The world is divided into two kinds of people: those who have tattoos, and those who are afraid of people with tattoos. ~Author Unknown
I disagree, as I am neither. I think there is a third category: those who are afraid to get a tattoo. That’s the one I fall into. I am not opposed to them. I think many are fantastic works of art. I just have far too much fear to go through with it.
My fear does not involve pain. Pain is my chronic companion. I run marathons. I birthed 4 children. I am not afraid to push beyond my pain threshold.
I’m not scared of needles either. In just the last few years I have been sucked of so much blood I could nourish a small family of vampires.
So what else is there?
Misspelling. When I lived in Louisiana, I passed a tattoo parlor every day on my way to work. Their sign said YOUR SO COOL. I don’t trust someone who doesn’t understand the concept of contractions to put something permanent on my body.
Artistic Vision. I don’t even hire painters to paint the walls of my house because I know they won’t do it the way I would. I like to do things myself, not because I am a glutton for punishment, but because I always have a vision in my mind that I never trust another to fulfill.
Age. Nothing on my body looks the same as it did 15 years ago. It would be naive to think that the sagging, wrinkling, widening will not continue over the upcoming decades. Any image would then sag, stretch or wrinkle right along with me.
Style. In 39 years I have loved smurfs and the color purple. I have worn jelly shoes, banana-yellow high top reeboks, and cowboy boots. I have permed my hair, cut it in a bi-level, and worn pig tails. While great at the time, none of them are phases that I necessarily want to go back to. I have yet to come across an image or a symbol that I know I will still love 40 years from now. What I do know is that if I had to wear pinstripe jeans that ride up higher than my belly button and a “Frankie says RELAX” t-shirt for the rest of my life I would feel anxious and claustrophobic.
Here we are in 2012. Living on a beach in a vacation destination. We see a lot of skin. A LOT. I have seen enough breasts, backsides and biceps to last a lifetime. And they have not all been pretty. And these days, it seems where there is skin, there are also tattoos.
We have seen it all. On every body type. One every age.
To date, my favorite has been a medical drawing of an internal organ, drawn just where that organ would be. Perhaps it was in honor of a removed gallbladder? Or spleen? I think I liked it because it reminded me of Slim Goodbody. Anyone remember him from school PE and health classes?
On our recent vacation, my darling son had some treat money. It was burning a hole in his pocket. What did he want to spend his cash on? A tattoo.
After careful consideration between a scorpion a dragon and a cobra – he chose the snake. I hate snakes. Especially on the body of my sweet little boy.
But, it was his money, it was his choice, and it was temporary. I just bit my tongue and took photos.
He was so excited and had quite an audience of onlookers.
Here is an up close look at the cobra. Yuck.
This was basically the little boy equivalent of a pedicure. It looked great for a few days and then it started to fade and flake off. While he was really thrilled with himself, I admit that I didn’t love it. He seemed too tough, too hard, too grown up.
And then I went to wake him up one morning, and I found my little boy right there, underneath his tattoo.