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Location: Northern California

Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Tattoo mommy

My stepdad just sent me an interesting article about getting rid of unwanted tattoos. You can find the article online here.

If you know me or have ever seen a picture of me wearing a short sleeved shirt, then you know that I have a rather large and quite possibly intimidating tattoo on my right upper arm. I think if I lifted weights that area of my arm would be called a bicep, but I could be wrong.

I don't remember my exact age when I got the tattoo but I was in my early twenties, possibly my mid twenties. The tattoo falls under the definition of tribal and would not look out of place on a page of tattoos such as this one. It's a perfectly acceptable tattoo to sport at street fairs, dance clubs, pride parades, and bars on Haight street in San Francisco.

Except that I live, shop, eat, and raise kids in San Mateo.

I don't regret getting this particular tattoo, but I do realize that it says something about me, something like this mommy has a past in which she used to stumble around drunk with her single friends wearing black leather and giving people the bird before riding off into the night on her motorcycle. At least I'm hoping that's what it says about me.

So even though I now dress mostly in off-the-rack designer bargains I hunt down at TJ Maxx and drive a decidedly mommy-esque SUV that I'm pretty sure will one day sport a "My child is an honor student" bumper sticker on it, my tattoo is always there, reminding the suburban world in which I live that there's something just a little different about me.

And living a life in which I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the day to day minutia of diapers, two-for-one sales at Safeway, and feeble attempts at deciphering Emily's toddler jargon, I'm glad that I have something that lets the world know who I am--or that I had a life before I had kids and moved to the suburbs--because I'm pretty cool and I've done some pretty neat things, things that I might one day want to tell my kids, stories about how I lived in a big Victorian on Haight Street and had lots of funny friends and threw outrageous parties and paid heavenly bills. And lived life in the fast lane. And yelled, "Turn it up!" when a certain Eagles song came on the radio.

Of course, being the cool mom that I am, I will end every story with the same admonishment, "Kiddo, your mother will ALWAYS KNOW what you've been up to, whether it's smoking or drinking or carousing, because I'm no dummy and I wasn't born yesterday and I've got the faded and worn out tribal tattoo to prove it." And if Emily or Thomas doesn't obey me, I'll threaten to wear a tattoo-revealing tank top the next time I drop him or her off at school. I'm pretty sure my old tattoos will embarrass them more than they embarrass me.

Lately I've been thinking about getting a new tattoo. Do you think I'll one day regret having "Sorry I'm late" permanently etched on my forehead? I thought that might be one tattoo that would never be out of place in my life.