Now that the weather is warmer, you can see my tattoos. I have nine. Right hand, inner forearm and calf. Left ankle, inner forearm, back of shoulder. My right collarbone/shoulder. When I wear shorts and rank tops, they mostly all show. I don't mind that. I chose them and the spots they should go. They majority of them have extreme sentimental value. A memorial tattoo (ladybug) for my mom. Chilly Willy for my dad. He loved penguins. I have their signatures from a greeting card on my arm. It means so much. My favorite bible verse. The Eiffel Tower on my leg. A French saying on my collarbone. Each one has been thought out, from inception to execution.
According to the Pew Research Center, 45 million Americans have at least one tattoo. 36% of those age 18-25 are tattooed, and 40% of those age 26-40 are. So, imagine my surprise, the other day when I was out to lunch and found myself the topic of conversation. A group of senior ladies was discussing my body art. I saw them poking each other and gesturing in my direction. When I looked up, they were quiet. My gut instinct? I was angry.
But then I thought about it. My mom and dad were of their same generation. I know they would also not be so understanding of my choices. In their day, tattoos were for the military and hoodlums. I'm not a member of either of those groups. I guess I'm just someone who has a lot to say.
I wanted to say something to them. I thought against it. I don't really care what others think. I don't need other's approval. The better experiences are when people want to "read" me. Or comment how cool my Eiffel Tower is. It really is.
Am I done? No, probably not. I still have design ideas swirling in my mind. I will never have full "sleeves" of tattoos, but still have some viable real estate. And I would tell those who shake their heads at me when they see my tattoos, my tattoos help tell the tale of who I am. And that's good enough for me.