Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Would I Get a Tattoo?

Would I get a tattoo? I had never really thought about this question til my recent holiday in Cancun Mexico. I was staying at a resort that was clearly for a little different crowd than might normally be in our family's comfort zone, but my husband had found an unbelievable last minute price deal there. Since we planned to spend most of our time on full day excursions to other locations in Mexico it certainly fit the bill for an inexpensive, clean place to lay our head. Quite a number of the patrons took the resort's 'swim wear optional' policy to heart. So I saw just a little more of some of the sunbathers then I might have normally. This meant I also was able to view a great many tattoos located on body parts that are often less visually accessible.
Eagles flew across women's bosoms and dolphins swam along their rear waistlines. American flags rippled across men's chests and snakes entwined on their forearms. Words of love adorned young people's biceps and a variety of interesting symbols and signs were stamped on their shoulders and calves. I saw an older gentleman who had the words WHAT DOESN"T KILL YOU MAKES YOU STRONGER proudly displayed on the back of his upper thigh.
Seeing so many people of all shapes and sizes, ages, genders and nationalities with tattoos got me thinking about whether I'd ever consider getting one. I decided to do a little research.
The Mayo Clinic does not recommend tattoos. They outline the possible health related problems that can occur by breaching the skin with permanent ink. They claim some of the risks are blood borne diseases, infections, allergic reactions, scarring and skin disorders. None of the methods they described for removing a tattoo - sanding, cutting or intense heat sounded particularly appealing either.
Cost is certainly another factor. A good tattoo artist will probably charge several hundred dollars for his or her services. One website warns people not to argue with a tattoo designer about price. Since they are injecting needles into your skin you want to stay on their good side.
Deciding what you want for a tattoo is probably the most important decision. Apparently names of lovers or spouses are dicey choices since they can change. After being married for nearly 35 years I don't plan to enter any new romantic relationships so my husband's name might be an option. After all, during a foray into cattle ranching many years ago my husband in a burst of romance branded the buttocks of all his cows with my initials. I might return the favor by putting his monogram on the same area of my own body.
The names of my children would be other options. I heard of a mother whose daughter died and she had the young woman's name tattooed on her ankle as a lasting reminder of her child. Since my sons are still living however I have plenty of opportunity to let them know I love them in other ways. Getting their names tattooed on my body isn't really necessary.
Our resort in Cancun had a booth on the beach where artists could give you a temporary tattoo that would wear off after a few weeks. I think that might be the best option for me. Despite the many inspirational, passionate and visually interesting tattoos I saw in Mexico on every imaginable body part, I don't think I'm quite ready yet to get a tattoo of my own.


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