Dan Kang

First Time: Tanning

Rooftop I tanned on

I’ve been doing a lot of things recently that I’ve never done before in my life, so every time that I talk about a new experience, it will have the tag “firsttime”. [Update (2017): This blog used to be on Tumblr] Get excited. We’re starting with tanning.

Well, let me clarify. I’ve tanned non-deliberately before, as anyone who has seen the pale outline of my high school speedo on my otherwise dark cheeks could attest to. So… only me. What I mean is, I’ve never actually just lain somewhere with a towel on my face, hoping that the UV rays would penetrate my skin and cause my melanocytes to produce melanin as a defense mechanism, thereby creating that perfect golden brown look. Yes, I just learned about this process today. HowStuffWorks is great.

I grew up viewing tanning as a very feminine activity, and it wasn’t until I got sick of seeing my farmer’s tan acquired this summer from biking to the Golden Gate Park that I decided to give it a try. Five minutes after making that monumental decision, I climbed up the fire escape onto the roof (I will write about this in a future post), spread out a flat sheet, turned on deadmau5, and lay down.

Strangely very relaxing. I was suddenly a ball of cookie dough, slowly baking in the oven. Except with house music blasting into my right ear. I tried meditating, but promptly found myself waking up from a slumber I didn’t remember falling into. After 30 minutes, I became sufficiently bored and headed back to my room.

Tanning, while certainly not healthy, was a nice experience. Try it sometime. It’s funny, because my younger self would have said something like “tanning is gay”. Which reminds me. I have friends who still use the word “gay” as a pejorative and it’s about time that I made a public service announcement for those few. Using “gay” in a derogatory way (e.g. “that’s so gay”) makes you sound ignorant, and I automatically lose respect for you when you do that. I luckily had my sister to whip my ass into shape and make me stop that nonsense after high school, but some of you might not be blessed with such a progressive-thinking monster sibling. Just think about what you’re saying before you say it. Trust me, you’ll be better off for it. </psa>