Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Crisis of Mid-Life Proportions - Bad to the Bone

And now back to the Mid-Life Crisis already in progress...

I've always been a pretty good kid, done what I was told, when I was told to do it. Curfews, yes ma'am. Cut classes, no sir. But I have to say that, for the most part, it was pretty easy to be good. Of course nothing comes that easily, there had to be a few sticking points, right?

When I was growing up I wasn't allowed to have my ears pierced. According to my Dad, only bad girls had their ears pierced (you know the kind that broke curfew and went around with guys on motorcycles - and probably hung out with Danny Zuko and Kenickie). So I waited, and waited. By my senior year I'd figured that I'd have to get it done when I moved out - clearly that was going to be the deal. But then, for my High School graduation, I was given a pair of amethyst earrings - a lovely gift from my Father of all people. Off to college I went, a bad girl with pierced ears.

But by then, everyone had multiple piercings. I wasn't bad enough, I needed more! I'd finally turned I'd turned 18 and boy did I make up for lost time - the final count six. Each piercing drove my Dad nuts, and by the time I got the navel piercing he was shocked, but he was getting so used to me showing up with new jewelry that he just said "well, at least it's not another hole in your head".

So imagine my Dad's reaction if I'd ever gotten a tattoo! That would have been a doozy! He would have assumed I was doomed to a life of Motorcycle gangs and teasing my hair. (Though, in his defense he did fairly well when my sister dropped trow at a family dinner and showed off her new tattoo. And in her defense she turned out pretty all right, tattoo and all.)

Poor reaction or not, I've always wanted a tattoo. Always. And not just because it would piss off my Dad, and not because my sister got one - I just dig them. You'd think that I'd have gotten one before now but the fact of the matter is that I've never really figured out what I wanted to have on my body for the rest of my life.

I didn't want to be that old lady with a Winnie the Pooh on her ass, and I really don't want anything that's your "traditional" tattoo (you know, anchor across the chest, heart with "Mom" in the middle). And I really didn't want to be the gal that got a tattoo in just the wrong spot and by the time she was 50 you couldn't read it anymore because it was so stretched out. So I've waited, figuring that if I ever happened to find the right thing, at the right time and figure the right place - then I would get a tattoo.

A month or so after my Dad died it occurred to me that the two things that define me the most and are most dear to me are my family and my California roots (did I ever tell you that I'm a fourth generation Californian? Yeah, me and Cali go way back.).

So keeping those two things in mind (and of course gravity and likely fat deposits), I finally go my tattoo!

It's a golden poppy, California's state flower - along with the word "Eureka!", the California state motto (which means "I have found it", and was reportedly said when they first found gold - which coincidentally was when my family moved to California).

I. Love. It.

As a friend of mine said "it's your soul", and she's right. Some people wear their hearts on their sleeves, I now have my soul on my ankle.

It's been almost a month now and every morning I look at it and smile - thinking of California, of where and who I come from. Although every now and then I catch a glimpse of it and giggle, thinking "hey, I'm a bad girl with a tattoo!".

Way back when I first started writing this post, I hadn't gotten the tattoo. Everything was still sort of coming together. Plus I really was worried that some would consider it to be a mid-life crisis sort of thing, (Scott thinks that's what it is, in fact he asked a number of times if it was permanent). But really, with the exception of getting this tattoo in mid-life, there is nothing mid-life crisis about it. Just me finally figuring something out about myself, but maybe that's what a good mid-life crisis can do for you.

I'm sure my Dad is looking down on me from somewhere, shaking his head. But hopefully a little bit happy that I've finally figured out what my family history means to me (even if it means being such a bad girl).

Current Music: She Moves in Her Own Way - The Kooks

Oh, and for those of you playing at home, cojones. I'm guessing that I must have been thinking about how scared I was of the pain, which, as it turns out, really wasn't that bad!


Hotch Potchery said...

Good for you! Like you, I have always wanted a tattoo, but haven't figured out what "my soul" is. I am glad you did.

AND? even if it were mid-life crisis tattoo? who cares? You like it, that is all that matters.

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