Monday 27 June 2011


Jennifer Aniston got her first tattoo recently. It was clearly a slow news day…who am I kidding? It probably beat out ten other stories of note and importance that failed to light up the sensational or gossip meter. Apparently the tattoo is the name of her dog that passed away at fifteen years old. Okay, so this is clearly a loss that has affected her deeply and if you’re going to get a tattoo, I suppose one of honor and remembrance is a fair enough reason. [My mother would of course beg to differ.] There are certainly worse reasons to get tattoos; the most idiotic of course is getting the person you’re dating tattooed on your person somewhere. Seriously, unless you are fifteen years into a marriage (and even then), why tempt fate.

Needless to say, like any defiant teen, I went with my sister when I was 17 years old and got my first tattoo – no it was not my boyfriend’s name - and of course we did not tell either of our parents of our afternoon activity. We were bored and this seemed like the thing to do at the time. I decided that putting a Scorpio on my shoulder was a good promotional tool of sorts – I figured it was only kind to alert the masses of my occasional sting before they got in too close (we’re totally misjudged as a sign I’ll have you know; we're not all bad and certainly mellow with age!). As for my sister, she got some dreadful thing that she regretted as soon as we left the shop – I was partly to blame as she’s usually a fickle shopper and my job is to be the decision maker.  Oops, ah well, just a bit of ink.

We were pretty good at hiding them for the first few weeks until my mom caught us coming out of the shower one day and saw our new purchases on our shoulder. I am pretty sure tears were shed. (So sorry Anne). The second tattoo I got was years later and was some feminist statement I was trying to make at the time that failed miserably. Thankfully it’s in a place where I can hide my hippie floral shame. For that one I found some heavily inked specialist in Anaheim that asked me out post inking and we spent the whole evening at the toy store. He had some bizarre star wars figurine addiction. Clearly there was no second date.  

Now, I certainly do not live by regret, so for me, the tattoos are there and will be when I’m tottering around like some wrinkly old prune. But my mother, well that’s another story altogether. No fail, for the last 20 years, every time I see her, she either asks me if I want my ‘lobster’ removed, as she calls it; tells me about a new treatment that removes tattoos, or scoffs at my tattoo as I walk by with that look of, ‘please oh please either remove it or cover it up.’  

I suppose as a parent now, I get it. Watching your child permanently deface itself is probably not an easy thing and would perhaps get me all riled up, especially if he decided he was going for the Motley Crue look (please don't sweetheart).  Unless of course the King wrote I LOVE MOM across his back, then hey, at least the kid has sense!

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