27 Mar


My daughter has two tattoos (to my knowledge) and I will speak to how I found out about the first of those in a bit.  First I would like to express my opinion on tattoos in general. While I find the art work to be amazing in and of itself, that artwork is only amazing for so long.  It doesn’t take long for the ink to begin to fade or blend into the surrounding skin which kinda makes the tattoo fold back upon itself.  Age seems to be the real enemy of tattoos, a once proud Eagle becomes a faded chicken, a navy ship becomes a large blob, a once ornate tramp stamp becomes a Rorschach inkblot test drawing.  And this cannot be undone.   Yea you can tattoo over an existing tattoo, yes you can have it “redefined,” or recolored, and you can even have them removed.  Yes there is a process for that, but other than knowing that a process exists, I have no further useful information on the subject of tattoo removal.

I have never seen a tattoo on a beautiful woman make her more beautiful.  Nor have I seen a tattoo on an unattractive woman that made her look lovely.  Likewise about tattoos on men, I have never seen one that I felt enhanced his looks or distracted from his looks, though I will be honest and say that I pay less attention to tattoos on men than I pay attention to tattoos on women.   I will also say this about tattoos, more is not necessarily better.   A single tattoo can have a more dramatic impact than a bunch of disjointed ones.  And just because a group of tattoos tells “a story,” doesn’t make it better. Also I will never get the concept of the tattoo’d person, where their entire body is a continuous tattoo.

I understand that getting a tattoo is a matter of personal choice, I understand it is the individual’s right to adorn their body in a way that is suitable to them.  I also understand that once a person becomes an adult, it is not my right to try and impose my will and values on them, especially if they are paying for it themselves.  These are the exact reasons I didn’t go snakeshit crazy when my daughter told me she had a tattoo. Did I approve, not necessarily, did we have words – nope.  Was I surprised, your damn right I was.  Now on to my daughters’ tattoos.

My daughter got her 1st tattoo sometime during the first half of her freshman year at Mary Washington College.  How do I know it was during the 1st half, well my daughter didn’t tell me about it until the 2nd half of the year, so I must assume it happened during those first couple of months in college. Prior to this first tattoo, my daughter and I never had the “tattoo” conversation.  It never dawned on me that it would be necessary.  Neither my wife nor I have any tattoos, and to my knowledge my wife never has even considered getting one.  I can say that for about 17 seconds I at least considered the possibility.

The day I found about Allison’s tattoo was dark and ugly.  It was kinda rainy, it was chilly, and the traffic down to Fredericksburg was crappy.  And while Steph and I hadn’t seen the kid in a month or so, I want to think it was some sort of holiday or special occasion that brought us there that Sunday.  We were sitting at the bar in Outbacks waiting for a table, per usual we were treating Allison to lunch.  Allison and her mom were in a deep hidden conversation, it has conspiratory in nature. Steph was sitting next to me, and Allison on the other side of her. They were huddled together, and while I wasn’t playing close attention, it wouldn’t have mattered had I been, I wouldn’t have heard a word of their conversation.

At some point Steph and Allison changed seats.  Now Allison was sitting next to me, and she had that patented poop eating grin on her face and in quite the bubbly manner said “Dad, I have to tell you something.”  Immediately did the turtle thing, because I knew that most likely I wasn’t going to be happy with the outcome of the conversation.  I had a multitude of thoughts went thru my mind in the moment she made her statement and most were not good. But I looked to her and said okay?!

Allison said “Dad, I got a tattoo!”

To which I immediately responded, “YOU WHAT!?

Allison looked me in the eye still grinning and said, “Dad I got a tattoo.”

Shaking my head I said, “Why?”

Allison said, “Cause I wanted to”

To which I responded, “What? Where?”

Allison said “I got the Chinese sign for wisdom, at the base of my spine. Just above my butt crack”  (btw this is the area where my daughter had fractured a vertebra playing Lacrosse not that long ago)

I looked at her and said, “Isn’t a tattoo of the sign of wisdom, an oxymoron?”  I continued, “Allison I have been to some of the world’s nastiest places, Tijuana Mexico, Blood Alley in Palma de Mallorca, the dark alleys of Naples, I was drunk as a skunk and I never got a tattoo!”

Allison looked me dead in the eye and said, “Dad I was sober.”

That statement stopped me in my tracks, I had no witty comeback, it really was the end of the conversation.

I did have a single follow-up question, I asked her how long she has had this tattoo, to which she replied, a couple of months, mom knew, to which I asked why am I just finding out, to which Allison replied we didn’t think you would react well.

LMAO well they were kinda right, I didn’t like it, but she paid for it, and she was over 18.”

I leaned over gave her a kiss, and said okay.  And as a family we had a wonderful meal.

So ends the story of how I found out about Allison’s 1st tattoo.

Thank you for taking the time to join me for this story.  As always your thoughts and comments are welcome.   Please take care, Bill


Posted by on March 27, 2013 in Humor, Observations, Ramblings


Tags: , , , , , ,

17 responses to “Tattoos…….

  1. jmgoyder

    March 28, 2013 at 1:30 am

    I just love the way you tell stories, Bill. Does this post have Allison’s approval?

    • FlaHam

      March 28, 2013 at 5:42 am

      Julie, I am not totally sure it does, but when I was paying for lunch yesterday, I told her that I posted a story about how she told me of her tattoo. She just rolled her eyes and gave me that look you females are good at giving. So I figure I got left-handed approval. Take care, Bill

  2. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

    March 28, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Great writing here. Love the “the turtle thing.” If your daughter wouldn’t kill you this would make a great entry into a short story contest. Not kidding. Now, I see where your talented daughter gets her talent from. Wishing you a great day, my friend. Paulette

    • FlaHam

      March 28, 2013 at 12:19 pm

      Paulette, Even jesting I take no credit at all for my daughter’s ability to write. This is a skill she has been working on since her 1st story “Tina Tuna.” A story she wrote when she was 6 or 7. For me, I am just having a ton of fun writing in my blog, sharing stories about my life and experiences and those of my family. Of course I do go back to the roots of the blog (writing about COPD) and that’s my day to day dealings with COPD. What tickles me to death is someone like you that appreciates my stories and tells me. You realize your just encouraging me to write more LOL LOL. Please take care, and again thanks for your wonderful comments. — Bill

      • The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

        March 28, 2013 at 1:18 pm

        Beautifully put, about your daughter’s writing. I suppose one could have a conversation about talent vs writing and the pondering if talent might be a natural thing passed down genetically. I honestly don’t know but your reply made me wonder. Is there a seed that then gets cultivated? Why does a daughter pick up a pen, or type out, something like “Tina Tuna” at a young age? Who knows. It’s lovely though that you but write and have this in common. (BTW: love that title. Reminds me of “Finding Nemo”).

        So glad it tickles you that you like our comments on your writing. I really like reading your stories and posts, a lot.

        Have a great day. 🙂

        • FlaHam

          March 28, 2013 at 4:23 pm

          Paulette, if I remember correctly we only had one decent writer in the family (besides Allison), and he could only write Dad’s signature. It was good skill to have at report card time. As a reader I don’t believe I ever actually appreciated the effort writing took. I appreciated the complete product, but not the effort itself. But since starting my blog my respect for authors/writers has only increased a 100 fold. My longest blog today has been 2300 words, I can’t imagine keeping it together writing 60, 80, 100K words. Folks like you and Allison, and a million more, are to be applauded. Take care — Bill

  3. christineevelynvance

    March 28, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Enjoyed your story! And I totally hear you: someday the ink and the novelty will fade. Someday teens who wanted to “show the world what I dare do” are going to grow up, going be 45ish, and a tattoo is going to look plain dumb.
    (I know, because a lot of the things I did as a teen to get attention look plain dumb by now. I’m just thankful I’m not still scribbled with any of them. 🙂 )

    • FlaHam

      March 28, 2013 at 4:05 pm

      Christine, LMAO, being honest had I gotten a tattoo when I was a kid, it probably would have been one of the smarter dumb things I did. I think I was afraid of the needle LOL. You make a wonderful point, sometimes as a youth we do things to “make a point” or as you said “show the world” and years later thru our very clear 20/20 vision we go, oh GOD what was I thinking. Thank you for your kind words, they are greatly appreciated. Take care, Bill

  4. kaysfairytale

    March 29, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Haha I loved this Bill. My dad and I have had “the tattoo talk” and ultimately I kind of agreed with him and with you. They get all saggy and gross when you get old. Also I’ve heard that removal is super painful.

    • FlaHam

      March 29, 2013 at 2:51 pm

      Smiling, I am glad you had the conversation, I feel you made the right decision. I would also like to thank you for commenting on my post. I appreciate it greatly. Please take care, Bill

  5. Paula

    March 30, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    My nephew just had to have one. wanted the Tasmanian devil well after the tail was put on he passed out. 10 years later we still laugh at his tail on his arm.

    • FlaHam

      March 30, 2013 at 7:08 pm

      Paula, Well I say he was lucky only to end up with a little tail. I can’t imagine the pain you have to go thru to get a tattoo, and there is no doubt I would have passed out too. Well maybe no doubt, lets’ just say I was lucky enough to not have that challenge. Please take care, and have a great day. — Bill

  6. Wanda

    March 30, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Considering what it might have been, I think your reaction to Allison’s tattoo was fairly mild. I thorougly enjoyed the set up to the story–it would have been much less impactful if you hadn’t given us the backstory. And, of course, your storytelling ability is stellar–setting the scene, describing facial expressions, and detailing the conversation. Nicely done!

    • FlaHam

      March 30, 2013 at 7:15 pm

      Wanda, Big Ass Smile, I love your comments, thank you so very much. Some stories are so much easier to remember and retell. I am so leary of writing a lot about Allison or Cari, because they are so close to me. But that story needed to be shared, and I really remember it so clearly. Heck I had as much fun on Thrusday telling her about it when we were having lunch, watching her eyes roll back in her head was worth paying for lunch. LOL LOL, please take care, Bill xox

  7. Linda

    April 15, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Bill, you certainly have a real flare for writing. This could be your 2nd career..:) So many similarities between our girls and what they did as late teens…mine got a tattoo but then also tried to get a belly button ring (that quickly became very uncomfortable..don’t think they were made for women who are curvy and she took it out after a couple weeks) Then to getting her tongue pierced.. that lasted a few years…God Bless

    • FlaHam

      April 15, 2013 at 3:57 pm

      Linda, Thank you for you wonderful words. I really appreciate the fact you are enjoying these truths about me, and that they stir memories of your own. Speaking of tattoos, I don’t have any against them, except they are forever, and rarely do they look remotely the same when they are 5 years old. Something simple, understand, in a place that is not generally viewed by the public are fine. But big ole tramp stamps are something else all together. I will go so far as to say that for the most part piercing don’t fire me up as much as tattoos. Again if done with some level of sense they are fine. I actually think the belly button one is kinda sexy, but I really hate the loops in the lips and eyebrows. And those folks that get something pierced so they can put a plate in it, well those are the smartest folks you would encounter. Again, thank you so much for taking the time to read some of my posts. I really appreciate it. — Bill


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