Dear Tattooed Mothers,
Remember when all the conservative newscasters (e.g., the O’Reillys, the Hannitys, the Limbaughs) chortled about your impending fate, echoing the sentiments of your douchebag, hypocritical parents who smoked too much weed in the 60s and felt they needed to be hard asses while raising you to get back on God’s good side? Remember how these conservative talk show hosts would talk about how foolish you were to get that “tramp stamp” or that Chinese character? That Tweety bird on your inner thigh? That ladybug on your big toe? Remember how the sting of those words was a minor nuisance compared to the prick of the needle as you lay back in the tattoo parlor chair, drunk on cosmos, and laughing it up with your gal pals as they held your hand while you got that princess crown tattoo after Dustin dumped you for the Tri-Delt down the hall?
Well all has come to pass (except of course that butterfly tattoo on your lower back).
These conservative newscasters and their tongue clicking…your parents and their omens of regret. They have come true, haven’t they? You have grown up, becoming wiser, more self-assured and an account executive at a regional PR agency. You’ve donated those mini skirts to the homeless and replaced those whore heels with reasonable pumps and a pant suit. Because nothing screams I’m a woman in a corporate man’s body like pant suit. Scream it, sister.
And now, like so much frat party vomit, your past has been flushed away, replaced with a life of couplehood and motherhood. You may have met your hubby your senior year, after Chad fell off the homecoming float, breaking his leg, causing him to replace his calorie-burning ultimate frisbee routine with beer chugging, resulting in an unsightly, obese mess that you no longer had any desire to one day spawn with. Then along came Steve, a cavalier young gent who was Chad’s frat brother, you know, the one you secretly slept with during the Spring Break White Water Hash Bash.
Or maybe you met your hubby post-college. Maybe one day, while living your Gossip Girl big city dreams, you saw him standing on the train platform. Your pant dress neatly pressed, you invoked the inner courage to reclaim your feminine authority and hit on him (oh the roll reversal was so sweet). He, being a man of the times and possessing the ability to sniff out easy poontang, abided. It was settling at first sight.
Soon a you got knocked up. He didn’t plan on it, but you had been waiting for the day since you could do the splits. You made no hesitation in telling everyone you knew about your pregnancy and immediately quit your job, mollifying your husband’s financial concerns with empty promises of, “I’ll return to work soon after the baby is born. I swear.”
Nine months later and the little loaf slips out. You bring him home. While your husband is at work, you stand in front of the bathroom mirror, rocking the baby in your arms and staring at that mark, that imprint, that tattoo that forever stains your skin, reminding you of that time when life was simpler, more carefree…BABYFREE.
You begin to fear the day your child learns to speak. For he is undoubtedly going to question what does mommy’s strange markings mean? And you won’t have the nerve to tell him you have “no fucking clue” because mommy “can’t read a lick of Chinese,” but that the man at the tattoo parlor said it meant “love” and “unity” but the man at the Chinese grocer snickers and calls her “back fat whore” for no apparent reason. “No apparent reason, my ass,” you will think to yourself. Or perhaps, one day you dread your child, getting a child’s-eye view of his mommy, will ask why you have a frilly heart above your ass crack. And mommy will have to lie and say it’s an adult thing that adults do, even though you damn well know you still have no fucking clue how it got there.
So what is there to learn, young mothers with tattoos? What can we take away from all this? You can’t just remove a tattoo, just like you can’t just remove a child. Sure you can get laser treatments, and of course you can find a shallow pool of water. But those are for quitters. You’re someone who obviously has an inability to learn from their mistakes. Don’t quit that. Keep making more. That takes real sticktoitiveness.