I’ve never really got the fascination with tattoos. It seems to me a very extreme (and permanent) way of expressing how you’re feeling at that exact moment, but doesn’t really take into account how you might feel in years to come. After all, over the course of a lifetime names come and go, ideas and trends change and something that might be considered cute and girly at 18 will probably look downright stupid at 50.
And surely the effects of gravity on skin is not a tattoos friend? That bright and delicate flower you might have on your shoulder when you’re young enough to think it’s a good idea, will surely just become a faded pile of squiggles around your mid drift when you’re old enough to know better.
I’m not sure if my aversion to being drawn on is my reluctance to have someone shoot ink into my skin with a needle, or because I have absolutely no desire to have something covering my body that in a few years I would no doubt regret. More than likely it’s probably because even at 34, my mother would still kill me.
Whatever the reason, I have managed to reach this point in my life with a completely ink free body. Not a Tweetie Pie, Celtic cross or a initialed heart is to be found on any inch, nook or crevice of my being.
It was the girl in front of me in the spinning class yesterday morning, that got me thinking about tattoos in the first place. She had children’s names (well I presume they were anyway) written in huge letters across the bottom of her back. It’s not that it looked terrible, it just seemed an odd thing to do. And a very popular thing to do, judging by the number of people walking around these days with the contents of a baby naming book etched on their skin. In fact an hour later I was in a Pilates class (yes, I was feeling particularly keen that day), and I noticed that two of the woman contorting like pretzels on the mats in front of me were also listing their offspring – this time around their ankles.
I started to wonder if I was the only one who believed having their names on a birth certificates was no longer enough.
Now of course I can completely understand the idea of celebrating your kids. But wouldn’t a t-shirt, or a photo frame do? Do you really need to wear their names on your skin for the rest of your life to show how much they mean to you? Who knows, perhaps I’m an uncaring parent, but I can categorically say I have no wish to have so much as their initials on me, let alone their annual school photos tattooed all the way down my back.
I guess that’s something they’ll just have to live with. And perhaps discuss in therapy later. That said, I do however have a set of silver dog tags with their fingerprints on. These I can wear whenever I want – and take off whenever I want. Makes perfect sense to me.
Who knows, maybe there’s something about getting a tattoo that I just don’t get. Along with multiple earings, nose rings, tongue studs and bellybutton piercings. I’ll admit it does indeed sound like I have an issue with pain, but I’ve had two kids so it can’t be that. I think it just comes down to taste, and preferring my art hung up on the wall, rather than looking back at me in the mirror.