If there is one thing I hate, it's tattoos. I associate them with ex-cons and Hell's Angels, because when I was growing up, those were the people who got them. Nowadays they are mainstream and acceptable and my daughter thinks they are cool. Perhaps my priorities are misplaced, but my biggest fear with her isn't that she's going to get pregnant or addicted to drugs, but that she's going to get a tattoo. On the flip side of the coin, if this is my biggest worry, I suppose I should be grateful. My boys, thankfully, have no interest in them.
I have friends who have them. I know teachers who have them. They are all nice, upstanding, decent people. Still, there is something jarring about seeing a shoulder tat on a lady I know who's my age, been married nearly as long as I have, has three kids, and works as a school librarian.
Last summer when we were vacationing on South Padre Island, I went with Paige to a tattoo parlor for the very first time in my life, tho' I have a sneaking hunch it was not her first time. Granted, my experience with tattoo parlors was, and still is, extremely limited, but this appeared to be a nice one: big, well-lit and clean. The reason we were there was so Paige could get her belly button pierced. I was so afraid that when she turned 18 in the fall that she would get a tat, that we compromised on a belly ring. For her, it satisfied a need to walk on the wild side. For me, my thinking was that if she ever gets tired of it, unlike a permanent tattoo, all she has to do is remove it and no one will be the wiser. I was with her when she had it done and hounded her for weeks after to make sure she kept the area clean and disinfected. It's been a year and she's never had a problem with it, and I've gotten used to seeing a heart or a flower or whatever it is, I don't look too closely, dangling from her navel.
But back to tats. The absolute WORST tat I've ever seen was on a teacher aide I worked with a few years ago. She had a dog, a bichon frise, she was crazy about. So crazy, in fact, that she had a picture of her beloved pet inked onto her chest, immediately above her left boob. (Or it could have been the right one, I didn't look too closely there, either.) She had a tendency to wear shirts that were a tad low and it was disconcerting to see this fluffy dog peeping out from her decolletage. Now, I can identify with her love for her dog because I'm just a step or two away from being the neighborhood crazy cat lady with 27 cats, but no way in hell would I have a cat inked onto my chest, or anywhere else, for that matter.
So this brings me to the point of this blog. Last night, my daughter sent me a picture of a tattoo one of her best friends got this week. As near as I can make it out, it appears to be a butterfly and it's right behind the left ear. Her friend is an awesomely beautiful girl and I can't help it if I feel like someone just vandalized a priceless painting. I know that by sending me the picture, Paige is hoping to wear me down enough to change my mind. And why not? Where she's concerned, I've changed my mind about a lot of things over the years. Like when I wouldn't allow her to drive at the age of eight, but changed my mind when she was 15. Or when I refused to buy her thong underwear when she was 11, or get her ears pierced at six, or stay home by herself when she was five, but all those things changed as she got older. On this issue, however, I will not budge, so we will have to have another talk on the "perils" of tattoos. My mother has no idea how easy she had it; it would never have occurred to her to caution me against getting a tattoo. Funny how things can change in just one generation.
Tit for tat,
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