When you live this far north, the end of daylight saving time means that the sun abruptly starts to go down at 5 pm. If you're like me and can't even open your eyes before 9:00 am, that means that you're awake for maybe 6 or 7 hours of naturally lit sky. And, unless you're also a vampire or WoW addict, it can be a struggle to maintain your sanity. So, I have a confession to make; I go tanning. Those few minutes of high intensity simulated sunlight really do a ton for my mood, and actually very little for my Robert Pattinson-esque winter pallor, so no one knows that I'm cheating on winter.
Tonight was my first visit since May or so, and I have to say that it was wonderful. A truly guilty pleasure. And I do feel guilty because I know full well the risk I'm taking by laying down in that big UV cancer taco. And yet right now, thousands and thousands of Americans are probably doing the same thing, like so many rotisserie chickens sweating under cellophane and heat lamps. I know that sounds gross, but UV radiation is really awesome at killing germs and the like, so tanning is actually pretty hygienic. Even so, you walk away with an unmistakable scent when you're done. I imagine it's half leftover tanning lotion, half sweat, and half dead skin cells sloughing off by the millions.
It's a habit that started when I was in college. Logan winters were brutal. My dr. suggested that some light tanning might help with some of the winter blues. The risk they, they say, is not so much in the tanning but in the burning. But to me, that's kind of like saying that it's not cigarettes that kill, it's TOO MANY cigarettes that kills. Still, it's a risk I'm willing to take to a little bit of e-sunshine.