Nothing Lasts Forever…Except That Tattoo

My tattoo..if I ever get one.

My amazing sister-in-law is turning 50 in a few weeks. A couple days ago, out of the blue, she texted Steve and told him she had gotten a tattoo. This was a shock. Such a shock, in fact, that his initial response was a simple but appropriate, “What? And where?” He had no idea she was considering a tattoo. Apparently she shocked herself by doing it. We haven’t yet inquired as to her sudden motivation to bear a lotus flower on her forearm. (I blame that on shock too.)

Hubby and I have debated off and on ever since we’ve known each other about whether we should get tattoos. So far, we’re still uninked. Many of our friends have them, and now all three of our siblings do. About fourteen years ago, we discussed it after meeting our now good friends Robb and Rebecca. Robb and Rebecca are infinitely more hip than we are (proof of my unhipness: I still say “hip”). If they had tattoos, then maybe we should too? So, we began seriously considering it. It went like this:

Me: If you got a tattoo, what would you get it of?

Steve: I don’t really know, which is why I’ve never gotten one.

Me: I can’t think of a thing that I want permanently on my body.

Steve: It should be something that means something to you, right?

Me: In theory, yes, especially since it’s yours for life.

Steve: Well, then, I guess I could get a basketball tattoo.

Me: You mean of like a player or a logo or something?

Steve: No. Of an actual basketball.

(This is where I looked at him like I had no idea what I had married.)

Me: A basketball. A round tattoo that’s orange? That’s it? That’s the best idea you can come up with?

Steve: Well, I like basketball.

Me: Well, I like Red Vines but I’m not getting an image of them tattooed on me forever. Sorry. You cannot get a basketball tattoo. 

And that is when the whole tattoo topic was tabled for further discussion at a later date, preferably at a time when my husband would not be quite as enamored with basketball.

That is why all these years have gone by and we remain uninked. Steve still has not come up with a better tattoo idea than a basketball, and I remain vehemently opposed to that idea. I, unlike Steve, have an approved image, one that means something to me personally, but I can’t decide where it should go. So, we’re still stuck. I figure that by the time we know what we want and where we want it we will either be too saggy to be tattooed or so old that we’ll park our car near the parlor, start walking there, forget where we were headed, and turn around and go home ink-free.

A tattoo is such a lot of commitment. I suppose that’s what is ultimately the hold up. Neither one of us is willing to deal with that level of permanence. We had less concern and discussion about getting married than we have had about getting a silly tattoo. But, then again, a tattoo is forever.

(Author’s Note: Steve and I had a good laugh after I read him that last line, so no worries. My next post will not be about our pending divorce.)


  1. Tom and I have had the very same discussion for years.

    Ready for another shock?
    I’ve decided to get one. I can hardly believe it myself but it finally makes sense. Content, placement and timing.
    Oy. I wonder if I’ll go through with it? I’m so not a tattoo girl 😉

  2. I got a bleeding heart flower on my right inner forearm about two years ago…because my 81 yr old grandma, 61 yr old mother and 59 yr old aunt had done the same!! Shocked that they did it, but it has a wonderful memory behind it–my grandpa who died in 2006. I’m adding 2 small doves soon; one for my cousin and one for sweet little Blackie–both passed Memorial Day last year. I love my tat, it’s very noticeable (much larger than my grandma’s) but it brings happy memories every day.

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