Monday, September 26, 2011

Rethink the ink

This blog drought is out of control. It's been looming over me and gets worse every day that I don't blog. So instead of focusing on how many things are swirling around in my head to write about and how many days it has been since I last posted, I thought I would just chill. And post something. Just one because that's all I have time for today.

Tattoos. That is the subject of today's post. I read a funny tweet recently that said "White girls spend 15% of their lives talking about cutting bangs." This is quite possibly true. I also think that white girls spend about 15% of their high school years talking about getting a tattoo.

In my high school group of friends, there were a few who did get them done, which of course left the rest of us to talk about what WE would get - when we all knew we never actually would. I can remember many a lunch hour spent discussing the merits of your name (apparently too self-absorbed), a Chinese symbol (the word "courageous" really gets me through those tough times or the symbol for the word "pineapple" looks kinda cool), our zodiac sign (yeah, I've always wanted the picture of a virgin on my lower back) or some sort of douchebag tribal whatsit. Oooh, or the arm band and tramp stamp.

These were the options 10th grade girls came up with in the 1990s.

I think there are two types of girls - ones who actually get tattoos and ones who don't. I don't mean to bash anyone who has them - I'm learning that some people find it perfectly acceptable to not live their life exactly like mine - but they're not for me. I think getting a tattoo says something about the person and I'm pretty sure it's not what they intended it to say.

Somehow, of the few girls who got tattoos in my group, TWO of them got geckos. On their ankles. WHAT?! A gecko? Seriously? What does that even mean? They might as well inked a mailbox or an Allan key on their skin FOR-EV-ER. They weren't even the same geckos. Not sure why that matters, but maybe it would have been cooler if they seemed to be in an amphibian gang or something.

The reason the tattoo is on my mind is because for the last 24 hours there has been one on my arm. I was producing a bar mitzvah and the kids go crazy for these temporary hand-inked tattoos. Hopefully this will lessen the interest in them later on.

In an attempt to keep my eyes open at the end of a very long day while waiting for the party to end, I decided to get one done. Lots of people were getting those hearts with banners exuding their love for "Mother" or "Jenny" or some other person in their lives.

I thought it would be funny to get this - the true love of my life:

I can tell you right now that NO ONE got it. NO ONE. I had several clients come up and take a look - then a blank stare. In hindsight, it might have been career suicide.

I thought it was funny.
The next morning, it freaked me out and every time I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror I looked like a stranger. I had a baby shower to go to that day and purposely chose a dress that tried to hide it. Yes, I could have just washed it off, but it proved to be a very interesting social experiment. Well, more like a personal experiment. I hated it. I hated how I thought people looked at me or the type of person they might think I am based on this tattoo. I wasn't expecting this, but it defined me (at least in my own head) as someone I didn't want to be. It was like an instant label.

I was embarrassed by it. I kept trying to hide it and make sure everyone knew it was fake...I actually felt desperate to do so. Strange. My family also hated it and thought it looked weird - seeing it puts me in a different category of person than the one they've known for 30 years. I know these statements seem really melodramatic, but it truly felt that way.

I thanked my lucky stars that I had the good sense to resist the peer pressure and amphibian gang initiations back in high school. It would not have been a good idea.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Why does my green bin always look the healthy, fresh food I should have eaten during the week? This can't be right...