Tattoos are a form of art, affection, beliefs, gang affiliations, military service. They further express the beauty of design. At least that’s what I told myself when at the age of forty-five, I threw my wrist at some stranger, and whispered “do it.” A mistake you say, hell yes! Had I chosen a lovely cross gently grazing my ankle like Nicole Richie or a small heart, initial, lock & key on my ring finger signifying my lousy marriage or some guy named Ed Hardy who branded his work into a small empire.
But no. Me, the interior designer extraordinaire, the arbiter of good taste, the one whose style rivals that of Givenchy (just go with it).
With all badly timed and foolish endeavors, mine accompanied the cliché mid-life crisis. Men buy cars or have affairs, women get tattoos or boobs. Thinking about the similarities between tattooing and interior design give me some kind of clarity with the mistake I now live with. Inking your body represents you, your love, your inspiration. It’s also a way to be noticed, accepted, on simply on point (trendy). Tattoos like, interior design, can symbolize cultural associations. Forms of modification, both body and space, can be a rite of passage, a mark of status, a symbol of religious or political beliefs, devotion to patriotism, feelings about family. Home décor reflects those same universal convictions.
About a half hour later, permanent black ink scared my wrist and revealed a much hidden secret; the actual dates of my children’s births (no more lying about their ages or mine). Disgusted with my own stupidity, I hid my sore limb under my Gap jean jacket. Ridicule, thy name is children. Opening the door to our suite, I was greeted by a tribe of merry eaters. With great care, I removed my denim cover. The word shock would best sum up their facial expressions. After what seemed like an eternity of silence, my older son asked to be excused (I can only assume to contain his laughter). About twenty minutes later, he returned with package in hand. Reaching into the black bag, I found a supply of gauze, tape, and adhesive bandages. He pointed to my arm and then burst back into hysterics.
Yep tattoos are a lot like home interior design but hopefully with a lot less giggles. Bless you Antonio Ballatore.