The first thing my husband said when he saw it was, “Get rid of it!” One of my friends, aghast, asked, “What is that?!”
If you want to elicit a strong reaction from someone, get a tattoo.
Tattoos seem to be one of those things that people love or hate, and I’ll admit that I don’t like them. With tattoos, the decisions you make are permanent. You can’t change your mind unless you want to undergo the lengthy and painful process of tattoo removal.
If I’d been inclined to get a tattoo when I was 19-years-old, I would now be accessorizing every outfit I wear with a colorful portrait of Garfield the cat. I’d probably also have lovely black-and-white versions of the comedy and tragedy symbols somewhere on my body.
On second thought, that comedy/tragedy tattoo would be quite appropriate on my thighs -- then and now, but that’s beside the point.
You either are or you aren’t a tattoo person.
My friend Emily has four tattoos in various locations on her body and is planning to get her fifth. My nephew has two on his arm. Even my grandmother, who was born in the late 1800s, had a tattoo of her initials on her upper arm. She let my grandfather give it to her when she was very young, and she spent the rest of her years regretting that decision.
What is so appealing about tattoos that people feel compelled to get them?
Emily wanted a tattoo since she was a teenager, though she waited until she turned 20 to get her first one. “I thought they were cool and probably a bit rebellious in the beginning,” she said. “I like the symbolism they can have.”
The significance of a tattoo seems to be the key for everyone. My grandfather had one on his forearm of a Romanian flag with the year he immigrated to this country. My nephew sports a tattoo of a train on his arm in honor of one of his grandfathers. Emily, a native of West Virginia, has one with the words “almost heaven” and the initials WV.
I think a Hershey kiss would be an appropriate tattoo for me, symbolizing my love of chocolate. It’s fortunate that I’m just not a tattoo person as this would rank right up there with Garfield on the silliness meter. I have wondered, however, about what it’s like to wear your heart on your sleeve, so to speak.
I was curious enough to order a pack of Temptu Collector’s Edition temporary tattoos from Sephora. Though there’s nothing risqué about them, these are definitely not your children’s temporary tattoos. The package comes with eight tattoo sheets including 34 individual tattoos that can last as long as five days. Beyonce inspired the collection, which Deréonby Tina Knowles created. The designs feature Deréon fleur icons, rocker bolts and chains and jewel baubles, all in a monochromatic black color scheme.
I chose to apply a chain design to my wrist with a jeweled bauble hanging down onto the back of my hand. Applying them was easy enough. You just use the application pad supplied in the package to wipe the area where you want the tattoo, press the tattoo to your skin and wipe the pad over the back of the tattoo until it is completely wet. When you peel off the paper your tattoo is ready to rock and roll.
I thought my jewelry-inspired tat looked kind of cool. I could almost feel a whole new, edgier me emerging from my relatively conservative self. I was ready to take a walk on the wild side, hop on a motorcycle and wave my wrist around for the world to see. Instead, I showed it to my husband and a few friends who alternately laughed and scoffed at it.
In the end, I found that a zebra can’t change its stripes. My experiment with body art lasted less than 24 hours.
I’m just not a tattoo person.