Tattoos – Admire or Ignore?

Personally, I think tattoos are great. I even have one myself; a tiny red heart (the location of which is none of your business; suffice to say it’s in a spot that only my closest friends have seen) to celebrate my divorce in 1999. Some tattoos I’ve see are incredibly artistic, and I especially admire women who have lost their breasts to cancer and choose to beautify the area with artful ink.

I have also seen tattoos that made me think, ‘were you drunk when you had that done?’ or ‘do you still love having the Grateful Dead dancing skeleton permanently on your chest?’ or ‘I wonder what your wife, Monica, thinks of the “Amanda” tattoo on your shoulder?’

Here is my question to folks with tattoos in very visible places; neck, face, arms, chest, hands, etc.: “Are you offended if I stare at your tattoos, or do you accept it as admiration?” Having been raised in the 50s where staring at someone for any reason was deemed rude, my tendency is still to allow myself a quick peek and then pretend I didn’t look. But I have to wonder: ‘If you didn’t want people staring at you, why did you get the tattoos in the first place?’ I certainly don’t wish to be rude, but I can’t always tell if indeed these folks want comments on their body art.

I would be interested in what these folks would say about that. Myself, I’d be too chicken to get a tattoo in a place I couldn’t cover up; what if I decide later in life that I don’t want a blue fairy permanently on my hand? I am an over-thinker by nature, which is why I chose to get such a tiny tattoo in a non-public spot.

Someone told me years ago, when I was considering my one and only tattoo, not to do it. She said, “when you’re old and in a nursing home, do you really want the nurses to see your shriveled-up nasty old tattoo?” My answer? “They’ve probably seen worse!”

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