Saturday, August 22, 2020

Tattoos are for bad ass Harley Davidson biker dudes and long-ago dehydrated Navy sailors. Not for good girls like me. I was raised in the fun 80s, where getting a spiral perm and wearing leg warmers were the riskiest decisions I ever thought about making. 

People who prance around in skimpy outfits, joyfully comfortable in their own skin should get tattoos. That's so not me. You'll find my pale chunkiness, flabby arms and muffin top skillfully hidden behind a flowy tunic or a black grandma bathing suit with an attached skirt.

It seems only absolute true believers in a God or a rose or some Asian symbol should make a lifelong commitment to a tattoo like that before getting injected with who knows what kind of dangerous ink. My faith in anything never ran that deep. During a haircut once on a Friday the 13th, I learned me hairdresser was going out that night to a "Tattoos for $13.00" event. She hadn't even thought yet about what she was going to get. I hate to be so judgey, but that's insane. 

Then there's the pain! And the needles! I can barely get through a lab draw. Childbirth was brutal, too. I begged for an epidural, but Dr. OB-GYN had Friday night dinner reservations and said it would slow things down too much. I kept pushing and at 6:36pm, Shana was born. She was super cute, but the whole only child thing definitely occurred to me that night and I stuck with it.

Fast forward eighteen years and I was completely caught off-guard when Shana said, "Mom, let's get mother-daughter tattoos!” I first thought, "Ohhhh, I can't believe how sweet she is!" I'd do anything for that kid. She's the best. Smart, considerate, so much fun. We're buddies, like Lorelei and Rory Gilmore, but I came to my senses and said no way.

I was able to put her off for a couple of years, until she finally wore me down. We went back and forth over what tattoo to get and where to get them. We remembered an infinity necklace I had given her, and I realized I had always been drawn to that symbol, representing long life, fairness, healing, balance. 

We arrived at a tattoo parlor with Shawn the dad in tow. Shana got hers on the side of her foot, while mine went on my upper back, off to the left - since I've always been a little off to the left and thought that would give me some extra strength. I'm mostly left brained. I sit to the left politically. Plus, I'm left handed! None of that mattered, though, as the needles loudly started up. My motherly instincts wanted to protect Shana. I don;t know how much fat is on my shoulder, but I know it's more than what's on Shana's foot, so her pain must have been worse. It was all I could do to manage to grin and bear it and send Shawn over to be with her. We did survive and walked out of there feeling pretty biker bad ass. 

Every now and then I feel frisky enough to put on an off-the-shoulder top, but otherwise my tattoo is hidden. Even if I can't see it, tough, I can feel it, knowing that, just behind me, there's a mother-daughter infinity sign, reminding me that I can go-with-the-flow sometimes and Shana and I are connected together, for good. 

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