While walking through the halls of work today, I noticed that a lot of students have tattoos. In the old days, people got tattooed when they got too drunk, and had mean friends that brought them to shady tattoo parlors to have ‘Mother’ or some naked lady tattooed to their back or forearms. Sailors and truck drivers had tattoos, as did convicts. What I am trying to say is that in the old days, getting a tattoo was not a status symbol. It wasn’t something your girlfriend made an appointment to have drawn on her lower back, or her ankle.
These days, everyone (except me) has at least one.Some people choose to have their arms done, like a sleeve of a coat, and patterns range from the occult to “I Love You Mommy”
Okay, enough about the positive side of permanently marking your body with pictures and now, even words. Today I noticed one teen with the words of a Tupac song tattooed on her arm. This may seem cool now, but what happens when this teen grows up and maybe marries a redneck from down in the southern United States? How will he react when he reads her arm? Words to think about for sure. Another warning for you ladies, when you get things tattooed on your bodies, you won’t always have the youthful skin you have now. Just think of how gaining or losing weight (This will happen, I promise) will change the look of that once cool looking piece of artwork you so proudly paid to have permanently inked into your skin. Time can be a bitch, just wait!
There are other things that stay with you from high school as well….the dreadful nicknames that smart-ass kids put on you and think they are funny. While most kids today do not know what a Gilligan is, I sure do. That darn TV program, Gilligan’s Island followed that antics of a clumsy, nerdy sailor named Gilligan. My nickname nightmare started one day when the class clown Bernie George (with a name like that he should have never started choosing dreadful nicknames for nerdy kids like me) noticed that I wore a hat just like Gilligan. Add that to the fact that I was as skinny as a bean pole, and for some reason, chose to wear a red t-shirt on that particular day. To my horror, not only did Bernie, and half the class get a kick out of his newest creation, but so did a certain female, whom of which I had a huge crush on. That hurt. Somehow, hearing her call me Gilligan hurt even more than it did when Bernie hollered it out across the crowded lunch room, even more than the time a teacher even called me Gilligan. For my entire high school life, I secretly wished that old Bernie would get fat, and somehow become the butt of everyone’s cruel jokes. I saw Bernie the other day. Funny how time evens thing out. Back in high school he was the cool guy. A full head of curly brown hair, and the confidence to ask out a teacher if he desired. Surprisingly, this summer, we celebrated our 30th high school reunion. Guess who came to the party? Bernie was standing outside the bar where the event was held smoking a cigarette. His curly crown replaced by a shining bald head, and his large but not fat body had succumb to too many greasy pizzas and deep fried dinners. He resembled a large pear, shiny at the top and fat around the middle. Pear-Boy shall be his name from here on, and it will stay with him forever. I passed by him as I hurried up the street. “Hello Gilligan” He said. “Hello Pear-Boy” I said, and I laughed like a maniac.