All Articles Tagged "regretting tattoos"
So I was having a conversation a while back with a colleague of mine as we were heading to lunch. We weren’t talking about anything business related, the state of the world, politics, or anything deep whatsoever, we were just having a back and forth about tattoos. I told her I had this idea that I stole from a former hairdresser of mine to put an afro pick on my wrist, and she was going on about a tattoo she wanted to get on the back of her shoulder, but in the midst of being all starry eyed about the idea, she shunned it off and said she wasn’t actually going to get it at this point. When I asked her why, she said because she was too old to still try and run to the tattoo parlor to get “tatted up.” She also made it known that at a certain point, if you’re going to keep getting tattoos, you need to make better decisions as to where you’re going to put them, and why you’re getting them in the first place.
At a mere 28, I didn’t really understand what she meant by being too old. Was she too old for the practice of sitting in pain for 45 minutes to an hour or more for ink? Or was she saying there comes a certain age where women just need to stop trying to do the most when it comes to being creative with their skin? She broke down that she meant the latter. As one who can often appreciate interesting tattoos, I hadn’t stopped to think that being over a certain age and still getting tattoos was deemed tacky, nor had I thought about how a huge tattoo will look on the skin when you get older, when things on your body spread, and when you have to start showing up for school functions for your kids. Therefore, I just assumed she was being overly-cautious in her reasoning, but to each their own.
But as time passed, the more I looked around at other people’s tattoos, and the more people started to notice my own, I could somewhat see where she was coming from. Around town, I was peeping out women in the over 40, even over 50 club with huge roses and markings on their thighs, cursive letters, cherries (dripping at that…ewwwww), huge crosses and more on their arms (arms that were probably bigger than they used to be, hence, some of the tattoos were stretched), and I even noticed an aunt who was toting a tattoo of a dark cross on her bicep. Really Auntie? All of these women’s markings were damn near larger than life, and after a few years of being the talk of the town during lunch dates and outings with the girls I’m sure, nowadays they were faded like an old pair of dark dungarees.
With the temperature shooting higher and higher over the past week, I ditched jeans and regular shirts for maxi dresses, racerback tops and stuff that would just let my skin breath. Before I knew it, after kicking it around town with friends, people were asking me about a tattoo I had almost forgot about that’s on my back. I got it fresh out of high school after I hit that, I’m-18-and-grown-I-do-what-I-want” phase. While I definitely don’t regret getting it as it was for a family member, I regret that I got it so large and done so dramatically and intricate design-wise that I have to explain what every single aspect of it says and means:
Friend: “I didn’t know you had a tattoo! *Starts trying to read it* For the loving memento…”
Me: “Naw girl, that’s “In Loving Memory with wind blowing around it! You know, like…nevermind.”
I’m going to have to explain the story about this tattoo for the rest of my life…or during the summertime at least…
I started to understand what she meant about getting too old to for tattoos and the importance of making smarter choices when and if you decide to get them. It made me rethink my own decisions to continue acquiring more and more tattoos, as what might seem creative now might have me shaking my damn head 10 years from now. I have ideas for days, and I’ve had places picked out for a long time too, but after some thought, my heart is just no longer into being a human drawing pad. I’ll cherish the ones I have now (even the confusing one on my back) and call it a day. A few tattoos are cool for the person who wants to try it and say that they did, but for all the chicks I know running around with sleeves and legs covered in things they can barely put into sensible words, I’ll just say, good luck explaining why you have “Slippery When Wet” on your lower stomach or “Bad Girl” on your lower back to your nosey kid in the future.
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