I have the deepest of admiration for the folks who have embraced tattooing, who will proudly show you the ones they have and can describe in intricate detail the next ones they want to get.
Plus, as a creative spirit myself, I can genuinely appreciate the works of art I have seen, when I consider the skill, the patience and the attention to detail that tattoos require. Those masterpieces are a demonstration of the artist’s passion as well as for the proud owner’s for whom the tattoo holds special meaning.
I also tip my hat to the courageous souls who have braved the pain of the procedure, as I imagine that some of those images appear in some pretty sensitive areas.
Despite my admiration, I am no closer to getting one myself.
Tattoo fans, it’s not you, it’s me!
Even though I have no fear of the needles themselves, I have been able to narrow down my tardiness to the tattoo party to the following top 10 reasons:
10. The price for quality work
When friends share with me how much they paid for a really great tattoo, in some ways I am surprised, but in other ways, I can appreciate the price of art and quality workmanship.
9. What if there is a spelling mistake?
As someone who takes great pride in his proofreading work, I cannot describe the personal hell it would be to be sporting a tattoo with an incorrectly spelled word.
8. Commitment to a single symbol
I don’t know if it is just a question of indecision or just a lack of commitment to a single image, but I just can’t pick one symbol that holds that much special meaning to me.
If I was to get one, the only thing that comes to mind is something along the lines of a quill and an inkwell as a commemoration of my love to writing. But beyond that would also come the question of whether I want the design to have a sleek modern look, a detailed traditional look, or a look that represents a specific time period in creative writing. I wouldn’t take the decision lightly.
7. The location
As much as I might agonize on the image itself, with my entire body as a blank slate, the indecision of where to put it could be as lengthy a decision process as picking the tattoo in the first place.
6. The test of time
With people living longer than ever, I wouldn’t want to pick an image for which I might look back with regret in 50 years and think, “What was I thinking?”
Plus with the rapid pace at which everything is evolving and changing, I would prefer not to pick an image for which people to have no clue what it represents.
5. Career limiting?
Even if the image itself or its placement might border on the side of very conservative, I still wouldn’t want it to close any career doors, even if the finish line is well within sight.
4. The hairy question
The joys of being over 50: with the number of hairs on top of my head diminishing by the month, and hair magically sprouting in other random locations, do I need to take into consideration an image that will maintain its look if a patch of hair suddenly sprouts over the image?
3. The saggy question
Another joy of being over 50: even though my skin still bounces back when I pinch some skin on the top of my hand, the clock is ticking and that may not always be the case.
If I’ve been away from working out for too long, I start noticing those floppy flaps behind my arms. Let’s face it, it’s kinda downhill from here.
Do I need to pick an image and a location that will sustain the test of time from a biological perspective? What will the image look like in 50 years when my skin’s elasticity starts to fade?
2. The spotty question
Joy #3 of being over 50: Do I need to pick an image that coordinates with my emerging liver spots?
1. Potential guilt
The fact that “tattoo remorse”, “tattoo reversal” and “tattoo removal” are actually subjects that come up on Google, scares me even more into thinking that I am just not ready to commit yet.
Perhaps in my subconscious I have always associated tattoos with people that were far more badass than me. I always thought of myself as the clean cut “boy next door type” for whom tattoos might be a little out of character.
But then again, leather jackets, boots and sporting a shaved head are now integral parts of my sense of style, so anything is possible.
For the moment, as a writer, committing ink to paper rather than to my skin will probably continue to be my main form of self-expression, but hey, you never know… Never say never!
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Have a great day,