What in the world makes normally sane people want to let someone inject ink into their bodies as decoration? Why would they bare arms, ankles, breasts, and butts to an absolute stranger? Why allow him to adorn same with some symbol of their current state of mind, knowing full well that they may not worship dragons or still love 'Natalie' when they're 75 years old? Why would someone with a college education endure pain, risk infection, and subject themselves to possible ridicule?
Why get a tattoo?
That's really ONLY the ONLY answer. There is no rational rationale for this mutilation. To take perfectly good flesh and permanently defile it is at best, ludicrous, at worst, insane.
I've done it twice.
A group of us were talking about tattoos one day, and I said simply, "Why not?" I'm a daredevil, even worse, a person who too often takes the dares and runs with them. This time it was straight to a tattoo parlor. Actually it was a trailer next to a furniture warehouse, hardly looked like a parlor at all.
The more I thought about it, the more I wanted one. And truly, I'm not sure why. I've considered 'mid life crisis', temporary insanity, demonic possession, and immaturity. While I'm quite sure I suffer endlessly from all of the above, I seriously doubt those reasons are the reasons for my embellishments.
There was simply no reason not to do it, after all, I wanted one, so why not?
Once I'd decided to go for it, I harnessed my best friend into accompanying me on this quest. We chose the most hygienic place in the city, nice sterilized areas, implements sealed in plastic, lots of hand washing, and most importantly...young male artists at work.
The most difficult decision is what to choose from the thousands of pieces of artwork, and the second head scratcher is where to put it. It's important to choose something that makes a statement, and something that is going to continue to speak for many years. After all, if you're decorating your body with something that will be yours for life, why not take the time to be sure it's truly 'you'. As far as the site of the graffiti, is the tattoo going to detract from an obvious flaw by drawing the line of sight away from a scar, a wrinkle, or a big wad of flab?? Or is it going to cause the viewer to zero in on your cellulite?
As long as you're contemplating, contemplate the fact that certain body parts are going to definitely ouch more. Nothing worse than a half ass tattoo on half your ass because you couldn't take the pain any longer.
Okay, so I got past all this and still the guy says, "Are you sure?" And, I say, "Why not?"
After a surprisingly painless, surprisingly quick huddle with the artist, while my best friend cowered on the floor, I was done. Yes, she came with me for support, and instead had to support herself against the far wall where she couldn't see. Since his canvas was my butt, neither could I.
The artist said I'd be back. He said it's addicting. We laughed in disbelief and left.
It took two years, but return I did.
So now my original BUTTerfly has a delicate daisy to alight upon when he needs to sit down. He's flitting effortlessly towards my favorite flower, as free and easy as the owner of his fleshly home.
And I can sit down on them both.
Two years made my best friend braver, and she made a Kodak moment of it, snapping away with each prick of the needle. I've yet to talk her into getting one of her own to photo. Her question is, "Why?". My reply..."Why not?"
If it feels good to you, and it's not hurting anyone else, if it's not illegal or immoral, go for it. I'm not talking about just tattoos, it's only one example, but everything in life. Life is too short to spend precious time talking yourself out of the simple pleasures simply because you can't find a valid sensible reason why. We can miss out on so much in the time it takes to justify. We need to extract ourselves from the mindset that we are not worth it and that self-placating actions must serve a useful purpose. We get all knotted up over unimportant things when we should simply 'why not'. Sometimes you've just got to let go...just because.
I saw a T-shirt the other day. It stated, "Oh my God, I forgot to have a life!" Whatever 'having a life' means to you, as long as it's not detrimental to another, why not have it? Live a little, take chances, color outside the lines.
Many years from now I'll be cavorting through the nursing home with my hospital gown flapping open in the back, wrinkled tattoos shining. I'll be chased by the night nurse who wants to strap me to my bed because once again I've been prankishly unruly. She'll sigh patiently and say, "Susan, why do you do this?" I'll look around at the grins on the other old folk's faces, some with so little to smile about. I'll wink at her, "I moon em...they laugh, what's the harm?"