Wednesday, January 14, 2015

It's a Metaphor

My latest tattoo, designed by my son, immediately after I got it. I already had one of my daughter's art work, and had been waiting for quite a while for my son to authorize the use of his art. When he finally did, I chose this adorable bat. His name, as chosen by my son, is Alex.

Not that I'm especially tattooed, but I do have four. A fairy on my back, obtained soon after college. I imagine it hurt, but some 16 years later, who remembers? I wanted a cute little goblin, but a domineering friend talked me out of it. It's become a symbol of weakness, and I've grown to hate it. But it's on my back, so I rarely see or think about it. The belief that tattoos are permanent used to bother me, but now I'm more bothered by the truth - they aren't permanent. They are only there until I die, which, in the grand scheme of things, will be pretty soon. 

Jenny Linsky, the cat, on my ankle. That one is fine. 

A parrot designed by my daughter on my left bicep. I love it! The way I remember it, getting that one wasn't especially painful. 

Still, I was nervous about this one, located on my inner right forearm (the picture is at a weird angle, making it difficult to tell what body part that is). Since I was very fond of the fellow who did my parrot, I went back to him for this one. 

"This is going to hurt, isn't it?" I asked, right before he got started. 

"Aw, you'll be fine," he said in a deliberately dismissive tone. Tattoo artists discourage theatrics. 

He got started, and, well....motherf%$&r! 

In addition to being stoic, tattoo artists are excellent conversationalists. Dave that tattoo guy deftly kept the conversation going - we talked about dogs (his passion, not mine, but if someone loves something enough, they can probably get you at least temporarily interested), exotic animals, science, and being in a persistent vegetative state. There was never an opportunity for me to point out that this was quite an uncomfortable procedure, or to demonstrate the bravado I had all prepared. 

"I've given birth. Twice!" I would have said. "This is nothing." 

It was a half truth. I have, in fact, given birth on two separate occasions. But this was not nothing. My logic was severely flawed, and within hours I was thankful I'd been prevented from saying something so ridiculous and stupid out loud. Giving birth hasn't caused me to laugh in the face of lesser physical pain. I don't care for having my body carved up with electronic needles any more than I ever did. Same goes for migraines (those things are no joke), stubbing my toe (mother of GOD!), or dislocating my rib while coughing (it's happened twice). 

The 30 Rock celebrity benefit to get Jack's dad a kidney might be the funniest song ever written, and "if you had two dogs attacking you, you'd wish it was just one," might be the funniest line. But even as I laughed myself silly, I knew it wasn't true. If I had two dogs attacking me, I'd wish I had no dogs attacking me. Perhaps more importantly, if I had one dog attacking me, I would not take the time to be grateful it wasn't two. 

What's the most painful thing in the world? What is happening, to you, right now. 

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