Of warm weather and tattoos

In my part of the world, the weather is starting to warm up. Soon it will be tank top season and once again, people will remember I have tattoos. The vast majority of my work is on my arms. I have one on my thigh that all but covers my right quad. Shorts and sleeveless tops make for a whole host of questions. For those of you who don’t know someone heavily tattooed, especially a woman, here’s a quick and dirty guide of how to handle summer weather.

*Don’t touch me without my permission

I’m happy to show you my tattoos if you ask. Don’t just grab my arm and start examining it. Firstly, it’s assault (learned that in my CNA class). Secondly, it’s just rude. You wouldn’t touch another random person without tattoos without their consent. I’m sure my pregnant friends can relate to this. Also, if I hold out my arm for you to look at my tattoos, don’t wrench my arm behind my back to look at the detail on the back of my arm. This isn’t a martial arts class.

*Don’t ask me if they hurt

Of course they did. There were needles involved.

*Don’t ask if they “mean” anything

Most heavily tattooed people are collectors. Most of my larger pieces were done by a well known artist in the Southeast. None of mine “mean” anything. In some cases, apprentice artists will tattoo themselves to get more practice. I’ve seen a lot of strange tattoos on thighs and calves from practice sessions. Also, don’t get offended if someone says they don’t mean anything or flat out doesn’t want to answer. Things like an evil magician pulling an octopus out of a hat or the traditional sparrow on the chest tattoos aren’t exactly deep statements of one’s inner feeling.

*Don’t ask me what you should get tattooed

I’m not going to tell you what to get etched on your body for the rest of your life. I’m happy to give recommendations for artists I’ve worked with. I’m happy to offer placement advice after a design has been chosen. Beyond that, you’re on your own.

The fact is my tattoos have become part of my skin, just like a mole or a birth mark. I don’t notice them at all. I’ve even forgotten about some of them. The ones I don’t see on a daily basis or only in a mirror have all but faded. This post is merely to educate on the greatest hits of ignorant questions we tattooed folk get asked. Education is important, no? 

So let us all enjoy the sleeveless top weather in happiness and peace. And perhaps even frolic in fields singing, tattooed or otherwise.



Of sick dreams and summer in January

I took a much needed sick day today. I’ve been dragging myself around for 2 days and finally told the stubborn side to lay off. Considering I slept for 12 hours, I think it was a wise choice. The hardest part is getting myself to rest instead of running around doing chores. I’m a terrible sick person. And, yes, I know I’m crazy. You can imagine what 2.5 days in an itty bitty hospital room did to me. I’ve read in a few places that a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar has a ton of benefits, including helping colds. I never thought my ability to do shots would come in handy post drinking years. Blech.

The down side of being sick is sick dreams. I don’t know if anyone else gets these, but they suck. Last night I dreamed that I knew someone was going to kidnap me. My boyfriend in the dream, who didn’t look anything at all like Boy but sounded exactly like him, was in a band and had to play a show. He said he would skip the show and stay with me if I wanted him to. I turned him down. I was then kidnapped, but managed to turn the tables and tie up the kidnapper. He laughed the entire time like he knew I would never succeed at keeping him restrained. I would try to hit him and nothing would happen. That’s a common theme in my nightmares. A second dream involved Boy getting in touch with a girl he knew from camp just to make me jealous. Considering he went to an all boys’ camp, there was a slight flaw in my brain’s logic. Also, obviously, he would never do something like that in real life. My sick dreams love to drag up old fears and anxieties then let them loose. I woke up knowing they were dreams, but it’s stressful nonetheless. I was asked to write a post for the crisis center I use about emotional abuse and manipulation. I think this is a good first draft.

It’s unseasonably cold here right now, so I thought I’d bring a little summer into my space. I’ve got coconut and orange scented candles burning. I opened the blinds to let some sun in and I can pretend it’s 75 degrees outside. We had some peach flavored tea laying around. In spite of being warm, it still counts as summer-y. Of course, by the weekend, it’s supposed to be back up in the 50s and raining. I’m totally fine with rain on my birthday. Three days and counting…

Also, thanks for all the love for Carrie’s guest post yesterday. It made me really happy to see the comments and readership on the post. More guest posts will be forthcoming and hopefully with some frequency.