Adventures in obtaining an even tan

So, Italians’ ability to achieve a perfectly even tan has intrigued me since I took note of their gambe abbronzate four years ago.

I’ve never been shy about my love for beaches in Italy, and now that I’ve got the system down to a T, I find nothing more gratifying than kicking back on one for a weekend, a week, two weeks and hopefully (perhaps next year?), one month!

After two weeks in my beloved Liguria, I’m currently the tannest I’ve been since my spring break days of yore. When my friend Christine told me, “You’re really tan, like Ligurian tan!” I beamed and exclaimed, “Thank you so much for saying that!”

However, my tan isn’t as even as I would have liked (particularly on my legs) so from behind my Ray Bans, I started discreetly observing Italians to see if they had the same problem. However, all of their tans are even. After analyzing like crazy the how, when, where and why of this, I started to realize is that, for many, it’s because they don’t “try.”

To start, Italian children are so evenly tanned it’s not funny, but I think that comes with being a child. They move around all day, splashing around in and running about on the sand playing games, so the sun hits them from all angles. They’re not soaking up the rays with the overall objective of a tan; it just happens for them.

The same could be said for the beach staff (lifeguards, beach club owners, etc.). Since they work outside, their tans are not surprising, but it’s the evenness of these tans that blows me away. Again, I think this is because they’re doing their job and not really focusing on making sure the underside of their arms is just as tan as their counterpart.

My friend, Christine (yes, from La Cantina di Miky), too, is so enviably evenly tanned and she even said she has no idea why. She really has no tan lines!

See, unless I’m in the water, I don’t have the energy to be up and about playing volleyball and partaking in all those activities during which I wouldn’t think about my tan. Now I’m not lazy…in fact, I’m a very active person…but when I get to the beach, I like to kill two birds with stone and couple my relaxing down time with my long-time favorite pastime: Reading!

Now to be fair, I know there are Italians who do make an effort to even out their tans. I do see them lying on their sides, changing the directions of their arms, but this is a challenge for me: I just can’t lay there,  close my eyes and do nothing because I feel like I’m wasting/losing time. So many books, so little time, therefore I always have a book on me so if I have some idle time anywhere (subway platform, nail place, hair salon, really long line, etc.),  I read, otherwise, I feel like I’ve lost time.  Same can be said for the beach…I just have to read, so my arms are always in book-holding position, which prohibits the tan evenness I so desire.

Same thing can be said for when I lay on my stomach; I just have to read or “do” something, however, reading in this position where I’m seemingly holding the cobra pose for an extended period of time isn’t the most comfortable. Instead of giving up, I had decided to start listening to podcasts so I can keep my head down and soak up the sun strain-free. My back has evened out quite nicely, but the legs are a challenge.  So much in fact, that I have even pondered staying on my back and just holding my legs straight up so the backs of them are exposed to the sunlight, but that would just be weird and attract more attention than I would like.

Anyway, in terms of reading material  I’ve just started A Dance of Dragons, the fifth book of the Game of Thrones series, and with the new season, it should only seem natural that I gravitated towards Game of Thrones podcasts, the ones from Entertainment Weekly and Shat on TV in particular. It’s a bit of GOT overload, yes, but I love it! Between the podcasts, the books, and season 7 itself, I have dreamed of Jaime Lannister galloping on his white horse at least three times that I can remember.

When I need a break from GOT, I listen to Biddy Tarot (to nurture my somewhat newfound obsession), Criminal, Nerdist, Literature and History, and yes, Russian Rulers History! (Yes, I’m a geek, I know. )


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