August 3, 2014

The Tattoo Quandry

No, no, no, I am not considering getting a tattoo. I don't like them. But, I mean that in the most general and abstract way. I say I don't like tattoos in the same way that I don't like lima beans or watching golf. 

My reasons are completely unoriginal. I don't find them attractive. They are permanent. They aren't particularly alternative or retro anymore, since almost everyone under 45 has one. 

I am not discriminating either. I can't tell the "good" ones. The content doesn't seem to matter much. It just looks like a mass of blue ink with some red thrown in. I correct myself: I can recognize scary tattoos. Those are overlarge, facial or neck tattoos, ones that creep down from shirt sleeves. Yeah, yeah, I have seen the mastectomy tattoos. Very nice, but that is hair-splitting, really.

But now, I have to reconsider. Not reconsidering getting a tattoo. That will never happen. Yes, it is against my religion. But since I am not conscientious about all the other 612 Jewish commandments, it is disingenuous to hide behind that rule. I mean I am reconsidering my reaction to friends with tattoos.

I am not superficial enough (excuse the bad pun) to judge someone positively based on their ink, or negatively. However, I recently offended a new acquaintance by saying off-handedly that I don't care for tattoos. By his reaction, I came to realize that tattoos are so personal, so much an extension of the person, that it is almost tantamount to saying, "I find your religion stupid." There is a story there, a commemoration of a notable experience. To be cavalier about that is mean-spirited and small-minded.

I apologize sincerely. 

I am still not getting a tattoo.

1 comment:

Darren said...

Now I will wait until I catch you sleeping, and give you a tattoo.