I was standing in line this afternoon (at Costco) and I happened to notice the lady in front of me. (There's not much else to do with your time at that point.) She was nicely dressed and you could tell by what she was purchasing that she liked to cook and was fairly sophisticated in her pallet. She had some high end red wines, prosciutto, dried cranberries, and vanilla beans. But what stood out most was the tattoo of a red rose on her arm. It just didn't fit the picture. Not even in a - well, I was young and foolish at one time - kind of way. No way.
I started thinking. There are some kinds of foolishness that can be undone - when you wake-up and smell the coffee. Green hair can be handled. Anything pierced, thanks be to God, can grow back. Announcing to your friends that your real name is "Prescott" not "Snake" and you would appreciate them calling you that, can quickly reverse that error in judgement. Heck, even a bad marriage can be forgiven - that's what divorce is for. But a tattoo is there forever.
Now, my Daddy loved me more than life itself, but I think a tattoo would have been the end of me. There would have been no toleration what-so-ever. And, I was reminded of that on several occasions. (Not that it ever, even in my most demented condition, crossed my mind.) But, as I stood in line, I considered what the reaction would have been had I come home with something like, say a red rose tattooed on my ankle.
Mama's would have been predictable,"You know better than that. White trash get tattoos, not our kind of people. And, look where it is, it'll show in your wedding pictures. You've done it now young lady, even your Daddy won't tolerate this one out of you."
My Mama's sister would probably have said, "Well, I imagine your Mama had a fit. You know proper young ladies would never do such a thing." Then she would look at my ankle in disgust and add, "If you were going to get one, you could have at least had the decency to get it some place no one would see it - like your lower back - where mine is."
I don't think my dear Aunt Kat would even know where to start, it may have well put her in an early grave.
But, then there was my Aunty, who I can hear now with her smoky voice between drags of her Salem, "I've never seen a tattoo on a woman. Most of the tattoos I've seen said something like 'I love Mom' or 'Mable'". Puff. "Well, I'll be. A rose, huh?" She would smile as she stubbed out her cigarette. "For God's sake don't tell Mamie. It's not worth the heartburn. I learned a long time ago. Did I ever tell about the time she caught me in the barn with the Mcalister twins, Angus and Roy? She still thinks I was showing them Papa's prize cow. Man, I remember those boys." She would laugh, light another Salem, take a drag, then laugh again, "I bet your Mama had a fit." Another drag. "And don't worry about your Dad, trust me, he'll get over it."