My (Nonexistent) Tattoo

I’ve always wanted a tattoo, but I can never quite justify the expense. I could probably get a good deal, too, as my boyfriend’s son is one of the best tattoo artists in this city. Even so… Nope. I most likely won’t ever get around to it. Plus I have this thing about pain.

If I did get one, though, I’d make sure it was something that could be covered up by a typical short sleeved shirt. You have no way of predicting what image you’ll want to project in the future. I know a guy who got spiders tattooed on the backs of his hands in his younger, wilder days. Now he’s a businessman who wears suits. He can see potential business partners flinch when he reaches out to shake their hands. He calls these tattoos his stupid marks.

And I definitely would get just one tattoo. No point in overdoing it. Sometimes when I can’t sleep, I like to drive out to the 24 hour Waffle House and have breakfast. You’d be amazed at how many regular customers they have at 3 in the morning. Usually they are a quiet bunch. One night I was sitting at the counter looking at a menu when a guy came in and sat beside me. He had tattoos on every square inch of his body, from his feet to the top of his bald head. I sat there and wondered how many jobs he missed out on, how many relationships he missed out on, how many times he was discriminated against. All that could have been avoided. I found out later that he died of liver failure, most likely from the heavy metals in the massive amount of tattoo ink that he had encased himself in. Less is definitely more.

My late sister was in the Air Force for 21 years. Working in that testosterone-infused environment, she would occasionally hear rumors about herself. One of the guys would imply that she had behaved, shall we say, less than professionally with him. This would upset her, but she came up with a handy little trick to quickly put such rumors, uh, to bed. Whenever the rumor reached her ears, she’d laugh and say, “Oh yeah? Then ask him to describe my tattoo.” Naturally the guy could never do so, and he’d wind up looking like a dope. And my sister would be laughing inside, because she didn’t actually have a tattoo. But the guy would have no way of knowing that.

Tattoos are a great way to express yourself, provided you give the design, location and quantity a great deal of consideration. But who would have ever thought they’d also be a great source of rumor control?


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9 thoughts on “My (Nonexistent) Tattoo

  1. It took me til I was 36 to get my first (and only so far) but I went all out and got a half sleeve in an 11 hour sitting. I am mulling over my next one now but researching the right design and tattooist. I like to combine it with a trip so I have a memento of it, I got mine in Thailand. I am going to California and Spain this year so been looking at good tattooists on my travels. Most people rush into them which lead to regret, I’m glad I never had any done when younger, you change to much, you need to grow into yourself first. And avoid fads in tattooing, they are very prevalent, the idea a tattoo is a fashion seems odd to me but you see so many identical ones which end up looking dated as people had them for other reasons rather than something meaningful to them.

    Mull it over more, pain wasn’t a problem only on certain parts of the tattoo, under the arm proved sensitive or near bone, but most of the upper arm didn’t hurt, it felt more scratchy, and when they wipe away the ink/blood with tissue then that bit gets sore as they are rubbing over the same area a lot, but the needle itself didn’t bother me.

    1. There are very few things in life that I would be willing to do for 11 straight hours, but given that your description in paragraph two made me all queasy, yeah… I’ll probably never get around to it. But I do have a design in mind, and haven’t changed the idea in years, so if I do get one, the trend thing won’t be an issue.

  2. Carole

    I sometimes wonder that some people, mostly women, that are prim and proper about themselves will let a near stranger take needle and ink to private parts of their body. I guess if you think of it as another trip to the gynacologist, you could get throughit. I have a scrapbook that someone put together in the 30-50’s all on tattoos. The Japanese warlords used to tattoo their entire bodies. When captured they would be skinned and their art tacked to a wall as warning. Tattoos used to be a form of identification that was especially used by Law Enforcement. Lots of Luck with that now. My Husband wanted a “Man pushing a lawnmower” around the bald spot on his head, but they told him it would be to sensitive. At least something still has sense. LOVE THIS ONE!

    1. Well, your hubby definitely has a sense of humor. 🙂

      I was actually thinking of the shoulder as the location, so I can keep the whole prim and proper concept pretty much intact. 🙂 The Maoris of New Zealand are into full body coverage too, or they used to be, but again, those that did that tended to die of liver failure. It’s always a good idea to be kind to your liver.

  3. Carole

    Thank you for the tidbit about the liver failure. I’m sure it will fall on deaf ears, But all the Grandchildren are getting into this art work. They tell me I don’t understand what it means to them and they are right. But don’t tell me you don’t have gas money to get to work when you have a sore arm. LOL!

    1. There are absolutely health risks involved. Too many tattoos and doctors will refuse to give you a MRI due to the heavy metals in the ink. You can also get hepatitis if you go to someone less reputable. And while a few tattoos probably won’t impact your liver, full body coverage definitely does. And there is, indeed, a cost factor. I am all for self expression, and I’m not against tattoos, but less is definitely more.

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