Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tatted Up

I'm a (pretty) firm believer in freedom of expression. If your whole thing is about slam poetry, be my guest. If you enjoy graffiti, I like your vibe, provided you're okay with an arrest record. If you choose to cover your body with piercings and tattoos, I'm not going to sneer at you. In fact, I'd like a tattoo of my own. [Gasp!]
Hi, I'm A.K., I'm 23, and I'm officially tattoo-free. My parents generously paid for my undergraduate school at Longwood University, and they are currently paying for my graduate school career and my living expenses. Their policy is simple and straightforward: no tattoos while you're living under our roof. I have my own beautiful little apartment where I live from mid-August through mid-December, and from mid-January until mid-May. This means that I still technically "live under their roof" during the summer and on school-sponsored breaks, and, of course, in the sense of not having to slave my way through college. I consider myself to be a generally respectful person, so why wouldn't I heed the request of two people who are so graciously funding my dream?

My sister-slash-best-friend, Caroline, is 19, and she has two tats -- a butterfly inside a heart on her shoulder blade and a simple star outline on her hip. She acquired these babies with a friend before she turned 18 at a surprisingly reputable (that is, as reputable as is possible) tattoo parlor in downtown Richmond. I was a junior at Longwood when I found out several months after she had gotten the tats. Obviously, she acquired them without my parents' permission. But enough about that. Tattoos get a bad rap, and Caroline is a good person. However, with her ink, she acquired a desire for more ink.
For as long as I can remember, she and I have wanted to have "Only God can judge me" tattooed on the outside of our right foot. Ian claims, "Everyone has that tattoo." I've never seen anyone with it, and Caroline has seen one person. So what? It may be a commonly used phrase, but it has personal meaning for these two sisters.

What's stopping us? We're both of age now. Well, Mike and Ruth are planning to fund the next 2 1/2 years of our college careers, and then Caroline plans to attend graduate school. We'd like to travel to Las Vegas for our joint graduation in 2014, so perhaps with that not-so-distant dream will come two special tattoos and a message in which we both believe whole-heartedly. 'Til then, we're pretty satisfied with how great we've got it.

P.S. Do you have any ink? If so, were/are your parents okay with it? What does it mean to you?

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