Saturday, June 16, 2012

Is that you, Tattoo?

Over two years ago I wrote an article I called "Why I Hate Tattoos." I guess I did a most excellent job with the labels because that article is on the top page of all the search engines for "I hate tattoos" "hate tattoos" and even "I hate tatoos" with tattoo misspelled. Those are the most common search terms that direct people to my blog. It's my third most viewed page and has more comments than any other article. (It's only in the 4000 views range, which is nothing compared to blogs people actually read. It's merely an ongoing oddity to me.)

I got another comment on there today. They are typically opinions that are far more hateful than anything I wrote or people who defend tattoos and hate on those of us who make negative points about them. I get confused when these things pop up in my email because it reads like an attack on me personally.
I don't mind if people dislike tattoos; that's their opinion and to them I say "don't get one." Pretty simple solution and there's not really any need to go on about how much you hate them.
It's MY BLOG! A web site has to have a purpose to get a ranking high enough to make the top page of the search engines and the purpose of this web site is for me to go on about whatever I want.

I feel confused by a lot of comments because I don't remember writing "I hate PEOPLE with tattoos." I kind of remember that the first point I made was that some nice people have bad tattoos. So I have to go reread what I wrote. Still confused.

Then I realize the new comment must be aimed at some of the other comments, which I've forgotten because they were from months and years ago. Some of them are pretty bad. Like this one guy that says no woman with a tattoo will ever get married. He's close-minded at best if not downright delusional.

There seems to be an age divide on this issue. Several of the pro-tattoo comments seem to be from young people who don't even have them yet. The anti-tattoo opinions seem to be from people with a longer view of life that comes with age.

I have been old a long time, in my mind. My dad claims I was a complete adult at 11: seeking responsibility, thinking rationally, immune to peer pressure, intense dislike for juvenile behavior of any kind. And since my mind has always been old I never really thought about the physical ravages of aging.

But lately I've figured out that I'm not just grown up, I'm culturally old. I just realized there is a pretty solid standard I had never considered until it came up in an episode of Veep. Apparently some women my age have already started menopause. According to Wikipedia, the range starts 2 years BEFORE my current age. When I found that out I felt retroactively humiliated. Do all my friends in their 20s look at me like the Old Maid on that card deck I had as a child? Here I thought we were contemporaries, but I may have been completely wrong. Now I get why at my annual exam the nurse asked me, "Are you still having your period?" I said, "No, I take the pill continuously to keep from having PMS and migraines." But now I realize she was asking if I had started menopause. It always knocks me back to be reminded that people don't see things the same way I do. The most recent tattoo commenter again:
Honestly, when I'm old, who's going to want to see my body?
Christ. Really? She says in the comment that she's planning to settle down with a partner after she gets some tattoos. Doesn't she expect that partner will see her body after she's old? How is she going to AVOID somebody seeing her body? If they don't want to they might HAVE to. Did she read my article and look at my picture on the right and think to herself, "Ew, good thing she's a hermit so nobody has to see her body."

The reason I'm a hermit is because I am too sensitive, not because I'm hiding a hideous body. Some random blog comment comes in my email and I get a complete complex from taking a couple of sentences out of context. I can't handle the merest hint of criticism. I used to think it was a senseless waste that nobody gets to see my body, but it's an unavoidable side effect of abandoning all ships. Relationships, friendships, I'll have none of them. Now that I know old people are expected to be like those sailors on the haunted ship from Pirates of the Caribbean, rotting corpses with live sea creatures inhabiting their ribcage, I feel even better about my choice.

But I feel bad for this person that thinks life is not just as short as humans' rather long actual life span, but that past an arbitrary, and apparently low, number of years there's nothing worth planning ahead for.

The best comment on the tattoo post is from Mark M. this March. I should remember to read this one again whenever I get another negative comment.
A tattoo is a attack against doubt. Science is a celebration of doubt. Therefore, a tattoo is an anti-science, anti-open-mindedness, anti-thinking statement. A thinking person is always ready to change his or her mind. The person who gets a tattoo is saying, "I'm not going to change my mind." Either that, or the person has so little regard for herself that she doesn't care that she may someday regret writing permanent pictures on her skin.


  1. Interesting. I clicked and read the original, and even with your commentary here, I didn't find it over the top. It's simply opinionated.

    I don't 'get' tattoos, but I don't care either way about them, either. I just don't have one. I have many friends with body art, most notable one is my physical therapist who has one from wrist to shoulder in tribute to his former life. It's truly amazing and actually suits him. At least now, when he's 38. Who knows when he's 68?

    Tattoos for me are one of those things that I just shrug over. Not for me.

    I also don't get becoming a hermit and being as sensitive as you are. I'm sure you've NEVER heard this before, but who cares what someone else thinks? Their problem, not yours.

    But I'm really a whatever works sort of person. So I hope your hermitage works for you.

  2. I liked the original (just read it now) post on tattoos, and found it to mirror some of my own opinions and feelings about them. In particular, the fact that tattoos emphasize one aspect of a person for all time, has always troubled me and convinced me to never bother with them myself. I'm way too changeable and not much of a joiner. To me, a tattoo is one of the ultimate ways to join. It's a permanent joining and you're stuck with it.
    Oh I know there are ways to "remove" them, but the results are not pretty, so you're stuck with either the ink, or the scars. Two less than ideal choices.
    One thing I found that actually made me feel sad though in this post. The lost ships. I think you deserve some good ships. You really do.