Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Prison Tats

I've written about this a few times, but I have two tattoos.

This one:
(not as faded as the sunlight hitting it makes it look)

and this one:

(no matter what angle I shoot from, my wrist always manages to look ginormous)

Most people are surprised that I had the guts to go under the needle twice, but let me tell you - back in the day (as in the winter of 2004), I was totally rebellious, my friends. I even had a nose ring. This did not go down too well with my mom (strangely, my minister father was totally cool with it).

I got my treble clef for my 25th birthday, and my wrist tattoo for my 30th.

I like them. My best friend, Ashleigh, doesn't. And that's totally ok with me because hey, we are two different people (even if most of the time we respond to the name "Mandashleigh"). I know tattoos aren't for everybody.

Which is why I could kick for myself for the way I responded to the horrified question of "Is that a tattoo on your wrist?!" from a forty-ish, blazered dad of one of my church kids on Sunday.

"Um...yes. It is."

Blank stare at me. So I stare blankly back.

"And...'Write.'? What does it mean?"

"It' know, a reminder to be creative. Because...I like to write." So, so lame. I mean, yes, that's the reason I got it, but I feel like writing is a part of my identity and this tattoo is supposed to be indicative of that passion. Just like the treble clef on my toe. Inexplicably, this man is making me so uncomfortable that I'm fighting the urge to shove my wrist in my armpit, a la Mary Catherine Gallagher, just to get him to quit gawking at me. It isn't helping that his 12-year-old daughter is listening intently to our conversation.

"Hm," he says. That's it. "Hm." And in just that little non-word reply, judgment came raining down on me. I felt myself get red and I said "You know. I got it in my younger, wilder years." We both fake laughed and I moved on.

Ok. First thing - younger, wilder years? Try last July.

Secondly - why in the world did this dad make me feel guilty about something I really don't feel guilty about? Why did I feel the need to all but apologize to this guy who has never ever before spoken to me until yesterday?

I have no idea. Well, I have a little idea, but I don't like the conclusion it brings me to. I'm trying so hard to not be "That Amanda."

So I have two tattoos. Yep. Two. And I didn't get either of them when I was drunk, 18, in prison, or trying to impress a guy. And guess what, Judgey Judgersons?

I like them.


Anonymous said...


Ashleigh as in Mandashleigh

Jane said...

Well, it isn't funny but the way your describe it IS funny. And I like your tattoos. I almost got one myself during my time in China because I thought being there was a big deal, but the moments passed and I never did and I'm glad now because that was such a small blip in my life.

I think it would be fun to have a teeny tiny one (what, I don't know) somewhere. Maybe a turtle. But I'd want it to be a secret that only my luva knew about.

I think yours are cool. I'm gonna ask the Ashleigh as in Mandashleigh about this.

jasonbybee said...

I just want to say...I love this post!