Tattoo You

In other news, here’s a completely and totally hypothetical situation that requires reader advice:

Let’s pretend that someone I know is thinking about getting a tattoo. Said someone is down with the Chinese character tattoos (not my thing, but not my tattoo, so I don’t care) and has spent hours searching online for the perfect Chinese characters to tattoo on herself somewhere. Someone also doesn’t know any actual Chinese people in real life, so plans to visit the local Chinese restaurant and ask the hostess there (who is really very nice) what the characters she’s chosen mean, so that she is sure not to tattoo “asshole” on herself somewhere when she intended to tattoo “lucky” or something similar.

Okay. So. This totally and completely hypothetical person that I’m speaking of has chosen to get this not-asshole tattoo on the inner wrist of her left hand/arm.

Various arguments for/against this location are as follows:

  • Inner wrist location is tacky;
  • Inner wrist location is not tacky and totally fine (evidence in support: John Mayer and Kelly Clarkson have similar tattoos, and we should all take our cue from the behavior of pop stars);
  • Tattoo-getter is planning to become an elementary school teacher, and extremely visible tattoo location could jeopardize career plans in this specific field;
  • Tattoo-getter wears long sleeves most of the time anyway, so it shouldn’t matter;
  • Tattoo-getter’s mother wonders where her children went wrong and threatens to shave off all her hair and install a zipper in the back of her skull if any children get tattooed;
  • Tattoo-getter’s father thinks it’s totally fine and wants his own tattoo, on the back of a shoulder;
  • Inner wrist location is TACKY, dear GOD;
  • Tattoo-getter should consider ankle instead;
  • Ankle is WAY tackier than inner wrist and totally white-trash;
  • Cashier at grocery store has a very tasteful ankle tattoo that should be viewed next time arguer is at Kroger;
  • Ankle is TACKY. TACKY. TACKY.
  • Arguer would never get a tattoo anyway and is therefore disqualified from this argument.

And so on. Your thoughts here are welcome, particularly on the elementary-school teacher thing.

21 Replies to “Tattoo You”

  1. Well, not for the arguer, who shall remain nameless. Tattoo-getter is on the fence about it, though.

  2. Tattoos are pretty much acceptable these days. I don’t know if our public schools have embraced them yet, but I’m betting they’re too busy cutting after-school programs and administering state exams to take notice. Asian is in. There’s no doubt about it. But eventually Asian will not be in. And those throngs of middle-aged chicks with Chinese tattoos are going to be at the laser specialists sitting next to even older chicks with Tazmanian Devil tattoos. Mark my words. If you’re not going to get something original, at least get something that’s so personal you can defend it against your anti-tattoo sister. In this respect, a Chinese character would hardly pass muster. Or mustard, as it were.

  3. ankle is retarded.

    wrist is gutsier than i would do and also, hurts a lot. and why?

    i vote boob, but only because of the resulting blog photos.

    i might get a tattoo soon (the heart, here: , and i plan on getting it on my left arm, peeking out under a short sleeved shirt.

    because i always wear my heart on my sleeve.

    and as for school teaching, well, email me.

  4. also, in all fairness, there is something EXTREMELY HOTT about not knowing someone has a tattoo until you’re, y’know, getting it on.

    hence, i kind of like small of the back or somewhere less conspicuous.

    (lest you think i really meant boob)

  5. by the way: I’m obviously not the tattoo-getter in this totally made-up situation, because I’d be just about the worst elementary school teacher ever. You silly people.

  6. I don’t think tattoos on the wrist are tacky at all. In fact, I’ve been thinking about getting one on my wrist. But it is more fun to have tattoos in places only certain people can see.

    Chinese character tattoos are pretty lame though. This person might as well get barbwire going around her arm or a bar code or something.

  7. I think the ankle location is less noticeable but overdone these days. It sounds like she wants to get a tattoo for the cool factor. (I say this because she’s picking out Chinese symbols based on how they look, then finding out their meaning). I’m assuming the cool factor is also the reason why she’s thinking of the wrist location…it’s pretty ballsy.

    How about she waits for a year on the tattoo, and in the meantime just dyes her hair a funky color? Or she could get a henna version of the tattoo she wants to see how she likes the look and feel of it before committing forever?

    What about getting it on the back of her neck? I saw a girl with that once and it actually looked pretty badass. :)

    Also, I have no tattoos and might be exempt from this whole discussion.

  8. Sorry Lorie, I figured your hypothetical tattooee was one of your sisters. If it had been you, I would have suggested “LORIESTORIES.COM” and forehead, respectively.

  9. I like Jessie’s suggestion on trying the henna tattoo first, though I also have no tattoos and may be disqualified as well.

  10. Perhaps… she has been thinking about getting a tattoo for quite sometime now… and perhaps she didn’t just find a cool symbol and then found out what it meant… perhaps she went in search of a statement that had meaning to her and found the symbol… and also perhaps she chose the wrist location because she liked the way it looked on others, and wanted somewhere that she could see and somewhere unlikely to either shrink or stretch with weight-gain or loss, and perhaps rebellion is not the cause of the want and hence dying her hair a wierd color would not be suitable as she is not 14… just saying.

  11. Dude, the ankle is totally fine as long as it’s not some dumb tweety bird- said cashier’s tatoo is really pretty. Wrist is a bad bad bad bad bad location.

  12. What would be the purpose of a tattoo? What about when tattoos go out of fashion? Or the tattoo chosen becomes passe?

    Temporary tattoos (stick-ons) allow one to add a temporal dimension, and the ability to change at a whim. Permanent tattoos give you one whim (for that body area).

    Does she feel pressure from her friends or crowd to obtain such a marking? Where will they be 15 years from now?

    The arguer could focus instead on letting herself shine through to other people, instead of using a tatto as a prop. An online diary beams a beacon farther and with more substance than does a tattoo.

  13. Katrina teaches and she’s got two tattoos. They’re on her lower back, which, I think if you get a tattoo, that’s a good, safe place for one. I think ankle = trash, and I’m not sure about the wrist. That’s a little… odd, I think. As long as you don’t get one like, on your arm (TRASH) or anything, any place that’s typically out of sight would be fine. Just my two cents.

  14. Um… i feel compelled to say.. the tattoo is not for anyone but me (most of my friends are acutally tried at first to talk me out of it), which is why i want it where i can see it… and I don’t need to “shine through to other people” and no one reads my diary anyway… but it’s not about other people, so that doesn’t matter.

    edited by site admin 11:25 am

  15. Just so’s you know, I got my tattoo 7 years ago and am now DYING to get it removed. And it’s on my back where I can’t even see it. Just so’s you know.

  16. Catching up on my blog reading…

    I also want to point out that Chinese symbols look A LOT like Japanes Kanji — it might be worth it to also look into the Japanese meaning(s) of the symbols (more often than not, a Japanese Kanji has multiple meanings, depending on context of course).

    I knew a girl in HS who tattooed what she thought to be “fun” — It actually meant “easy.”

    I have a tattoo on my lower back and don’t regret the location — other than it I can’t imagine the wrist would fair any better. Good Luck Ginny!

  17. i have a tattoo on my arm, which is very visible, and one on my shoulder. My old roommate is a second grade teacher at a religious school, and she decided not to get a back tat for that reason. She does have a little one on her tummy, but you can’t see it unless she’s in a bathing suit.

  18. I love my tattoo. I got it when I was 17 teen and it is of my boy-friends name”on my back”. I don’t even regret it like most people do. Even if we broke up I would still keep it. I love it and i’ll ad more to me over the years like Mi Amor (my love) on my wrist. I love the pain it’s like no other feeling in the world. People shouldn’t regret your tattoo you got it for a reason. Just think of it as a dairy. There’s a reason why you got it “right”. I think if you really regret it don’t get any more tattoos leave your body the way it is.

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