Is it my imagination or has there been a tattoo explosion over the past 20 years? Because my mind and tastes change from minute to minute, tatting pictures and sentiments in living color on my body is probably not a good idea. To me, tattoos are permanent reminders of temporary feelings.
Still, I’ve been trying to think what tattoo I’d choose even though I won’t. I sent a similar question to friends. Their responses are worth repeating.
A girl on one of my tennis teams—she’s in her 30s—said, “Have 4. Jellyfish, right side; memorial, left side; dog’s name, inside left foot; and unmentionable on unmentionable.”
No, I didn’t ask.
She went on to add, “All are hidden for work/business clothes. Don’t think people look professional with visible tattoos unless they have their own businesses, preferably in the tattoo industry.”
Another friend said, “If I had one, why hide it? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?” But then she’s retired and can choose to look professional or not.
Most of the women I spoke with prefaced their answers with, “I wouldn’t, but if I did get a tattoo….”
They won’t, but if they did, they would go for teeny tiny somethings. The most popular locations included the wrist, ankle, and completely hidden.
One exception is the girl who said, “I would get a tea rose on my bosom at age 20 and it would be a long-stemmed rose by age 80.”
Most of my friends pondered tattoos related to a special something or someone—hearts, hummingbirds, butterflies, crosses, American flags, and college mascots.
Be forewarned. Those considering body art should steer clear of using names of people they think they love.
Norman Rockwell sums it up in his “The Tattoo Artist” painting. The piece depicts the artist writing a seventh name (Betty) on the arm of a male client. Strikethrough marks canceled the six names listed above Betty.
On that artistic note, a friend said, “Some people say tattoos are art. I prefer to buy my art and hang it on the wall so I can look at it and enjoy it, not hide it.”
One of my tennis pals said she and her now-husband discussed tattoos when they were dating. “I asked him why he didn’t have a tattoo (being in the military). He said he always told himself that if he decided he wanted one to never get it when he was drunk. When he sobered up, he never wanted one.”
A longtime friend of mine did not hold back:
“I have 2—my eyebrows. I would not likely get a regular one unless I could hide it because that’s like wearing the same pair of shoes every day. Who does that??!!”
She added, “Plus, it really limits what your style can be clothing-wise, casual or dressy, etc. and nobody sees the outfit you have on because they’re sidetracked by your tattoos.”
And, “Plus, the light colors always fade…They all mesh into a bluish greenish color and all of them look the same. Why be like everybody else?”
Just so you don’t think this was a total, one-way, female conversation, I asked my husband to chime in on the tattoo topic. With scary enthusiasm and not the slightest pause, Gary said, “I’d get Yosemite Sam with his guns blazing across my chest!”
That’s a visual image I could have lived without.
Another close friend said she won’t, but if she did, she would choose words over an image. For her make-believe tattoo, she decided on the truth she often tells all who will listen: “Every day is a gift.” I’m with her. I won’t, but if I did, a tat across the bottom of one foot would proclaim my oft used phrase: “LYMI,” as in love you, mean it.
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