Ahhh to be 18….

7 Sep

Over the holiday weekend I accompanied the hubs to a tattoo parlor.  He is thinking of getting his first tat at the ripe old age of 39.  This is something that a lot of us did the weeks after 18, not 39 but he has really thought it over and knows what he wants and is ready to commit.  We looked at cars for over a year before we bought my car a few years back and we dated over 3 years before we got married.  My husband is not impulsive with big decisions to say the least.  But that is not what this post is about.

While we were waiting to talk to the artist, a young girl with her mother walked in and she asked for a piercing.  The piercer asked her want she wanted and the girl responded, “a Monroe”.  I racked my brain trying to figure out what a “Monroe” was, I am not really hip with what the cool kids are doing theses days. (as you can tell by use of the word “hip”)  The piercer asked if she was 18 and asked for her ID.  She then asked the girl if she was aware of the risks and the girl shook her head no.  Her mother looked confused and the piercer went to the back to get the forms.

If it hasn’t dawned on you yet, I finally put two and two together and realized that “Monroe” refers to Marylin Monroe and the piercing is on the upper lip where she had her mole.

When the piercer came back, she handed the release forms to the girls and mentioned the risks again.  It became obvious that her mother did not speak English and had no idea what was going on.  The piercer told the girl that the piercing can cause permanent damage to the gums and remove the enamel from her teeth.  The girl spoke to her mother, mom did not look concerned.  The piercer asked the girl if she repeated the risks to her mother, and the girl replied yes.  The piercer look skeptical and I was thinking, there is NO WAY that girl just told her mom that this piercing can cause permanent damage to her gums and teeth!

They went to the back and returned a few minutes later with the mother oblivious to the seriousness of what just happened and the girl was pleased that she got what she wanted.

The piercer agreed with me that the mom had no idea as what the risks of the piercing, but the girl was 18 (and 2 weeks…) and there was nothing that she could do but warn her.  Then we started talking about all the crazy things 18 year olds come in for.

When I was 18 (and 2 months…) I got a tattoo.  It was totally out of character, I was the good girl, President of my youth group at church, Honors Society, Dance Team and never attended a party with alcohol.  I know, my mom was sooooo lucky!  But I had gone through a lot of tragedy in my short life and music always got me through it.  At 12 when my life was changed forever, I reached out to Joey Macintyre (of New Kids of the Block, I WAS 12…don’t judge).  I wrote him a heart filled letter of how my life was turned upside down and how his music helped me through.  I too, was Hangin’ Tough…  Joey never responded, how cold?  But don’t worry, I grew up and did not get a NKOTB tattoo.  As I got older, I reached for a CD that was iconic in the early 90’s and is still one of my favorites.  Ten by Pearl Jam.  When life got tough or overwhelming, I would close my bedroom door and blast track number 3, Alive.

Pearl Jam Alive logo

So when it came time to brand my body with a mark of triumph, perseverance, resilience and the struggles I had over come, the Alive symbol was an easy choice.  To this day (many, many years later), I do not regret my tattoo.  It is faded from the lack of experience of the artist, but that tells a story.  It is part a of me and my life.  For some reason I do not think that when that girl is 34 looking a the scars on her gums and contemplating capping her teeth, will she look back on her piercing with the same reflection I do.

Anyone else do something at 18?  Do you regret it?

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3 Responses to “Ahhh to be 18….”

  1. michelle September 7, 2011 at 10:43 am #

    Your tattoo actually looks lovely – very filled with Joy. And you know, I agree with you. Even though it may have been something a “kid” did, we all have to do our crazy things – and hopefully we end up loving them 20 years down the road. You will appreciate this – freshman year of college, I decided I wanted a tattoo. I had the guy I was dating at the time put the design together – it’s the Texas A&M logo with the star in front and my class year underneath. Yup, I have an Aggie tattoo. It may seem silly now, but it’s a reminder of who I was then – and that helped me get to where I am now 🙂

  2. alicia September 7, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

    My 39-almost-40 year old fiance just got his second tattoo about 2 weeks ago. I got mine at 31, and am still hemming and hawing about its mate (always designed to have both). We are chatting about the idea of getting something for our wedding. That idea has not solidified completely.

    At 30, I went skydiving.

    At 18? Well, I went away to college… but I was still pretty good until I hit 30….

  3. Sandy September 7, 2011 at 7:36 pm #

    I learned so much about you, the teenager! I love it!!

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