Speaking of Awkward - A Word About Tattoos

You might have noticed when I posted the following photo in last Friday's post that I have a tattoo.


I actually have two.

The one pictured above was done in the summer of 1995 (I was 19). The other was the summer of 2000.

In choosing the places to get tattooed, both times I selected spots on my body where I could easily cover the tattoo if necessary in pretty much any type of outfit (shorts, tank top, etc), but where it might be shown occasionally, like when wearing a bathing suit. Seemed like a good way to do it.

The second tattoo fits these criteria also. It's on my lower back.

Might I make note of the fact that the second tattoo was done five years before the movie "Wedding Crashers" was released, in which the term "tramp stamp" was coined to refer to a tattoo appearing on a woman's lower back? (at least I think that's where the term comes from, I never heard it before seeing that movie).

Now that I'm in my, uh, late 30s, my tattoos seem less awesome than they did when I first got them.

I still kind of like the one on my leg. At least I don't hate it. It's just three little footprints. I'm sort of indifferent to it.

But the one on my back has got. to. go. I have some serious tattoo regret about that one. Two yellow roses with stems twisted together. Gag. What was I thinking? And the "tramp stamp" joke? While it isn't the reason I regret the tat, it certainly doesn't help matters.

Someday I will have the back tattoo removed. Possibly the leg tat too.

Now, on to the awkward part.

My kids, naturally have seen my tattoos.

Naturally they ask me what they are. I tell them. Then, naturally they ask why I got those tattoos. Good question kids.

My response thus far has been, "Well, Mommy made a bad choice to get those tattoos." And then of course they ask why it was a bad choice, and I explain because I was much younger when I chose to get them, and now I no longer want the tattoos but they don't come off, so I have to go to the doctor someday to get them off. Thus, bad choice.

I always thought that was a pretty good response. I like to teach my kids about making choices and dealing with the results. I try not to shy away from allowing them to see examples of choices I have made, good and bad. So, explaining it the way I have done seemed appropriate. I might even say it seemed quite clever.

But then. Oh, the thing I did not foresee. The consequence I didn't plan on. My kids sometimes see other people with tattoos!!!

I'll give you one guess what they say.

"Mommy, why did that lady and you make a bad choice?" In front of the other mom at the local coffee shop/play area, who fortunately didn't seem to notice my child was staring and pointing at her.

"Mommy, why did Miss B and you make a bad choice?" In front of the staff member at the YMCA's drop-in childcare, who did notice and asked me what the question meant, at which point I mumbled something about not liking the tattoo on my back as I dragged my kids away.

Now that the weather is warming up and people are bearing their skin, and their ink, more and more, this is becoming a bit of a problem.

Guess I'm not as clever as I thought.


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