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Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v04n11)
Tammy's Take - By Tammy Leiber
posted: Jun. 01, 2007

Tammy's Take header

Tammy Lieber and I (Nora Spitznogle) are switching places in this issue. You can find Tammy's Take on two recent concerts on page 6.
The idea for the swap was hatched over a couple of "porch beers." I was lamenting that I had not heard live music in the last two weeks, and Tammy was telling me about the great shows that she had been to. A brilliant idea was born--we decided to be each other's guest columnist. We flirted with the idea of calling our intrepid leader, Alan Hague, but decided that he would be thrilled. Actually we opted for the "ask-forgiveness-rather-than-permission" theory.
You'll have to wait for the next issue to read Tammy's insightful look at the world around us.
I, instead, will fill you in on the Tuesday Night All Stars basketball banquet and my recent spray tan (yes, I said spray tan).
Back in the day, I worked three nights a week at the Red Key; every Monday, Tuesday and Saturday. Tuesdays were my favorite for several reasons, the biggest being the Tuesday Night All Stars. The TNAS are a group of guys who play basketball on, yes, Tuesdays from September through May. They were always fun to wait on and very generous to me. They are genuinely nice men.
More often than not, their conversation centers on their wives, children and work. They talk about weddings and impending births. Of course, they'd be mad that I spilled their manly secrets.
This year, they made me a "woman's auxiliary member" and invited me to the year-end banquet (FOUR kinds of pizza, napkins and paper plates!). I brought a cake that looked like a basketball and had the TNAS logo. They gave me an official tee-shirt.
I'll admit to having a crush on them as a group, in the very appropriate-I-know-most-of-them-are-married-and-I-don't-want-to-date-them-but-like-hanging-out-with-them-kind-of-way.
I did something last night I didn't think I'd ever do, let alone talk about in print.
I got a spray tan.
I know Angela Alney, one of the owners of the Air-Tan, socially. I ran into her at an event last week, where my blindingly-pale legs and arms announced my arrival. My heritage is German and Irish, both known for fair coloring. I have the classic "black Irish" look--dark hair, blue eyes and light skin. I am also conscience of skin care and cancer prevention. My mom has had a cancerous place removed from her skin.
Have you even taken one of those skin-cancer screening quizzes? One of the red-flag questions is: Have you ever experienced a bad sunburn? Answer: Yep, at least three times a summer between 1967 and 1989. Pulling weeds in the soy-bean fields on the farm caused the most memorable ones. My siblings and I would compare burns; they became a badge of honor. I did the typical sitting in the sun during my high school and college years. Then I discovered punk rock. Punk rockers do not tan; we are one with our paleness. Working for 9 years in the corporate-restaurant world did not lead to golden tans. And coffeehouse employees are known for our pasty skin. Now I'm the queen of sunscreen. I automatically put on 30 SPF lotion as part of my morning routine.
All of this led to me getting "sprayed" last night. The process reminds me of the airbrush tee-shirt booth at the State Fair. Except that you are mostly naked.
You are put in a little room that has a big shower-stall-looking room in it. You are given a hair net, paper sandals and paper panties. I chose to keep on my own underwear. You put on a robe and flip a switch to let the spray tan technician know that you are ready. She takes you in to the tile room, you take off your robe, and she starts spraying. You are sprayed with a liquid self-tanning product mixed with aloe and a little color so they can make sure it is evenly applied.
As if it is that is not surreal enough, in order to give you an even tan, you have to do things like stick your arms out in different poses, turn sideways and, um...lean over. Did I mention that I was mostly naked except for my Target undies, hair net and paper sandals? And that I know the technician? Kelly is 25 years old and I am 46. Kelly is lovely and made me feel totally at ease (did I mention I was mostly naked?) She is an Americorp/VISTA volunteer with the Peace House and this is her part-time job. A lot of us non-profit types have a part time job.
I don't follow the post-spray instructions very well; I just can't leave well enough alone. I just had to touch. I have a nice hand print on my belly.
The results were totally worth any embarrassment I felt. I've gotten a ton of compliments today. It looks natural and my skin feels great. In fact I signed up for a tanning package. I'll be the one with a lovely glow this summer.

Tammy Lieber is a freelance writer who lives in Meridian Kessler, otherwise known as SoBro. A former reporter at the Indianapolis Business Journal, she now writes journalism and marketing pieces when she's not fixing up her house or enjoying the company of friends over a pint of Guinness. Her favorite spectator sport is politics, except on Sundays during football season. Email her at
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