An Ode to Tattoos

One evening last week, I sat down to dinner with a few close friends of mine at one of their grandparents’ house. After eating a delicious meal, popping open the ‘thank you for having me’ wine, our conversation turned to our recent goings-on.

One of my friends has recently just got a tattoo on his right arm, a large one at that, of two theatre masks surrounded by flowers on account of his love for drama. The detailing is beautiful, an artwork to be admired. As my friend lifted his sleeve to show our friend’s grandparents, he steadied himself for a disapproval which never came.

Instead, he complimented my friend’s tattoo and said it looked very nice on him. However, when a woman has a tattoo he added, he said it spoilt their beauty when wearing a pretty dress etc. I smiled coyly, keeping my own desire for a tattoo silent and carried on with the rest of what was a wonderful evening. Afterwards, I started to doubt my decision to get a tattoo of my own. Why did I want one after all?

Although, a week later I happened upon my answer. I was out to drinks with a few new friends, when one of them made a joke about going through a mid-life crisis because he found himself wanting to travel, get a piercing and maybe even a tattoo. To which my other friend responded, “been there” and lifted up his sleeve to reveal a tattoo on his wrist, of a shooting star. That is when it occurred to me, however cliche it may sound. Life moves fast and before we know it years have passed us by. Tattoos, I think, are a perhaps unconventional, but albeit kind of elegant way of making a moment in time permanent. Or, as permanent as anything can be.

So here is an ode to tattoos, those hidden, peaking out or standing tall. To the outfit ruiners, parental disappointments and employment preventers. You are an impassioned moment and that deserves to last a lifetime.