i wear tattoos for a multitude of reasons. some are random & a little regrettable. some tell a story so personal, there may as well be hundreds of words lined up on my body that read like the novel of a lifetime.
it’s a way to celebrate the things that i love in my life or hide from the ones that scare me the most. i look at some of my art with pure affection & there are some that break my heart straight in half.
i’ve been tattooed in the name of celebration & also in honour of heartache. 10 different people have put their mark on me; one of them, my ex-husband.
tattoos can act as a band-aid that help cover up a pain that isn’t visible. they can be a pretty picture that acts as a mobile piece of art. they can be a reminder of something that once was – something you need to hold close.
or they can very simply be what they are. lines drawn on skin.
a lot of my dearest friends have very few or none at all. i’ve dated men with tattoos from tip to toe and i’ve dated, what i like to call, ‘clean slates’. i’m not particularly attracted to one or the other… i just generally like people who like the skin they’re in.
for better or for worse, they are the ultimate conversation starter. i get lots of questions and requests for the story behind the art. some people go ahead and touch them without asking, and for some reason, it’s never really bothered me all that much. and even though i’m not the most tattooed ever, i still get lots of double-takes and sometimes looks of concern. mostly people just stare.
i’ve been stopped on the street, in the coffee shop, at my kids’ school, on the subway platform. i’ve been yelled at from moving cars, and waved down from across the street. i was called out of the pool at my mom’s retirement community in florida where 90 year old rosie annointed me a ‘rascal’, but then admitted that life is short and we should all just do whatever we want.
my mom used to ask, “what will happen when you’re old?” i guess the answer is simple. i’ll be the tanned, wrinkly, tattooed senior, strutting herself right down the street. if i’m so lucky.
i surmise that no matter how mainstream it continues to be; some people get it & some never will. and that’s okay.
i strip off the layers of my clothing to reveal a whole new coat of armour underneath. i feel protected by the pictures and for reasons unknown to me, getting tattooed helps my anxiety. the colours make me feel pretty and the words make up my story. i own them because i can. i like how they look and what they mean to me.
they are mine. this skin i’m in.