Friday, March 9, 2012

Daring to be different (like everyone else)

I was the most boring teenager ever. No exaggeration there. I had friends and we’d do the regular teenaged things like hanging out at the mall and watching movies, but my real passion in life was reading. I spent hours alone in my bedroom curled up with books. I also got good grades, rarely went out after dark, held a part-time job and gave absolutely no trouble when it came to guys. That last part wasn’t really by choice; before I grew breasts I couldn’t get a guy to look at me and afterwards all I wanted was for them to look away. I was awkward. (<--- recurring theme)

Anyhow, In recognition of the blandness of my existence, I decided that my sole act of teenaged rebellion would be to get a tattoo. Never mind that I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to get this tattoo, as I'd have to be 18 to get one legally and I was well-read enough to know what could happen if I sought out less … reputable sources. 

Minor details, really.

With absolutely no clue about implementation, I announced my intention to my mother. Instead of the scandalized reaction I was expecting (hoping for, really) I got mild curiosity: “Of what?” You'd think I'd announced I was planning to take up knitting. Undeterred, I pressed on. In a burst of blinding originality, I’d decided that it would be a tattoo of my name.  My mother’s response: “You plan on forgetting it?”

She then declared that I’d have to wait until I was 18, but she really needn’t have bothered. My plan for rebellion had deflated with the realization that the tattoo of my dreams would only make sense in the event that I caught a case of dreaded soap opera amnesia. 

So much for that.

I eventually did get the tattoo (after I turned 19) and the finished version turned out to be about as original as the imagined one: Japanese characters. On my lower back.

In my defense, I researched the characters myself so that I could be sure of their meaning. (Don’t ask; I’ll never tell.) Of course, the location means that I rarely see it and often forget that I even have one.

Until, that is, a random guy plucks up the nerve to ask for a translation. 

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