Friday, September 25, 2009

Rat a Tat Tat

Well well well.

Walking and looking around my new city, I'm realizing I conspicuously lack something. It's...a baby bump!!
Ew. Fuckno, homos, today we're talking about tattoos, because I appear to be the last person in my 20's who doesn't have one. I am a traitor to my generation.
I don't know ONE SINGLE PERSON in my peer group (that includes everyone I've ever met ages 21-55 and your mom) who is clean-skinned. With no ink. It's kind of weird.


Even grandpas usually have a faded blue anchor somewhere.
Almost everybody has let their best friend from 8th grade do the tiny-design-hot-needle-ink-it'll-be-really-cool-I-promise thing in their basement.

Everybody but me.
Not only that, but I don't know anything about tattoos.
Once, when I worked at the cheese counter at Whole Foods (yes), I saw this big guy with two tattooed tears trickling down his cheeks. I had never seen that before (people, I was twenty-three fucking years old, keep in mind here), and I excitedly burst out with, "Omigod, I LOVE your little tears! That's SO COOL. You look like a sad little clown, way to add drama to your life! Aggh! That's too cute!"
The man looked at me oddly.

My co-worker, Gabe, kicked me sharply behind the counter. Undaunted, I continued.
"That's rad. Tattooed tears?? Rad. How did you ever think of that??"

The big man stared at me, then said quietly, "I killed two guys. A tear for each one."
Oh.

He picked out his cheese (a questionable Spanish brie) and left.People, this is not my fault. I was raised Mormon, I don't know about this stuff, I'm basically running a race to catch up all the time.
Did I ever tell you lezzies that? I was born a Mormon. S'truth. I stayed Mormon till I was about 20, at which point I went on a year-long study abroad to Italy and ended up, um, really studying broads.
Ha! I kill me.
Seriously, though, I slept with the entire country. And some of France.
After I came back, there was no question about being Mormon anymore. I bought a bikini. I started drinking coffee. I started relishing the way the word "Goddamn" felt in my mouth. It was beautiful.
But I still never got a tattoo. It just felt wrong. Every time I set foot in a tattoo-shop, I heard the phrase "Putting graffiti on your temple walls" in echo-chamber voice.
Old habits are hard to break. I couldn't conquer the nagging fear that, on top of being sinful, I might have really bad taste, and live to regret a tattoo.

But now, here, in 2009...
I want one.
I wanna be different like everybody else.
I want strangers to touch me and ask what my tattoos mean while I roll my eyes at my friends.
I want anybody I do sexytimes with to think I'm really deep and have hidden pain and a side of me that I don't show to anybody else.
It will all be a lie, perpetuated by my fanciful ink. I'm not deep - I'm really a shallow asshole who likes to watch America's Next Top Model in her underpants.
I've never met a dyke who didn't have tattoos. Why is that? Is it because dykes pair up at the drop of a hat? Are we, as a people, so pro-commitment that we can take a design we think is kinda neat and commit to having that design on our bodies for all time and eternity?? What if you hate it later? As a personal favor to me, I think all girls who are even sliiiiiightly toeing the line on the Kinsey scale should immediately go out and get the same tattoo. Then I would know who was gay with no problems.

That might, however, eliminate the need for a certain someone's blog, however.

18 comments:

  1. I'm inkless. Why? Because if I'm going to fuck up the smooth, gorgeous cocoa skin I lucked out on getting then I am going to do it because I fell down a flight of stairs while drunk. Or jumped off a porch while naked (and drunk) and misjudged the hedges. Or because I said yes to a whip (Once!). Or... well, fuck... I should probably just go get the Chinese sign for "Dumbass" tattooed on my forehead.

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  2. I am gay and don't have a tattoo! This post made me laugh hysterically. Especially all the Mormon commentary. I was uber-christian as well and used to pray for my future husband and ended up with a woman... loves it! Anyways... great post!

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  3. Omg, SO TRUE. I'm also really gay and I also don't have a tattoo. And I also feel really left out. And I also think I might want to get one...........

    !!!!

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  4. I don't have a single tattoo or a single piercing.
    NOT A SINGLE ONE.
    Not even my ears pierced.
    Not even a little shitty art-class-needle-and-india-ink tattoo on my foot of a leaf.

    Chicks dig it.
    Being un-inked it the new inked, man.

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  5. "I wanna be different like everybody else."

    That line killed me, fucking brilliant!

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  6. haha love your post.. its so true..i think that it has something to be with religion.. i grew up extra - christian and im bi..and im 24.. i think or well at least im still figurine out.. anyway... and i dont have any tatoo.. i want one but i always hear the voice of my mom saying thats devil´s art.. ur body is sacred and stuff. so maybe one day those voices will go away hahaha and i could finally get a tatoo.. and so could u!

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  7. I effing love you! I couldn't choose which post to comment on to tell you this but I felt such kinship toward you being ex-mormon too! I love the way cursing feels in my mouth as well......mmmmm!

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  8. Non tatted up ex-mormon dyke here as well. Funny, I hear the voices too; in that unmistakeable mormon general authority cadence "your body is a temple"... How very like mental illness an uber-religious upbringing can be. I have been threatening to get a tattoo for almost 2 decades now. Still tat free. It's okay, nothing worse than old wrinkly tattoos on an old wrinkly body. Now, fresh ink on an old body? That is only half bad.

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  9. "Every time I set foot in a tattoo-shop, I heard the phrase "Putting graffiti on your temple walls" in echo-chamber voice."

    "i want one but i always hear the voice of my mom saying thats devil´s art.. ur body is sacred and stuff. so maybe one day those voices will go away"

    The voices never go away ... 20 years of therapy ...
    finally Happy ... but the voices never go away!

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  10. "I wanna be different like everybody else." lol Loved this line. :D

    I'm bisexual & I have 2 (or 3, if you count my set of wings as individuals) tattoos and I'm seriously considering getting more. When I was a Christian, people used this "graffiti on the temple walls" stuff on me all the time. I said it was more stained glass windows than graffiti. That's what you should tell your small internal echo-chamber voice--it's not graffiti, it's decoration. :D

    I think girl-inclined girls like tattoos for the same reason guys & some straight girls do: they look cool & are a way to eff you to "the man". You can supposedly shock people.
    And, sometimes, there are deeply-personal reasons for getting ink. It's public yet strangely private at the same time. It's kinda like music or literature--the song/piece of literature can have multiple meanings that are separate from the author's original message. You can have gotten the tattoo to commemorate a certain event in your life, but a passerby who sees it may interpret it differently. I have multiple interpretations that I alternate between for the wings I have on my ankles--1) I'm fond of Hermes in Greek mythology 2) they're angel wings (this one is a lie I used for the people who went to the church I attended when I was a Christian) 3) is kinda tied to #1; Hermes was psychopomp, which means he escorted the dead to their final resting place--it represents all the people I've lost in my life. I don't tell many people the complete story of the one on my thigh, just that it represents my living through and carrying on after a private pain that kinda broke me for a while.

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  11. hah. i was also raised a mormon. its taken me a long time to be able to say out loud that im not anymore, &it still feels weird when i do-- &when i talk about mormons i still slip into saying "we."

    moment i turned 18, though, i got my tattoo. (&my lip pierced, haha.) also on my year abroad! &i fucking love it. i've never, ever regretted it. it's true love.

    +sometimes, i like to bask in the fact that i'll never have to wear that appalling mormon underwear. ahhh.

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  12. star tatts - absolutely! I know at least 8 fellow lezbos that have some sort of star tatt :)

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  13. The nautical star has historically been the tattoo of THE LESBIAN. Seriously, though. Back in the day, lesbians would tattoo the nautical star on their inner left wrist, and if they encountered a sapphic-leaning lady, they'd pull up their sleeve a bit nonchalantly and see if she was interested. If she didn't notice, you'd know she wasn't game. If she gave you the nod, you could go fuck in the bathroom. It's amazing.

    Getting star tattoos must be in our genes, because I don't know very many lesbians who know this little gem of a historical fact, but most lesbians I know (including myself) have star tattoos. Just to be extra gay, I have a nautical star on each hip, IN RAINBOW COLORS. Laugh. I deserve it.

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  14. i want a tattoo very badly but to expensive here in L.A and cant really trust for it to be safe... scary.

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  15. I'm 100% dyke, no tats and no piercings. I've thought about it from time to time (ink, not piercings), and even tried to get one as a spur of the moment kind of thing on a day trip to Berlin (but they don't do walk-ins there and the mood has never struck me again).
    My lack of body art isn't due to religion or anything in particular...if anything it's probably money. If I have expendable cash enough for a decent tat, I always think: I'd much rather take a trip somewhere really cool. Maybe I'm a bit commitment-shy as well...

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  16. Ah the pain! And risk of infections? I don't have any tattoos or piercings. Have you seen what tattoos look like on old wrinkly women? Not a pretty sight.

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  17. aaaaaaaand this explains so much. you're so cool. ex-mo dyke. LOVE you. where was that email address + request to send pics of myself in white cotton undies...? <3

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