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You wanna do what?

August 3, 2010 - Erin O'Neill

So the other day I wrote an article, "Tattoos & Piercings: How young is too young." 

I probed parents on their opinions about everything from pierced ears to how many tattoos is too many. It was interesting to hear the different viewpoints but, in the effort of full disclosure, I think it's only fair to mention that I am in possession of a few tattoos and piercings myself. 

There I said it. Now you know upon which side of the fence I sit. Let's hope I still have a job after this! (Joking of course.)

I got my first tattoo around the age of 19. I can't remember exactly whether it was the summer between my senior year in high school and freshman year in college or the summer after. I do remember I secretly saved up the money, sought out the artist who had her shop set up in a seedy motel in Parkersburg, and convinced a friend to go with me. I had been talking about it for a while and knew exactly where my mother stood on the matter. No way in h.e. double hockey sticks!

Not that that was going to stop me. I very nearly chickened out once I got there, though. However, once it was finished, I was hooked and was plotting my next one.

Two years later I got a second, nine or so years after that, a third, and two more followed more recently. I have drawings and color schemes ready in advance of my sixth. I also had my nose pierced over a year ago.

Why? Well I'm not sure there is enough space to go into the reasons. I've always been a little different and when I was 19 and got my first at a seedy motel, there weren't hipster tattoo parlors on every corner and there sure as heck weren't TV shows depicting how glamorous they are. 

Waaaaay back then, it was still rebellious. And I was a rebel, or so I thought. Now? Well I just like them 'cause I do. Did I think about the consequences? Well probably like a lot of 19-year-olds, I had no idea what the future held. Luckily, I've worked in a couple fields where it hasn't been an issue. Subconsciously, though, I think I made sure they were hidden enough.

I'm not saying that every tattoo is a masterpiece and everyone should have one, however. I do think there is a difference in tattoo artists, the types of tattoos people get and the placement. Real rebels are the ones who have skulls tattooed on their necks or a tattoo for every girl or boyfriend like a grocery list on their forearm. (So I guess I'm not so much of a rebel.)

I also think that once you become a parent, your views can change somewhat. Hypocritical as it may be, I don't go by the philosophy "what's good enough for me is good enough for my child." I don't want my kid to even get her ears pierced until she's at least 14. I think she's perfect the way she is, all cute and sweet and innocent. The idea of ear piercings and, gasp, other things, to me, means she's not my little girl any more. Silly as it may sound.

So as soon as the topic comes up, if these things are still in vogue by then, I will change the subject and prolong the issue for as long as possible. But never, ever will I have any regrets.


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