Confession: I have a lower back tattoo. I refuse to call it a tramp stamp because the term is ridiculous and offensive and meaningless. And I also believe that term was coined after I was inked, mine is not right in the middle of my back and it’s not as low as more recent lower back tattoos because when I got mine, the waistbands on pants were still at or above the belly button. So there. True story.
Over the years I admit I’ve been tempted to get more tattoos but nothing has struck me enough to make that permanent decision. I actually sometimes forget about the one I already have. I’ll be at the gym and raise my arms enough for my shirt to ride up a bit and a friend will say, “Hey, I didn’t know you have a tattoo!” and I’ll turn around like a dog chasing its tail and think, “You know, I didn’t know, either – oh wait, that’s right, I spent an hour in a sweltering tattoo shop when I was nineteen dealing with the pain and buzz of a tattoo machine.” What can I say, I don’t really look at my own back that often.
I’ve also flirted with the idea of getting subtle strands of oddly-hued hair, but then those chalking and Kool-Aid fads became big with tweens and I had no desire to appear as though I was trying to act like a ten year old girl (let’s not talk about my taste in music, though).
In my head I have a rebel streak but the truth is I shop for most of my clothes at Target, Marshall’s and Nordstrom Rack and my style is more classic or suburban mom on a budget than edgy or trendy. People apologize when they swear around me because I look innocent. I drive a mini-van. I love the look of dresses and cardigans a la Jess Day. I’m about as alternative as Women’s Day magazine.
And yet. I’ve recently made friends with a new group of women and almost all of them have nose rings and now I have decided I want one. This is not the first time I’ve coveted this tiny piece of jewelry – I can remember talking to a retail store employee years ago who had the tiniest little stud in the corner of her upper nostril and I thought to myself, “That is awesome. I can pull that off.”
Flash forward to now and I question – CAN I pull it off? Does it matter if I can’t? If I want this miniscule stud in my nose does it really make a difference how others will perceive it? I work in an industry where having one is not a detriment. My kids won’t love me any less.
Debating the appropriateness or awkwardness on my face aside, it’s a piercing. I haven’t even worn earrings since I had kids. I already have two perfectly normal and acceptable holes in my nose called nostrils, do I need a third? What if I get an infection and I tragically lose my entire nose and I end up on warning posters in high schools telling kids, “Facial piercings smell like a bad decision. If you can still smell after you lose most of your nose.” Do I have to worry about a stud flying out across a room if I sneeze? My sister said to me, when I brought up the idea, “You do realize that can leave a scar, right? And you’re almost 40.”
I had myself talked into it last Friday after a glass or two of wine, my pierced friends eager to accompany me to the mall as I underwent the procedure. Don’t worry, I’d go on a day when I’d not had any wine. Now the naysayers in my head are taking over.
But I want one. I’m sorry, but I love the look. And it has nothing to do with the fact that I’m pretty sure the first guy I’ve liked since my divorce is fading on me. Not at all. Completely unrelated.
Image by Cristina Valencia used under creative commons license. She’s got a pretty cool Flickr feed if you want to check it out!