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So What's Up With The Tats?

A Girl and Her Gun: So What's Up With The Tats?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

So What's Up With The Tats?

A woman sent me a very lovely email telling me about her story and asking to be entered in the Give-A-Way and at the end of her email she said...

No offense, but you don't seem like a person who would have a tattoo, so what's up with the tats?

She was not being rude and I was not offended or bothered in the least. We have shared a couple emails since and all is good.

I was surprised a little by the question because it seems like now a days everyone has a tattoo or at least someone from every walk of life.

However, she is not the first person to ask me about them. I used to get that a lot.

A few years ago, I was a youth leader at a church and one day when I bent over to pick something up, my blouse revealed one of my tattoos. A parent was standing there and when she saw it she was shocked and not a happy camper. She was so upset by it that she went to the pastor to complain. She couldn't believe a person like me had a tattoo and she wanted me to get up in front of the church to renounce all tattoos and admit my mistake.

I did not do that.

I like tattoos, especially mine.

I was a little late coming to the game though.

I was not a rebellious teenager, but a 26 year old college professor.

Getting a tat was not something I had ever thought to do. Not because I was against them, I just never thought about them one way or the other.

One day I was at a local brewery with some colleagues when one of the women suggested we get tattoos. I think it started out as a joke, but 3 days later we were at Beachin Tattoo in southern California getting all tatted up.

I am sure getting a tattoo is not considered wild anymore, but for me it was the closest thing to wild as I had ever gotten.

Plus I was nervous.

The thought of some person jamming a needle into my flesh didn't sound all that appealing.

I was the not the cool cat that I am now.

Anyhoo, since I had never thought about a tattoo, I had no idea what I wanted to have permanently poked into me.

After looking at a ton of pictures, I finally just had a friend draw a design for me.

My first tattoo is of an AT-6 carrying a banner that reads Women Can. I like airplanes and I love the spirit of women, especially those that have overcome life's obstacles.

Women flew the AT-6 in WWII and the banner is an homage to Rosie The Riveter.

My second tattoo came just a few months later. It's an abstract symbol, again done by a friend, representing a quote. I forget who said it, but it comes from a book of women's quotes, that I have misplaced.

The quote is "In My Friend, I Find A Second Self"

I have no idea what the woman meant when she said it, but to me it doesn't mean someone exactly like me. It doesn't mean when I look at them, I see myself. I like who I am, but I don't want the whole world to be me.

To me, the quote means, someone who I am as comfortable being myself with, as I actually am being myself.

I always am who I am, but not everyone appreciates that. Those who do, they are my friends.

My 3rd tattoo didn't come for many years later. I was probably 36. It was after our daughters came home from China.

I wanted to do more for the kids still waiting for homes, so my husband and I, along with our good friend and her husband, opened a non- profit organization. We placed grants on special needs children waiting in China.

The non-profit was named after our daughters and since I loved helping the children and I loved our daughters, I got a tattoo to represent both.

I almost got another tattoo a few months ago. I had a local tattoo artist draw up a design with my Glock and the American flag that was to be placed on my right thigh, but life got busy and I just haven't got back there.

I am not sure that I will. It's not cheap and I think I would rather spend the money on an actual gun or say a Give-A-Way.

So, that's what's up.


At January 7, 2012 at 5:57 AM , Blogger Maura said...

There are people who understand tattoos, and people who do not. People who "would never mark their body in a permanent way like that" ( but have earrings - so permanent holes in your body are ok, but permanent symbols are not? ) and people for whom tattoos are heavy with personal significance.

My tattoo is mine. It's not yours, it's not hers.
It's mine, for me.
Mine is a permanent reminder of a tough time in my life, and means a lot to me.

If someone doesn't appreciate, understand, or condone my choice to permanently mark my body - they don't have to look at it.

And if it is wrong for me to mark my body in this way, that is between me and God to discuss - hopefully at a much later date.

At January 7, 2012 at 6:05 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got my first tat when I was 14 and since then , you could say I've got a few more;) I'm glad that you didn't stand up at church & say what that lady asked. I drew all of mine and each one means something. It's kind of a story line of my life.

At January 7, 2012 at 8:09 AM , Blogger Country Tea said...

Some people will ALWAYS see tattoos as "bad" or even "low-class." Which is close minded in this day and age.

I did not get my first until I was 40, but I had thought about it for a couple of years before I got it. I means a lot to me and I don't care what anyone else thinks about it.

I am proud of you for not caving to that woman's narrow mindedness.

At January 7, 2012 at 11:38 AM , Blogger Sean D Sorrentino said...

I hate tattoos. I've always hated them. I tried to scratch off the one on my father's arm one day as a child. He woke up bloody and confused.I especially hate them on women. The worst tattoo of all is the boob tattoo. To me that is roughly the equivalent of spray painting gang signs on the Taj Mahal.

All that being said, the proper answer to busybodies telling you that you should renounce and admit your mistake is the same answer as the one about why you carry a gun. "My body, My choice."

Nice people who ask, for information's sake and not to make a point, might get a politer explanation the way you gave the one to your email correspondent. The rude ones should be told to take a long walk off a short pier.

At January 7, 2012 at 11:47 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Sean, I hate when people leave vague messages on my blog, leaving me to try to figure out what they mean:)

I have a boob tat and one on my hip. I got them there on purpose because I got them for me and those 2 places were "private" However, I don't try to hide them.

At January 7, 2012 at 11:56 AM , Blogger Sean D Sorrentino said...

@GWG: That's me, vague and wishy washy. I'm surprised I can even stand up after getting my backbone surgically removed. ;)

Your body, your choice.

I even know some special words in Italian to use on busybodies, though I expect that they are just translations of words you are already familiar with.

At January 7, 2012 at 12:00 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Lol, well I don't cuss in English. maybe I should try it in Italian.

At January 7, 2012 at 3:36 PM , Blogger GunDiva said...

People are always surprised to find out I have tattoos, but I love them. The first I got was a reminder, from a time when I was dealing with serious depression, that there's always hope. The second is one I had my now-husband design for me. It's a fairy and a handgun. Sounds odd, but is the perfect tattoo for me and I love it.

My tattoos are for me and only me. If people like them, great. If they don't, great. They both mean something to me and if you don't want to get to know me well enough to find out what they mean, then that's okay too.

At January 7, 2012 at 4:08 PM , Blogger North said...

The quote is "In My Friend, I Find A Second Self"

Oh. I love that.

At January 7, 2012 at 4:49 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Maura, my husband loves your comment " ,... That is between God and me to discuss.". I like "hopefully at a much later date"

At January 7, 2012 at 7:31 PM , Blogger Andrea said...

The only difference between people who have tattoos and those who don't is that people who have tattoos don't care if you're not tattooed. My husband and I are very active in our church, and he has two full sleeves (which I LOVE). It still surprises me when we get looks for his tattoos. I have several, but because of what I do, I can't have any that show, so mine are secret, which is fine with me. I would love to be able to show off my artwork, but I also love having a job :) When I see pictures of him without his sleeves, it looks weird to me. I really REALLY want a quetzal to celebrate my son's birth gun, or new tattoo? Ah, decisions, decisions! :)

At January 7, 2012 at 8:29 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

um, pics? You can just email me. I've been planning ink for years, but I haven't done it yet. I'd love to see what you've got.

At January 7, 2012 at 11:02 PM , Blogger Keads said...

I leave body modifications to the individual. Far be it from me to judge. My Grandfather had them and my Father has them, and my Fathers are from a much removed era. They look like they were done with a roofing nail.

Having said that, I have some body modifications. I have had them for more than a decade and although I can hide it well, it seems to come as a shock to those that I allow to see.

To me, its your canvas, paint as you see fit.

Oh, the Blogger community does not know this about me. How you got me to share this I don't know! And of course the Blogger community knows now!

At January 8, 2012 at 2:12 AM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Keads, I just have a way about me:) Thanks for sharing!

Jennifer, I will send you pics.

Andrea, whichever you decide I want pics and details.

At January 8, 2012 at 10:04 AM , Blogger Home on the Range said...

I have a number of women friends with tattoos. I've none since being half Celt and covered with freckles, and having a female roomate in college "connect the dots" with a non washable sharpee type pen after a college party when I was out of it, I decided to just stay with plain freckles.

But I like the womenn I know that have them, and I understand the reasons that made them get them. Some of them are beautiful works of art, yet even the simple ones tell stories. Stories of these women and what they stand for; what they have done with their bodies and their minds. Things that church lady probably couldn't do with the jawbone of an ass OR an AR.

At January 8, 2012 at 6:26 PM , Blogger agirlandhergun said...

Brigid, you have a way with words. I am so bummed that I just found your blog. I have been missing out for sure. In a Sybil kind of way, though, I am now very happy that I found it!!

At January 8, 2012 at 8:44 PM , Blogger 45er said...

Rock on with them. Neither my wife nor I have any or the desire to get one, however she is fascinated with them and watches the "ink" shows like crazy (which is funny since she's the last person that you could imagine with a tat). They just aren't for me, but I also respect them as art, storytelling, and personal meaning for people.

At January 9, 2012 at 6:20 AM , Blogger Fred said...

I need to draw up another one... it's been too long.


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