To tattoo or not to tattoo, that is the question.
Now, before I get into this, I know tattoos have become ubiquitous. Like, to a ridiculous extent. I would say near fifty percent of the people with whom I went to college - and a full 90 percent of the women I have dated (Which should be another post altogether!) - were inked up in some form or fashion, and that was at a small, conservative, private Christian school in the Great State of Texas. Most of these tattoos, and apologies to my friends who may recognize some of their own skin art in here, were cuffs around the ankle, Christian symbols on the inside of the wrist, or flowers/butterflies/Thumper (Yes, Thumper of Bambi fame) on the small of the back...Oh, and Chinese characters. What's with that? To quote Inigo Montoya,"I do not think that means what you think that means." These little acts of rebellion were just that. Little. Most of the tattoos were picked off of walls during a drunken outing in Dallas or Austin, few of them were larger than a silver dollar, and all were easily concealed from polite company...or bosses.
My sister and I have, from time to time, discussed pulling the trigger on getting tattooed, but have always stopped short because we couldn't imagine committing anything to our bodies for time everlasting. And thank God. I can't imagine what my eighteen year old self would have chosen to permanently brand my body, but rest assured, my twenty seven year old self would have remembered my eighteen year old self not-so-fondly as a massive douchebag every time he looked at whatever God awful design said teenager had chosen.
So, why do I ask? Well, obviously I'm thinking about getting one (A tattoo, not a douchebag). We're going on two years now and the thought of what to get and where has not changed. I have devoted some serious thought to this, but I'm still on the fence. The salient points: This tattoo would be VERY visible in short sleeves. My father would lose the rest of his hair upon seeing his only son besmirched with vibrant ink colors and do the disapproving, dimpled smirk that my family knows all too well. My mother would let out the same forlorn sigh I remember from the time she woke me up on a Monday morning when I was still in high school to discover that I had dyed my hair an electric shade of red dubbed "pretty flamingo". My grandparents, well, they might catch on fire. Seriously.
But the tattoo would mean something. It would be in memory of a friend and it would remind me to embrace life and love and beauty...it would also hurt like hell, cost more than a few dollars, and remain into old age, illegibly shriveled on my forearm, presented brazenly to the scrutiny of my future grandchildren (should I be able to convince a woman to ever sleep with me again).
So, thoughts? Questions? Advice? Dire warnings? It's open season, let me have it!