Sunday, August 23, 2015

Tattoo Breakthrough

I like that one! See, I can evolve.

My son Brandon and I were in the local Starbucks.

As the young woman barista rendered our coffee to us on that day, my eyes were drawn to a tattoo of a butterfly on the underside of her left arm and before I could control myself, by God, it was out of mouth!

"That's a pretty tattoo," I said.

"Thank you," she replied.

"Dad!" exclaimed Brandon, "That's a major breakthrough!"

"I guess it is," I said. "I actually did like her tattoo, but I’m not sure why.”

I've never understood the allure of tattoos. Back in the sixties and early seventies, tattoos were usually worn by the shorter haired folks we called greasers, sworn enemies of we freaks and pseudo-freaks. The standard tattoo was a skull and crossbones, crude rendering of Jesus, or a heart emblazoned through the middle with the name of a likely long replaced girlfriend.

A few hippies had tattoos, but they were as small in number as there were un-smoked roaches in my apartment at the end of a Friday evening. Our rock heroes did not have them. The cool people we aspired to be like did not have them. (And the hot chicks I never had the guts to approach that I'm still kicking myself about 45 years later certainly did not have them either.) 

But these days it’s hard to find an athlete or movie star who believes tabula rasa is an acceptable approach to one's epidermis. Brandon doesn't have any tattoos but many of his friends do and none of them are greasers, bikers, or intoxicated sailors waking up after a long weekend’s shore leave.

In fact, Brandon had been telling me to stop dissing tattoos even though I’d been spreading negative vibes about them whenever I’d encounter anyone whose body was marked up like the first draft of one of my college term papers.

But this day something had changed and without my even knowing it.

"So what brought that on, Dad?" said Brandon,

"I don’t know," I answered. "It just slipped out of me naturally as something to say. Like thanks for the coffee, have a nice day, or do you have an attractive mom in my demographic?"

"What that means," said Brandon, “is you now accept tattoos as a legitimate form of self-expression, even if you would never choose that mode of expression yourself.”

And he was right.

I was able at last to see the attractiveness in something that my pre-conceived notions wouldn’t allow me to see before. Now I saw the colors and the artistry that I had never before been able to appreciate.

So it seems I've made a Tattoo Breakthrough. But would I actually get one myself?

Have I made a Tattoo “Break-on-Through to the Other Side?”

Nah, I'm not ready for that. And I still don't like tattoos which envelop someone's body like an etch-a-sketch. 

But if you're a Boomer and you want a simple not too sizeable tattoo, I won't say a discouraging word.

In fact, I'll help you pick it out.

I might even like it.


Alicia said...

Perry, this is a hoot! My best childhood friend has a bazillion tattoos. Like you, I've never wanted one. To each his own ~ I guess.

Intangible Hearts said...

Very funny. You'll be inspiring women to have Perry tattoos after reading this post. :)

Perry Block said...

And as long as they're not too big or all over their bodies, I'll ... Oh, who cares, bring 'em on!

Perry Block said...

Yes, to each his own, I agree. Except when the tattoo so envelopes the body you can't find a square inch to play tic tac dough on. Or you have a snake crawling up your arm, like Adam Levine seems to

Russell said...

Both of my adult kids have them--and not just the tiny discreet kind. Hell no, the big bold ones that scream "Don't Hire Me" at potential employers.
Neither Connie nor I advocate turning your body into a walking billboard without at least getting monthly royalty checks from a major corporation. But to each his own, I suppose.

Perry Block said...

Yep, make sure your kids get the royalty checks, even if they're just from the guy that marked them up. Your kids are walking billboards for him. (Um, not that there's anything wrong with that now that I love tattoos ... provided they're small, tasteful, and don't scream "Don't Hire Me!") You're right, that's the lesson: To each his own provided it's my kid.

Unknown said...

I think it's safe to say that your kid will bring home a tat of his own now that you've broken the ice. If compliment a tat then your kids gonna want two. Just saying. Keep us posted.

Perry Block said...

I have one thing to say about that: Do you remove tattoos by any chance, Tracey?

Anonymous said...

I'd like to have the money that's been spent on tattoos.

Perry Block said...

I agree, Patti. Even with my breakthrough, I'd rather have the dough than the tattoo.