I read an article this week about the number of people who regret having tattoos. Something like one in six wish they had never had theirs done. One in three wishes they had done it somewhere on their body less visible. And it reminded me of an article in the Guardian I had read years ago about a mother who had a meltdown when her son had hers.
That article makes me really sad. To say that her son “you could not have done anything to hurt me more” is absurd, surely. A tattoo on his arm, hidden under a shirt or jacket is THE worst thing he could do? Not push an old granny over for her pension. Not hold up the corner shop at gun point. Not joining the BNP. Not getting a 14 year old pregnant. But getting a tattoo. That most of heinous of crimes.
God help if she ever meets me then. I have a tattoo. On my arm. In full view. No shirt sleeve will cover mine up.
Do I regret it?
Do I fall into that one in six?
I really don’t see the problem with tattoos. Unless they are on your eyeball (yes, really, such a thing exists).
My son recently came home having been to a tattoo place with his mate. “Where’s yours?” I asked. “I didn’t get one” he replied. If he had, I really wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow. He is 18. It’s his body. I lost any rights to dictating what he does with a long time ago.
Same way he, and nobody else has any right to be shocked about me getting mine aged 35.
Mine is in memory of our two friends, Debbie and Sam, who died in the Tsunami in Thailand. It is the Chinese symbol for chai. Chai means Tea of Life in Cantonese. And this tattoo is to remind me to live my life to the full. Everyday. To never forget that this isnt a dress rehearsal. That tomorrow my life could end as suddenly as Sam and Debbie’s did and I don’t want to regret wasting a day of it.
Tea of life seemed quite appropriate really as T is my nickname and tea is my favourite thing to talk about on Twitter. So when I decided I wanted something to remind everyday that I need to live my life it had to be that.
And I couldn’t be more proud of my tattoo if I am honest.
It really saddens me that so many people have taken the time, and the expense, to get a tattoo to then regret it in later life. So please don’t ever look at mine and think “what the hell did she do that for?” At 35. With three kids.