Okay, I don’t really have a tattoo showing off Ponders Corner, where I grew up, but the idea isn’t that far-fetched. LeBron James, the basketball superstar bears a tattoo of “330,” the area code of his hometown of Akron, Ohio. People have their own reasons for getting tattoos.
“Unlike scarification and branding, the art of tattooing has been the most popular form of body modification in the history of mankind.” – www.poketudiant.com/the-history-of-tattoos-throughout-the-world/
In 1991 a well-preserved natural mummy of a man was discovered in the Otztal Alps on the Austrian-Italian border. Nicknamed Otzi it’s estimated he lived approximately 5300 years ago. His clothing, his last meal, and the manner of his death have been detailed. Even his DNA was recovered revealing he is closely related to modern-day Sardinians and still has living relatives in the region. Otzi, the “Ice Man,” had 61 tattoos (probably done by pin-pricks with charcoal rubbed into the tiny wounds). He is the oldest known specimen of human tattoos.
“Iceman’s 61 tattoos are organized into 19 different groups. Each group of tattoos is simply a set of horizontal or vertical lines. It is believed that the tattoos served a therapeutic or diagnostic purpose for the Iceman, because the tattoo groupings tend to cluster around the lower back and joints — places where Iceman was suffering from joint and spinal degeneration.”
Several people in our family have tattoos. The closest I’ve come is that I like the 1981 Rolling Stones album “Tattoo You.” A niece has her grandparents’ names tattooed on her wrists. which I find really touching. I did joke with our oldest granddaughter, who really liked a boy band when she was eight. I showed her a current photographs and said, “Now, aren’t you glad you never considered getting a Hanson tattoo when you were a teenager?”
There are many reasons for not getting a tattoo from religion to health, but the main one is job hunting. Visible tattoos can be a definite “no-no” and may make a person virtually unemployable.
There are also many reasons for getting a tattoo. You can make a statement. You can show your devotion to a loved one. You can illustrate your beliefs. You can show solidarity. Remember however, that things change. Your outlook on life can turn around. You can fall out of love. Your religion may shift. You may want to start life anew. Sometimes it’s too late and you have “regerts” or regrets from a wild night on the town with friends. Or, perhaps your idea of beauty may change. My friend, comedienne Debbie Wooten used to joke, “I had a tattoo of a lovely garden path on my butt . . . now it looks like I-5.”
Personally, I like to keep my options open. Although, I enjoyed my time growing up in Ponders Corner, I can live without having that time a permanent part of my body.