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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ancient & Inked

Often we hear people saying that in years to come there will be a lot of old people with ugly tattoos.   Many people with tattoos have been asked the question 'it looks nice now, but what do you think it will look like in 50 years time?'  ... or the equally profound statement, 'you'll regret that when you get older'.

I'd like to point out that in '50 years time', if we are still here, that a faded, sagging, distended tattoo is the least of anyone's worries.  At an age when everything is dragging, sagging and prolapsing, do you really think the elderly care if their tattoos are not quite the well defined, artistic masterpieces that they were 'back in the day'.

As for regrets, I've had a few, but I would rather be 80 years old and regret getting a tattoo (or two), then be 80 years old and regret not getting one. It's easier to get a tattoo when young then when old. Whilst there is no age limit to getting a tattoo,  it's better to be tattooed when the skin is still firm. It goes without saying that tattooing aging, flaccid skin is like drawing on a curtain billowing in a breeze.

In old age, maybe tattoos have lost their lustre, but at least they are interesting. Most tatts have a story behind them, a reason for the person getting them.  What better ice-breaker in the nursing home?  Assuming of course that you haven't had to flop out a droopy boob or flash a pendulous posterior in order to proudly reveal the now misshapen ink art to the nursing home residents.  Although that in itself might liven up the place and bring a cheer to the dears. Surely it beats bingo.

There are people who play life safe, always playing 'by the rules', living within the boundaries of 'acceptable' society.  They may well make it into old age with ne'er a body piercing, branding or tattoo. And good for them.  However, do they ever wish that they could live a little outside of the 'acceptable'.  Rather than worrying about what we might look like when we hit 80, we should live for the moment. Let's face it, life at 80 is not exactly a fashion contest, one is not competing for the heart of a potential paramour.  Besides, how presumptuous are we to think that at the tender age of 20, or 30, or 40, we know what we will think at 80.  Perhaps our 80 year old self will tell us to live life a little wild.  Perhaps our 80 year old self will say 'get out there and get that freakin' tattoo'.

Forget about being concerned with a tattoo or two at 80.  Certainly be concerned about living a healthy life, a good life, a full life, a fun life; not hurting others, being patient, tolerant, understanding, loving.  But worry about regretting a tattoo? Nah! Get over it and get tattooed!

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