(After you read the post, be sure to read the opinions of my other visitors in the comments section at the end.)
YOU DON'T HAVE A TATTOO!
Well why not? Everyone else seems to have one.
Will I ever want one? No. Aside from the fact that I’m afraid to do anything permanent, I’m too old. Although, even if I were twenty-five, I still don’t think I would want one.
My imagination can’t even take me there. I’m trying to see a cute little rose on my backside; nothing fancy – just a red blossom with a couple green leaves and a short stem.
I’m trying this mental exercise in an attempt to relate to those who have chosen to go under the “pen.” Or is it a “needle?”
I know a few people who have one, but I never hear them say “why” they got it. They just say because it’s cool.
I wonder if it is like trying a new hair cut. You see a picture in a magazine or on someone else, admire it and decide to imitate. Or, if it has a deeper meaning, like a loved one’s name, a religious symbol, rebellion, or just plain ol’ art…like wearing a new shade of lipstick or growing a beard.
What's the motivation; the inspiration?
Does it make you feel sexy? I’m just askin’.
My first awareness of tattoos was seeing it on the arms of sailors in the military town of my childhood. The next wave was during the seventies: peace signs, flower power, and marijuana leaves. Now I’m noticing names, phrases, and abstract shapes.
For those of you who have one, do you feel the urge to get another? I’ve seen men and women with tattoos covering their entire legs and/or arms. I still come back to, “it’s permanent.”
Isn’t it? Or does the laser removal process work?
Could henna be an option?
Does anyone care to enlighten me?
I decide to ask a couple people about their tattoos; a woman and a man, both in their early twenties.
Proudly, Tanya shows me the tattoo on her forearm, and tells me about the other three she has. One is her mother’s name. The others are depictions of her personality.
Michael has a small initial of his name, and a bolder tattoo called a “collar rocker” – a phrase tattooed on his chest just below the collar bone. In my conversation with him, I learn the terms “covered tattoo” and “uncovered tattoo,” the former meaning that it can be easily covered with clothing; the latter, not. People with “tats” all over their legs and arms, obviously, enjoy the visibility.
Both speak passionately and consider the tattoos a form of self expression.
“It’s something that our generation is doing,” says Michael, implying that it belongs to them. Reading between the lines, I hear, “You all had your long hair and afros; we have our tattoos.”
Tanya is a poet, and seems to be searching deeply for the meaning of her life. She says her friends, jokingly, call her bi-polar.
I detect a little rebellion from both, as if they are saying that so many factors control their lives, but this is one thing that only they control.
On the flip side of the coin, a “baby boomer generation” male gives me his opinion. “It’s mutilation,” he says; “How are they going to get hired for jobs?”
I say, “They’re probably not interested in sitting behind a desk;” which is stereotyping. Does a tattoo affect a person’s potential for certain types of employment? Even though Michael says it's mostly his generation getting them, people of all ages and occupations are visiting the parlors.
I’m glad I asked Tanya and Michael about their tattoos. Regardless of my opinion, I got real feelings from real people.
Next topic: Ear Gauging…NOT!
The large pierced ears still give me the heebie jeebies, but I’m s-l-o-w-l-y desensitizing.