Decisions at 19

The other day, one of the students in my class was showing off his new tattoo. It was giant and across his chest, and it was insulting to pretty much all of his ancestors.  I was on the brink of appalled.

Guys, that shit is permanent.

I got a tattoo of a sea turtle on my hip when I was 19.  I thought it was the coolest. And oh, I was such a rebel and how ever would I tell my poor, poor parents?!  I should have realized what an awful decision it was when I was assaulted at a family gathering and forced to bear it in front of the whole family. People held me down and pulled my clothes apart.  It was traumatic in a very suburban way. They thought it was cool, especially because I was the first one in the family to get a tattoo.

Almost ten years later, my sister is covered in ill-inspired images and is trying to pressure Mom into getting one for her birthday.  I’m supposing she doesn’t care about my mom’s preferences in this, as Mom still isn’t sure about it.  In fact, I am pretty sure Jill is just doing it so she can score a free one if she goes with Mom to get it.

On the other hand, I have two friends (Rachel and Traci) that have beautiful, meaningful tattoos that change their bodies into mobile works of art.  What I am getting at with this post is that when you decide to change your body permanently, there should be a lot of thought put into it.  When I got mine, it was in a dirty Subway right before my friend, Rachel, was leaving for her tattoo appointment.  From conception to final product and payment, maybe two hours passed.  That is not the way to go about it. I was young and impulsive, after all.

I’ve been looking at my tattoo recently with a tinge of regret.  Granted, it is a good memory that I share with Rachel. And I remember it being crisp and new, and even being proud of it.

But now? Eight years later? All I see is a slightly faded reminder of how impulsive I was.  I’ve gained weight, and though it hasn’t visibly stretched, it doesn’t look that great, either.  Plus, it’s a sea turtle diving toward my crotch and I am almost 30.  Not proud.

So, I think I am going to get laser surgery to have it removed. Granted, this will be when I have an actual, permanent job and can afford it.  Hopefully this will be by the end of the year, or at least in 2015. It will cost from $200 to $400 dollars, so I can’t just throw money at it randomly. But I think it is a good decision, in the long run.

What decisions have you guys made that you aren’t proud of a decade later?

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