Golden child.

I admit it. I go to the tanning bed. Not all the time, mind you. Just 15 minutes, once a week. I’m not there to get all George Hamilton on your ass. I’m just there to keep my acne at bay, and to put a wash of color over my pasty Nordic skin. You know you’ve spent a few too many weekends in front of a glowing computer screen when your perfect shade of foundation is called “Kabuki.”

Before I started tanning, I was all self-conscious about it. I thought I’d be a pariah in there, rifling through the Cosmos in search of the sole copy of Good Housekeeping, waiting until bed 14 opened up. But as it turns out, all you muthafuckas out there are tanning. How come you never said anything! Jeez.

Your co-worker who comes in on Monday with rosy cheeks and impossibly tan forearms? Tanning bed. The guy who says he golfed all weekend? Fake bake. The admin who claims she has naturally golden skin (along with naturally platinum blonde hair)? UVB whore. Look for the telltale “reverse racoon” — white circles around the eyes, while everything else is dark. It’s a dead giveaway.

I mean, rarely do I see a 20-something hardbody there. It’s all these geriatrics, like me. What a mindfuck! I can’t tell you how many times I’d see these other people, all bronzed out, and wonder what they hell they were doing all weekend while I was getting down with the Scrubbing Bubbles. Surely, they must be laying in the sun somewhere, soaking up rays and margaritas all weekend.

Well, now I, too, am part of the golden sorority. Our mascot — an lifesized bottle of tanning accellerator wearing purple eye goggles (strapless, of course). Whenever he enters a room, the song “Kokomo” starts playing and coconut-scented air freshener jizzes out his cap. So do I break the code of silence? Hell no. People, I am too busy lying in the sun all day. Starting a revolution, that would be, like, too Che Guevara for a woman of leisure like myself.