Do You Have a Parent?

I know up front this is going to anger some of you but I’m hoping that most will agree and have a serious discussion with your children.

Flipping through the channels I came across a woman talking about getting a tattoo covered up. Curious, I stuck around long enough to see that she had a man’s name inked  on her leg in letters large enough to take up both her calf and thigh. Let’s say it read, “I love Kenny.” Well, as you may have guessed, Kenny took a flyer and she was now in love with Danny. So, under the needles she goes and somehow has Kenny transformed into Danny. I was hoping there would be a means to hide the tat under some sort of neutral ink. Not so, apparently laser treatment is the only way and this babe wasn’t interested in getting rid of her hideous billboard anyway.

That sets the scene for chapter two of this saga. Couple of days later I’m sitting on a bench in Wal-Mart waiting for my wife and got to counting all the people who were inked up. I soon realized it would be easier to have kept track of those who hadn’t permanently defaced their bodies.

As we were walking to our car in the Wal-Mart lot a mother and her barely teenage son and daughter walked past us. First of all the boy was sporting a cigarette between his lips. Secondly, he was displaying a homemade skull and crossbones tat on his upper arm and a professional neck tattoo reading, “Lil’ Stinker!” My obviously biased conclusion is that here is a young man who at a very young age has decided he doesn’t plan to live long or healthy and that while he is alive he wants to limit his career opportunities to something akin to sucking shit out of porta-potties for Rumpke,

Okay, I get my blood pressure under control, rationalize a couple dozen reasons this shouldn’t bother me, and head for Kroger’s for their better produce and a free cookie at their bakery department. Life is good, or at least until we are packing groceries into the trunk of the car and this young girl, I’m guessing no more than 16, and her mother walk up to the car next to us and begin to load up their trunk. This child is sporting two ears full of studs, tacks, and bars. She also had a neck full of tats, and a face loaded with various chunks of hardware. It was about this time I just wanted to get in her butchered face and scream, “Do you have a fucking parent?”

One of these days I’m probably not going to be able to just scream those words to my inner-self and end up getting my old-man ass seriously kicked. In the meantime, though, I’ll continue to wonder just what the hell people today are thinking? Even in societies where tattooing has a spiritual basis it limits employment opportunities. Have you ever seen a New Zealand Maori warrior sporting traditional facial tattoos serving as a sales representative for an international corporation or working as a VP in a bank?

You can be the brightest and nicest person on earth and it will mean nothing if you have a tear drop inked below your eye. All this may change with time but in the meanwhile, that neck tat is not going to open any doors of opportunity for you.

It is one thing for a person of age to make these kinds of life altering and life limiting decisions. For a teenager, subject to the extremes of peer pressure, to be permitted the freedom of these decisions is tantamount to parental neglect.

6 thoughts on “Do You Have a Parent?”

  1. My kids had to wait until they were of age my oldest has one tatoo which can and is hidden most of the time. my youngest however has 4 tatoos a pierced nose a pierced lip and ears and belly button, her hair changes color often as does her hairstyle, by the way she is a cosmotologist. her tatoos are not to tacky but not something mom approves of and she knows it. i tell her that she has enough and getting too many is well tacky. i have seen some where i look at hem and wonder what they were thinking. i have an in law and i wont mention names that has naked women ( the kind u see on mud flaps) over each nipple.

  2. Amen and amen! I bet they wonder why they can’t find a decent job too. I sure as hell wouldn’t hire them. I think too many parents try to be friends instead of parents.

  3. Larry they do have parents. Spineless, gutless, can’t say ‘no’, don’t want to hurt their feelings, ‘my kids will love me if I never correct them’, ‘what are you going to do’, ‘you can’t stop them’ parents. It is, unfortunately, the way this society is heading. As unfortunate is that if that ‘sales representative for an international corporation or working as a VP in a bank’ job doesn’t go their way or they don’t get those doors opened, they’ll take every available legal recourse to make that company have to alter it’s practices and allow it.

  4. We were at Headlands Beach last weekend and I could probably count on both hands the young people who were NOT covered in tats! Where DO these people work, or don’t they? It’s not cheap either, along with smoking I always wonder how they afford it.

  5. The rule in our house has always been that tattoos and piercings came with the age 18 and not before. Even hair dye was when they had a job and could pay for it themselves. I have nothing against tattoos but they are an adult decisions and should be chosen carefully with thought. My daughter loves her tattoos but even as an adult I talked to her about getting it done in a professional place with careful planning. It is a big decision. At one time I did have a step son with orange hair and multiple piercings all over but he was an adult when he made the choice. He is 30 now with brown hair and has removed all of the piercings.

    1. There may come a day when a person with a bone in their nose would be considered for a top job in a major American corporation. Or even flipping hamburgers at McDonald’s. For the most part, however, I don’t think that day is upon us. I’m going to guess that many piercings leave scars and tats don’t ever go away. Even with laser surgery scars and traces remain. Whether these decisions are made as adults or as children they have meaningful consequences. But, I would never tell an adult they can’t choose to do such things. But for a parent to turn a blind eye to what their children are doing is something quite different. Oh, thanks for your comments!

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