Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Artistic Encounter

I'm thinking of getting a tattoo soon. Actually, my daughter and I were planning to take the plunge together this Valentine's Day. We'd get matching tattoos.. small, discreet with a message or image of mother-daughter love, or her name on me & mine on her.. or a prayer in Sanskit. We hadn't decided on the art or exact placement, and as of Valentine's day, I hadn't found the perfect tattoo artist.

Today I met a woman with beautiful tattoos called sleeves, on both her arms. Her right arm is a colorful seascape with mermaids and dolphins and her left arm had a portrait of Marilyn Monroe. This woman, as it turns out, is the wife of the perfect tattoo artist for me! Only.. she informed me that, even with parental consent, a person under 18 cannot get a tattoo in Texas. Some places may do it illegally, but her husband owns two salons and he won't. So my daughter and I will wait 'til she's 18. Two years from now.

I told my daughter what the woman said.. and then reminded her that.. it was ok for her to change her mind about getting a tattoo if she wanted to. I wanted her to take into consideration that she might someday meet a young man who has an aversion to permanent body art on someone who could be his wife. Or she might want to enter a profession where people don't understand 'freedom of expression' and judge her based on that temporary feeling she has permanently displayed on her flesh. And though that may not matter to her now, or when she's 18, it might matter to her later on.

She looked me in the eyes and sorta winked at me. Then she said, "Thanks mom, for looking out for me, and for allowing me to decide."

That felt good.

Art: "Your Tattoo Here" by Jude Cowell