Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Do You Tattoo?

When The Prude was growing up she knew only two people with tattoos.
An elderly man at a nursing home.
And Popeye.

Popeye’s was a small, tasteful anchor on his massive forearm.
The one on the nursing home friend was less tasteful.
Although also on his forearm, it featured a woman who seemed to have left most of her outfit elsewhere- possibly on his upper arm.
The reason The Prude’s parents didn’t mind her being in the same room as the Lady on the Forearm was that nature had Done its Bit. Age spots, hair, veins and wrinkles all worked together and the Lady on the Forearm found herself, whether she liked it or not, modestly (if less than stylishly) attired.

That was then.

The Prude, a few summers ago, was shopping with her sister at WalMart. We noticed we were receiving sidelong glances, a few whispers and giggles, and some sympathetic, pitying smiles.
We checked quickly to make sure no clothing item had slipped or come unzipped, that no Charmin trailed from our shoes, that no flotsam or jetsam clung to our teeth.
Our paranoia increased. What was different about us?
Then it hit.
We were the only un-tattooed women in the store.
Teens, moms, even the older women zipping around in those motorized carts all looked smugly from their butterflies, vines, dragons or skulls to our pale, blah arms, ankles and calves (the only parts of us visible besides our faces).

There wasn’t much we could do. It was too late to grab pens and draw something on our wrists. Our drawing skills are limited to tulips and suns anyway.
So with as much dignity as we could muster we got in the check out lane.
Our Fluttering Fairy tattooed cashier clucked her tongue at us, and it seemed that the entire store breathed a sigh of relief when we took our offensive selves and departed.

Today The Prude is still tattoo-free and plans to remain so.
The Prude has noticed that Script tattoos are becoming popular.
Bible verses, snippets of poems, something or other written in Chinese or Ancient Hebrew.

And Your Prude got to thinking.
Maybe a temporary tattoo. One she could change daily, possibly even hourly.
Her grocery list, desperate ideas for this blog, what she was going to do when she walked purposefully into a room. They could all be there. Right on the inside of her arm.
And once again she could hold her head high in WalMart.

1 comment:

beth BA said...

I have a niece with a tatoo on the pretty nape of her neck. It is Hebrew characters of a Psalm. It is in that locaton so that whenever her grandfather (a retired medical missionary)is around, she can let her ponytail down in order to cover the tatoo. :-)