Tattoo

Just as I finished college, tattoos came into vogue. My mom said a hundred times, I’m so glad you graduated college before the kids started getting their Greek letters tattooed on their ankles. I know you would have gotten one.”  She was probably right. Maybe at 49, I would regret getting my Greek sorority letters on my ankle. I never had any desire to have a tattoo. In many cases, I don’t think they are  attractive. I started to warm up to them when one of my best friends got a cross tattooed on her wrist in honor of her childhood best friend who had been battered and eventually murdered by her husband. I was a little shocked by it. It was fairly big, I thought, for her wrist. As time went on, she got more tattoos. I started to warm up to them, especially the meaning behind each one. One night she explained to someone the significance of each tattoo, only to have the person question if it was appropriate for a teacher to have a tattoo. Sometimes places of employment do have policies on tattoos. They require you cover them with a bandage or clothing. We debated it one night in the pharmacy. The two pharmacists had tattoos. The male remarked that his goal was to have a “sleeve”. He figured he’d always wear a dress shirt to work so it wouldn’t be a problem. None of his were visible. When the female pharmacist wore her hair up, you could see one her tattoos. It certainly wasn’t offensive. One of the girls got a tattoo of an infinity circle with her 2 kids’ names near her heart. I thought it was pretty. Tattoos are so popular, it would be difficult to hire only people without visible tattoos. Who is going to make the decision of whether they are offensive or not? I thought when my mom died, I would get a tattoo. I wanted to get her signature on my foot. I saved a card she’d signed, “Lots of XO, XO’s, Mom”, so it could be copied. I have not gotten it yet. This summer, when Molly turned 18, she declared she was getting a tattoo. I wanted to go with her. She took her best friend instead. She decided on “& sometimes, all you need is one” with the date 4/27/16. I approved. It was a favorite quote of hers- “6 billion people in the world. 6 billion souls. And sometimes, all you need is one.”  The quote has special meaning to me because all Jake needed was one person to save his life and how remarkable that it was his only sister! 4/27/16 was the day she donated her stem cells, the day he received her stem cells- the day she gave him new life. I went to visit Molly at college the other day, and she suggested we have a mother/daughter tattoo date. I didn’t disagree. My biggest concern, as I discussed it with the tattoo artist with cotton candy blue hair, was what my 74 year old father would say. When I showed him, he rolled his eyes and sighed, “That’s a prison tat!” Don’t you think it’s pretty? I love it.  He finally declared, “How can I argue against something with that kind of meaning behind it?” He’s found a few times to tease me though, and Dave declared that he never dreamed he’d be with a tatted woman. I’m already thinking about my next one. Yes, even though it felt like she was cutting me with a piece of jagged glass, they are addicting. I don’t think I’ll ever grow tired or too old to tell the meaning behind my tattoo…

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