I was pretty trendy in my twenties. Platform shoes. Ecotourism. Sleek sushi restaurants. A quarterlife crisis, starter marriage, fancy beer and bootcut jeans.
Somehow, in all that inadvertent love of the Next Big Thing, I never got a tattoo. My shoulder is not adorned with the mystic Chinese symbol for strength (which is far more likely to be the mystic symbol for Egg Foo Young, lifted off a delivery menu). No roses march across my ankle, my lower back is sadly free of a sunshine or butterfly tramp stamp, and a jailhouse strip search won't reveal a fairy or daisy.
Mostly, I'm relieved. Now that mortality is a slightly more concrete concept, it is far too easy to picture myself as that saggy, tarty, inky old lady on the beach. Also, back when I was a member of the tattoo demographic, I thought red pleather pants were pretty rockin'. I had loud taste, by which I mean you could generally hear my outfit from across the room. So I'm sure I would have picked something tacky and horrid. A battleship on my breast, perhaps, which would drop anchor in a few years.
Sometimes, though, it makes me a little sad. See, I believe that one should not pick up the ink habit after age 30. It's undignified, like developing a sudden prurient interest in the Jonas Brothers or taking up binge drinking. Tattoos, jailbait and booze are all habits best carried over from our twenties, not undertaken as new journeys after blowing out those 30 candles.
So I've missed the tattoo train, and one more option in life has been taken off the table. Life sometimes feels like the constant narrowing of options. However, the saving grace of maturity is that we realize not everything is right for everyone, and that narrow worlds are fine if those are the proportions we've asked for. I don't really care what sort of body art other people have, and I'm sure most people have a very good reason for getting inked, but I'm grateful I have none of my own.
And, best of all, I've been spared the sight of my slowly reconfiguring* early-30s posterior, graced with the face of Ozzy Osbourne. So, all in all, I'll consider my inkless body a win.
In the comments, tell me about your ink. Especially if it's a good story. Or, be silly enough to take me seriously here, and call me a judgmental unfunny twit. Or, tell me why you don't have any, or...try to erase the mental image of my naked hindquarters adorned with the grimacing face of Ozzy Osbourne. Can't do it, can you?
*Yes, girls, after age thirty, stuff, uh, moves around. Not necessarily smaller, bigger, higher, or lower, just...reconfigured. Like your body has reformatted your fatty hard drives without your consent. So be ready to laugh, get over it, and go buy some new pants.