A woman at the gym grimaced at me today. “Are those decals?”
“Hmm?” I looked down at my shoes, confused. I started to say “They are New Balance.”
“All over you,” she said. “Are they decals?”
And for the first time in recent memory I was silent. I just stared at her.
“They are tattoos,” I eventually said. I said the word very slowly. Tat-toos.
She stared back at me. “Real tattoos? I guess the kids like them.”
And she walked away.
The kids? Did she mean me, as in “You crazy kids and your tattoos!” Was she going to shake her cane at me next? Or was she talking about my kids? I was walking hand in hand with the girls on my way out of the gym when she offered up her unsolicited opinion.
I see her pretty often at the gym. I suppose it is a good thing I just stared in silence. None of the clever replies that eventually occurred to me were particularly kind.
But I can promise you this. I will be putting my yoga mat right next to hers tomorrow morning. And I will be wearing the shortest damn shorts I own. She thinks I have a lot of tattoos now? Lady ain’t seen nothing yet.
I think the quality of a person’s parenting is in direct proportion to the degree of hypocrisy they embrace. This is more true the more colorful a life you have lived.
I have had a colorful life. I’m a colorful gal. Literally. I have nine tattoos only two of which are smaller than a salad plate.
Today after school Em was plastering temporary tattoos all over herself.
“Emily! Seriously. That is enough. Stop before you look like a crazy person.”
They say imitation is the hugest form of flattery.
If this is true – hypocrites make great parents and imitation is high praise – than my daughter adores me. And I am an incredibly good mother.
So, Em has decided she wants to call Mike “Dad” after we get married. Daddy will stay Daddy and Mike can be Dad. It’s pretty cute. The other night I asked her if that was still her plan. She says “yup.” Mike says “You can try it out if you want, see how it sounds.” She rolls her eyes and says “Well, what would I say?” Mike says “Whatever you want…”
She pauses for dramatic effect…. “Dad, can I get a tattoo?”
I almost fell out of my chair.
He is in so much trouble.
I tell myself too many times
Why don’t you ever learn to keep your big mouth shut
That’s why it hurts so bad to hear the words
That keep on falling from your mouth
I’ve always had a soft spot for that song. Hadn’t planned on it ever becoming so meaningful. Lesson learned. When you love someone it is wise to think before you open your mouth. Particularly if you plan to blame them for the wrongs committed by people other than said loved one. I can’t blame him for telling me I can’t talk to him like that. I can’t. In truth, I think I have never loved him as much, respected him as much. And now I am, as my mother would say, “sitting in my own shit” until he decides that he’ll forgive me for being so hateful. I think he wants to. He’s said as much. I hope that he can.
It’s funny how things happen that you’d never have expected but looking backwards you can see it coming as clearly as, well… something you can see coming very clearly. I got a new tattoo a month ago, to honor the time I have spent growing past my failed marriage and the pain all mixed up in that. I hadn’t really planned on it applying to my present heart… but it does now more than I’d have hoped. Looking backwards I can see the shit storm I was brewing…
Posted in Bad Mood
Tagged Love, Tattoos