Metallic Gel Pens. I was obsessed with them in middle/high school. Ask anyone who knew me then, and they will probably testify to having seen me with some ridiculous drawing on my hand. Not because I am an artist, mind you…. even my stick-people appear overly anorexic…..but I got bored in Mr. W.’s history classes. It’s not
entirely his fault that I tuned him out during Government & Economics. It’s just that it was a small school, and I had the man for every history and science class I ever had from 7th to 12th grade. And occasionally PE. And a couple of those years he was also the volleyball coach….did I mention it was a small place?… It boils down to the fact that I saw the guy more than I saw my own parents! Every teenager tunes out their parents from time to time. I know! Shocking, right?! Therefore, by default, of course I was going to tune out Mr. W. in his attempt to teach me the political policies of Uzbekistan…see, you didn’t pay attention in history class either! I bet you were doodling all over your notebook, or drawing mustaches on the pictures of Madeleine Albright in your textbook. She probably looks better that way.
Given my distracted nature during class and the fact that I have limited artistic abilities, I was constantly drawing flowers and vines all over my hands….well..one hand. The left one. Being right-handed, I can’t even write my name legibly with the left. That being said, I never ever considered permanently inking myself in tattoo form. No flowers. No vines. No butterfly. No dolphin. No skull and crossbones. No. NO. NO!
“But they are cool, Andi! It’s all about self-expression, and artistic beauty, and …..”
Stop it. It’s about solidifying stupidity into your skin (with a few exceptions**). Think about it. In a few years “Grandma” will be covered in tramp stamps with a belly ring. Weird much? The good-ol-days of her pinching your cheeks are over. Now she’ll take you to get your tongue pierced, and pick out colors for your “Justin Bieber Forever” tat.
Dumbest tattoo ever? Barbed wire. Who came up with this idea? I can only imagine…. Did he fall off his horse, injure himself on a fence and decide it was a turning point in his life, worthy of being memorialized on his body in the shade of army green? Or perhaps he was jealous of his girlfriend’s gold arm cuff, and felt the need to create his own…in a more masculine version of course….Because a dude in an arm cuff is not very manly.
Tattoos as self-expression are logically a terrible idea. Someday, you are going to be old, and when that day comes, you may or may not have the same interests/beliefs you currently hold near and dear. For instance, I loved butterflies when I was growing up. Seriously. In high school my bedroom was covered in butterflies. Blankets. Curtains. Wallpaper. Calendar. Pillows. Jewelry. Figurines. I even had butterfly candles. What I did not have, however, was a butterfly tattoo! Why? Because I knew someday I’d get older and my interests would change. Do I still love butterflies? Yes. Do I want my room to look like a shrine to the fluttering little critter? Not so much!! I also have no desire to get old and have my grand kids ask me to stretch out my wrinkled skin so they can see the pretty picture! I’m thinking in its naturally crinkled state, it would look like a moth that some kid stepped on and sufficiently smeared onto the sidewalk. Attractive, no?!
If you feel the need to express yourself artistically, carry around a painting, airbrush your car, dye your hair, wear ridiculously weird clothing, buy a giant pack of metallic gel pens to draw on yourself if you must.
And if you cannot draw, have a friend assist you. At least it is not permanent!
** There are a few exceptions to my “tattoos are stupid” rule.
1. If you’ve served in the military, and want to pay tribute to that part of your life, go ahead. You earned it. But if it takes up half your body, you’ve gone way overboard. Let’s not get carried away, shall we?
2. If you want to get your baby’s footprints tattooed on you b/c you love them sooo much, knock yourself out..provided that they are strategically placed. Tastefulness is key.
3. If you’ve lost a parent/grandparent/some-other-significant-influence, and you want to put something on your body to memorialize them, be my guest. Keep it small. Keep it simple. None of those “black and white portraits”. We have photographs for that. Not to mention, it has got to seriously freak out small children.
Do you have a tattoo? Do you regret it? Why/Why not?
Would you ever get one? of what?