Last week, I inadvertently blinded a teacher and her kindergarten class. You see, I have uncontrollable leg glare. And so, last Thursday, when I was forced to wear a dress without enough warning to buy nylons, I took my legs out of their protective wrappers (called pants) and exposed them to the world. The teacher and her students, who were out for a nature walk, couldn’t possibly have seen it coming when I glared on by. I can still hear their screams. “Mrs. Gomez. Is that a…..AAAAAHHHHHH…..my eyes….AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!” I feel badly.
What exactly do I mean by “leg glare”? Well, let’s just say that people staring directly at my pale legs suffer symptoms similar to snow blindness. It didn’t use to be that way. I remember when I was younger, I practically lived in the sun. If, we kids weren’t getting enough sun, my parents would yell at us to go outside. Granted, these were the same people who drove long trips with the car windows closed while chain smoking, drinking beer and ensuring we weren’t wearing our seat belts. I don’t think healthy choices were at the top of their list for us.
When I was a teenager, I remember hanging out in the back yard with the tunes cranked (sorry neighbours!) and a bottle of baby oil by my side. If I wasn’t tanning fast enough, I kept the hose close by to douse myself with water to encourage “the burn”. Pretty much the only thing I didn’t do to guarantee skin cancer was tanning on tin foil.
Then, things changed and the world began embracing sunglasses, SPF 90 and hibernation. Now, given my Swedish genetics and my Al Gore inspired fear of the sun, my legs have gotten so white that Benjamin Moore uses them as a colour sample for Colour #FFFFFFFFFFF known as You Can’t Get Any Whiter than This.
Two days ago, I vowed to change things. I went to Shopper’s Drug Mart and picked up a tube of Fake ‘N Bake Self Tanning Cream. Actually, the real Fake ‘N Bake cream was quite pricy, so I picked up the generic brand – it was much cheaper; I got two times the amount; and there’s a recession on for Heaven’s sake! I read the propaganda insert closely. Apparently, fake tanning is the secret that Hollywood stars like Angelina Jolie use to give them that healthy all over glow. I suspect her glow stems from the fact she is married to Brad Pitt but who am I to judge.
I began picturing myself on Kits Beach with my new found bronze-ness – of course, the cream would not only provide me with a darker glow but legs that were 8 inches longer and a butt that was 4 sizes smaller. Yes, I would be a real kitsgal golden goddess. From this point on, people would watch me with adoration as I run in slow motion on Kits beach, my corn rows bouncing in the wind, my bikini hugging my curves without jiggling off and my Dudley Moore George Clooney waiting for me on the sand…….
I raced home, eager to start my life as Bo Derek’s body double. I tried to read the instructions but, seriously, the type was soooo tiny and hard to read. I also couldn’t find my magnifying glass. Yes, I sometimes use a magnifying glass to read instructions. Doesn’t everybody? Anyway, I went ahead and rubbed the cream on my legs. It wasn’t too long before I realized something had gone horribly wrong. After a standard freak out and a trip to Wikipedia, I realized I had made two fatal errors in my quest for gold. 1) I had gotten a colour too dark for my pale skin (apparently Jamaican Beauty was way out of my league) and 2) I had not put it everywhere on my legs. In fact, I missed a spot….mostly, over the entire backside of my legs.
So, at present, I have a nice healthy orangey brown glow on the front part of my legs. If you squint, it looks like I am wearing chaps. Or it looks like I have the start of leprosy. Still, even with this chemical blemish, I look so much better than the “Hey, I’m an extra on Twilight” glare I was going for earlier. It may even be okay to look in my direction when my legs are out in public. But, just to be safe, I wouldn’t stare directly at them!