I like tattoos. I think that they are cool. I don’t have any myself, but I like to think that I can pick out a good one from a bad one.
(My brother and I have a game we play where we try to come up with the worst tattoo ideas that anyone could possibly imagine. They usually involve mash-ups of the great cliché ink designs. Some all-time favourites involve things like a panther fighting a dragon riding a unicorn that’s doing a pinup on a field of four-leaf clovers surrounded by the words “Eileen Forever 1988-2008 I Love You Babe” written in barbed wire and being held aloft by a pair of sparrows with skulls for heads and snakes coming out of the eye sockets.)
My wife, while still a fan of tattoos, has forced me to wait until my 30th birthday before giving me the thumbs-up to get one. This is a smart move. I have a problem with impulsive behaviour; stores have made thousand of dollar off of me by the liberal application of “Sale!” signs placed near the registers. And with tattoos being so darned permanent, the result of a bad choice would be much worse than having another MEC backpack cluttering up the closet.
But, being only a month or so away from crossing into my third decade, I have been excitedly imagining what picture I will hand to the tattoo artist (who I always picture as being Kat Von D from LA Ink). Will I get the heart with my wife’s name written across it in blue veins on my forearm? The intertwined moray eels running up the side of my neck and nuzzling into each other behind my ear? The photo-realistic picture of my dead dog on my lower back?
The possibilities are endless, really.
In reality, what I want is my baby’s footprints on my arm. I figure that serves the dual purpose of being meaningful and guaranteeing that if I have more children I can get more ink. But now that I have to start thinking about placement and scale and visibility with work clothes on, I‘m starting to get cold feet. There’s no going back on this stuff. Tattoos are forever. Suddenly I’m not so sure.
And then, I saw this:
I think it’s obvious what I’m getting for my 30th birthday now.