Tattoo talk. What do you think?

Tattoos.  My Uncle Mike was in the Marine Corps. He has a dragon tattoo on his arm.  For many Marines, getting a tattoo was a rite of passage. They commonly got their forearms inscribed to remember fallen comrades, combat tours, or loved ones, and often ask for exotic designs that incorporate the Marine motto, Semper Fi, or “Always Faithful.” I understand this. What better way to permanently remember something than with a tattoo? The Marines, however, now ban “body art.” Their reason? It can make it harder to find a civilian job.  Ban or no ban, Marine Corps says tattoo to me. Sweet sixteen, turning 21, getting married, having a baby, getting a divorce, or retiring do not say tattoo to me.

I don’t have a tattoo. My ears are pierced – one piercing in each ear. I do wonder if I’m missing out. However, I can’t think of one thing I would want to have inked on me forever or until I pay for its very pricey removal. When I was eighteen, I took the est training. While this training was significant in my life, I would not be happy walking around today with the slogan “Got it’ or “Be, Do, Have” tattooed on my body. I have been very involved in Cole’s Waldorf Education, but would not want to have a picture of a gnome tattooed above my breast, or a flower crown around my ankle. I thought Cole would play soccer forever. He didn’t. Thank God I did not have “soccer mom” tattooed on my shoulder! Oh yeah, and what if I had tattooed Joe’s name on my lower backside, as he once suggested? A fallen comrade is one thing, but a fallen spouse? Not good.

The other day we were talking about tattoos. It’s a popular subject these days. One mom wondered how old her daughter should be before she got her first tattoo. Her first tattoo?! I was puzzled. Cole will be old enough for a tattoo, should he chose to have one, when he no longer needs my permission. I will, however, indulge him in appearance changes that are not permanent, with the exception of piercings. No piercings. Well … maybe an ear, if he is so inclined. I really hate not knowing what to do with the single earrings I always seem to collect.

I have family members and friends with tattoos. They love them and I wonder why – in a polite sort of way. I mean, for the cost of a tattoo, you could buy a cool piece of removable jewelry, a trendy new handbag, or Lady Gaga shoes. You could do something wild and crazy with your hair or try a Brazilian bikini wax.

What if every member of a family had to have the same tattoo? That’s a scary thought. It is fun to ask another person to suggest the perfect tattoo for you. Cole suggested a little bottle of coke for me. I love coke, and I’m loyal to the last drop. I don’t, however, see myself with a little bottle of coke tattoo. My friends, daughter invited her to get a mother/daughter tattoo. This is kind of sweet. “Mom? What kind of tattoos would we get?” “No. I am not tattooing “Champion Trinket” across my heart. Sorry.”

I will never have a tattoo. I don’t drink, so I feel safe in saying never. Really. Never.  However, I am curious about what the tattoo allure is. Enlighten me, tattooies! Why do you have a tattoo? How did you choose the tattoo design you chose? Do you love your tattoo? Lets engage in a little tattoo talk!

Glad you were in my Odd neighborhood. Feel free to hang around with us any time. Odd Loves Company and odd loves you and you and you!! I would love to hear from you in the comment section of this blog, or on Facebook or Twitter!


34 thoughts on “Tattoo talk. What do you think?

  1. I had a terrible allergic reaction to my tattoo. The doctors said it was more than likely caused by the red dye used in the tattoo. I was not really sick but pretty uncomfortable. The rash caused me to be really itchy. Medication brought the allergy under control but it still comes back every so often. i guess this is not all that uncommon. There is really no way of predicting if this will happen or not. It was not the tattoo’s parlor fault. Luckily my tattoo has stayed intact and I have not had any scaring.

    • I had no idea that you could get an allergic reaction from a tattoo. I had heard of hepatitis but I think the tattoo salons are pretty careful and are regulated pretty heavily but an allergy…who knew?
      Thanks for being the person who did know and shared!

  2. My 15 year old son wants one but the answer is no. I want him to wait and really think about it. After all he will have to live with it along time…it deserves careful consideration, and in my opinion a certain level of maturity. Kids grow up to fast, a the option for a tattoo isn’t going anywhere.

    • My thoughts exactly Brenda. My son has not expressed an interest. He does love to draw intricate designs on himself, which I can’t help but compliment and hope fulfills his desire for body art. I think your idea of “waiting” and “maturing” is an important one.

      Thanks for dropping by Odd!

  3. No tattoo for me. I hate needles, and pain. Someone at worked mentioned there are now temp tattoo’s that can last up to three months, that seems the way to go…if your going, but like you I’m not.
    BTW, Kb you never fail to make me giggle….. 😀


    • Glad to amuse you and have you stop by Odd, Janice! The pain factor…not fun. I would suspect some places hurt more than other’s but still why go there…

      😀 back at you!

  4. Choice. It’s such a personal journey for most who choose to wear something “forever”. (eliminate the drunk ones who do it on a dare) Mine is a pair of wings – it represents “letting go”. I got it when I was 35 yrs. old. I have no regrets. My two sons know I have it (they are 27 & 24 yrs.) yet neither of them have gone that route. I’m so grateful for that. They knew it was personal. Another one? No. I feel it would make my “one and only” statement just another “tat”.
    p.s. – love the fact that only 2 people have seen my tatoo.

    • Karen,
      What a lovely story. Obviously your tattoo was a thoughtful meaningful choice. Choice and Forever. Two very powerful words. A secret tattoo. Your secret, to share as you “choose.” Very cool and a little mysterious.

      Thanks for sharing and thanks for stopping by Odd!!

  5. Love my tattoo. I got it when I turned 41. I did not want to think of it as my 40 year old tattoo. Just a small daisy by my ankle. It was very personal, I went alone and did not tell a soul. Fifteen years later, I still look at it and smile, but I would never have another. My tattoo was just for me. its served it purpose. It still does.

    • Gerri,
      A daisy. Daisy’s are happy, aren’t they. A tattoo at 41…for you. Its funny, while I could not understand tattoo’s all when we begun this discussion, I’m beginning to understand the mature tattoo more. The thoughtful tattoo, the tattoo that come from experience and living.

      As always, thanks for dropping by odd!

  6. I have 2. When I was young (20-ish), I desperately wanted a tattoo. But I always felt one day, I’d regret having done it. Then suddenly one day, I regretted not having done it. I have a heart on my shoulder, with musical notes inside it, and a scrolled music staff behind it – it signifies that I have music in my heart.

    I also have a image of Kokopeli on my ankle. I’ve always loved the little humpbacked fellow and how he brought music and good times wherever he went.

    So, they both really have to do with my love of music. 20 years and 10 years later, i don’t regret them at all.

  7. The Ancient Celts were the first to initiate the custom of the tatto I am told. My brother inlaw is a plastic surgeon and I hear horror stories about the infections the kids are getting from them. I learned a great deal about tatoos when I had a pedicure from a young man who was very nice but obsessed with them. I learned that he began with one and then he wanted another. I learned he tatooed his mother birthdate accross his collar bone. I learned he no longer had any empty flesh that wasn’t tattooed ! This was a nice kid with an earring in his ear, nose and lip. He didn’t just wake up with this stuff one day it became and obsession! To me it is a health issue and pouring hot toxic ink into your flesh is not wise and unhealthy! My son has a good friend who as a young teen seemed lost, parents got divorced and it was a brutal divide. This kid is struggling emotionally and all he can think of is the next tatoo and how it will be bigger and better than the last one. I think it could be dangerous emotionally for some teenagers. I think and know first hand that it is ! So needless to say my children have heard that message loud and clear. I am fortunate they never wanted one. I beleive it was the horror stories from Uncle Frank that worked for this family. ( I am laughing at my choice of words “needless” as in in needles)! WTH hot burning needles inserting dye into the body? Painful and Unhealthy ! Not the most intelligent choice. I like the colored hair in the picture above it is a far superior choice !

    • For some it does seem to be an obsession, especially the young. Another and another and another. Bigger and better. I am beginning to understand one tattoo by the mature adult, but want to tell the kids to go back to coloring books and Big Chief tablets; their bodies are not coloring books.

      Cole’s hair was for Halloween, it was fun and something I can agree to!

      Thanks for dropping by Odd, Nancy!

  8. I recently got a tattoo. I treated myself for my 38th birthday. I spent many years thinking about it. What would I get? Where would I get it? Am I too young? What if I have a great job and it’s not professional? What will I do when I am judged by others? Will it effect a job or promotion? If ever I wear a wedding dress will it show? If I attend a PTA meeting and I am the crazy tattooed mother? lol. All those thoughts were in my head and I think it’s because of them that I waited until now. I did not know what I wanted but I did knew why I wanted it. To me it represents some painful decisions in my life. It also represents death and the loss of someone close to me. But the nice thing is that it represents that I am ready to let go. That I am okay in dealing with the past. That I can go on. I got it on my thigh, it’s a very colorful swallow. Sailors believed that if they drowned a swallow would carry their souls to heaven. Of course there are tons of meanings to the swallow and other designs. That doesn’t matter the real meaning is inside of me. People that look at it don’t need to know that. It makes me smile and I feel happy. I never will forget the past. But now I can look down and smile rather than feeling sad and wondering how I could off changed things. I am very happy with my decision. It is not for everyone and that too makes it special.

  9. “Its not very everyone and that makes it special.” So true. I did not know that about swallows! Plenty of Waldorf Mom’s have tattoo’s by the way!
    Thanks for sharing your tattoo story. It sounds like you considered many different possibilities, and made a thoughtful meaningful decision!

    Glad you were in our Odd Neighborhood and stopped by.


  10. Hi Katybeth:

    This post struck a chord with me…

    Like you, I have no tattoos, and no desire to get one. I was 22 when I got my ears pierced!

    My oldest daughter got her first tattoo when she was 22…it was to honour her Gramma (my mother) after she passed away, so I couldn’t say much about it. Unfortunately, the man who did the work was not very good, and she hates it now (just a small one on her wrist).

    My middle daughter just had her sixteenth birthday. She wanted a small tattoo for her birthday – hers was the breast cancer ribbon incorporated into a butterfly…again, I can’t really say anything…this is for my aunt, who has been fighting breast cancer for 13 years. My fiancé gave her $16 in a card for her birthday, with a note that said, “Double your money if you don’t get the tattoo.” Well, she’s thinking about it now…


    • Your daughters tat’s are very thoughtful…but even so, I think I would add another $16.00 to the pot and encourage your sixteen year old to wait. However, many of my friends believe its just not a hill to die on!

  11. A friend and I got our tattoos in 1984 near the Marine Corps Base in 29 Palms, California. We were young and silly and progressive. Mine is a small rose. What I can remember about the experience is this: because I got it in a discreet location, the tattoo artist spent a lot of time oogling. It also hurt like hell. I do not regret getting one, as a matter of fact, I still like it, although it is fading slightly.

    Also remembering those with ID numbers tattooed on their left forearms during WWII….

    • Of-course you were progressive!! The part about the oogling tattorer is the best part. It must have taken a lot of nerve to walk into the parlor and get your tattoo.

      World WarII brings a whole other meaning to Tattoos….

      Thanks Cynthia for sharing OX

  12. My husband and I are probably the only two people who live in NM who don’t have tattoos. If someone wants to get a small tattoo, excluding my daughter and Grandson, fine. However, when people start using their bodies like a piece of canvas,—-well all I can say is, we used to have to pay a quarter to see something like that!

    • Hi Mother,
      I’ve asked around you may be the only two people in New Mexico without tattoos. No tattoo for me, but I’m beginning to understand why some people like them. I thought the quarters were for pagan babies…..

      DD 😀

  13. I told my children they would not be allowed to have a tattoo as long as they lived in my home. As soon as they left my house of course they got tattoos. My son has several big crosses on his arms. I like the subject he chose for his tattoos, but do not care for so many tattoos. After awhile, I became more use to them. My daughter has a tongue ring (dont like it at all) and a tattoo on her wrist (one of 2) that says Proud Army Wife. Now she is divorced and either has to marry another Army soldier or have Ex added to her wrist. I personally would not want something as permanent as a tattoo. I did have thought about permanent makeup. Could you imagine perfect makeup even at wakeup?

  14. That is so funny about your daughter, although she might not think so!!

    Thanks for dropping by Odd, Kathy! 😀

    PS…I had permanent eyeliner done years ago…it still looks fine…but hurt like hell! I was suppose to go in for a touch up and I was like–No Way.

    • Are you thinking of having more than eyeliner done? Do you think you have a nice idea for a tat? Maybe your Odd Jokester or something else. It would be alright if you and others got tats. Just looks like we are split on likes and dont likes on this subject. Good question KB.

      • No. Its lasted fine, and it hurt,a lot. I will never have a tattoo. I do think the henna idea of trying one first is smart tho.
        Actually, I found the comments very enlightening. I understand tattoos much better now.

  15. I don’t understand the need for tatoos at all. I tried some henna tatoos about 10-12 years ago and after about a week wanted them to just go away. In much tr=he same way that I tweak and change my surroundings, I just got sick of them. Q.E.D. tatoos are not for me. So, if asked, I’d recommend a henna tatoo as a first step – it’ll tell you, in a non permanent way, whether you’re the type to live with permanent artwwork.

    • What a really great idea! You try clothes on and they are removable, why not take the same option with a tattoo. I also, image with your sense of composition and style, it would be hard for a tattoo artist to measure up!

      Thanks for dropping by Odd!

  16. Personally, I think no tattoos for me. I can’t even commit to a bumper sticker for my car. However, my husband, two of my four step children, and my son all went and had a small cross tattooed on the inside of their wrist. My daughter and her step sister are going to get the same tattoo for her 18th birthday. Like so many of you said, “What can I do? She’ll be 18.” Also, I feel pretty confident that she will remain some type of Christian. If she doesn’t there are a lot of cute designs she can add.
    I also have only my ears pierced. I did rebel and go to get the double piercing done but it hurt so bad after they did one ear I wouldn’t let them do the other. For the past 25 years I have walked around with people telling me I lost an earring. However the kids have all been pierced. Noses, lips, belly buttons. I have to take my comforts where I can find them. My rule is no tongue piercings, no ear gauging, and no tattoos above the collar bone. I do what I can. So far, so good.

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