Monday, March 22, 2010
Tattoo or not Ta Too, that is the Question
As mothers go, I think I lean toward the permissive type. I don't have a lot of rules, don't enforce chores the way I probably should and I rarely have to say no to my daughter since she rarely asks for anything inappropriate or outrageous. She is a great kid. She is obedient to a fault sometimes. In fact she is far more rule abiding than I even expect her to be or need her to be for that matter. She does not hang with a fast crowd. She does not go to parties or gatherings where there might possibly be drinking or drugs as she does not feel comfortable around that sort of thing (yet). She is only 15. She is self-composed, happy in her own company, and mature for her age in many ways. Perhaps because she is an only child and has spent most of her life surrounded by adults, she actually does not enjoy being around a lot of noise and chaos - aka - small noisy children. If we are shopping or anywhere out in public and a toddler starts screaming, or a baby starts wailing, she finds it very annoying to the point she wants to leave the area. One of her great loves is music. Crying babies are apparently not music to her ears. I have to admit, I am not a big fan myself, so when she was a baby, I made sure I tended to her every need before she ever had to cry, 9 times out of 10. With no siblings vying for my attention, it was easy. She was fed before she got too hungry, changed before she got too wet, and hugged before the boo boo had a chance to smart. It worked for both of us. Silence reigned supreme. But I digress; back to her love of music. She is self-educated when it comes to various music genres. She may ruin us financially one day with the amount she spends on I Tunes, but we don't discourage her interest. She is not much interested in fashion or other expensive hobbies, so we allow a generous allowance for books and music, (books being high on her list as well). Most of her friends know little about the kind of music she listens to, and as time has passed, it has become her stamp of individuality. She thinks I lived through the greatest era for music and laments the pop and rap that have defined her childhood. Complete crap as far as she is concerned. To commemorate her love of music and anything to do with Japanese culture (another interest - think... Manga), she asked me if she could get a small tattoo for her 16th birthday. She wanted the small Japanese symbol for music (pictured above) or possibly the symbol for fate/destiny in a discreet location just behind her shoulder. She impressed me with her choice for starters. I have never been a fan of tattoos, but that is a generational thing and I know her generation think nothing of inking their bodies with expressions of their individuality. She said she did not want a "tramp stamp" (that was a relief!) (for those of you unaware, that is the tattoo just above one's ass crack). She had brought this topic up a couple of years ago. At that time I was adamant that there was no way any kid of mine was going to desecrate her pristine skin with permanent marks administered by some seedy middle-aged ex-biker in an unsanitary parlour with questionable needles. That was then. I have mellowed since. In fact, I have mellowed so much, that I decided if she really wanted to, she could have one even prior to her birthday later this year. Being the ever-obedient kid that she is, she scolded me, saying, "MOM, you have to be 16!" Hold on a second. Who is the parent here? The reason I gave her the go ahead now was because she was heading west to spend a week with my brother and his family. My nephew's wife is the only person I know who is what I would consider a tattoo expert. She has several artistic inkings herself and I figured she would be the one to talk to and the one who would know the best place to have one done. I was right. She knew of a very reputable "studio" that specialized in "tattoo art" and they even had a lovely website with samples of their intricate work. All I had to do was sign a parental consent form and she was good to go. I signed the form this morning and as far as I know, she will get her tattoo tomorrow. I hope it is not too painful and that she does not regret it one day. That is really my only fear. But she won't be alone. Now it is almost odd in this decade to NOT have one. There was even a funny line in an episode of 30 Rock when Alec Baldwin said he had an idea for the next big money-making venture of the next decade - "Tattoo Removal Clinics" for all those regretters out there in the years to come. You may call me permissive, but she calls me cool. At 52, I'll take cool - it sure beats "my mom is a strict mean old bitch." Any day.