less sun- “kissed” and more sun-“roofied.” My bed looked like a crime scene. There was a multicolored stain outlining my body where the tanning spray had rubbed off on the sheets during the night. For the next 24 hours everything I touched turned to brown—my pillowcase, work clothes, gym towels, pajamas. I felt like “Pig-Pen” from Peanuts. All that was missing was the personal cloud of dust.

My foray into sunless tanning has been a failure. So until it’s time to bare it all, turn on the fire and hand me some sweat pants. I’ll see you in four months.

—Jennifer Bosworth