I’m taking a night class, catching up on stuff I wanted to learn a long time ago. It’s an elementary machine shop class, and I usually get partnered with a man who’s about my age, who reminds me a lot of the character “Monk.”
Besides wanting to jump in and do everything for me, he apparently gets the heebie-jeebies looking at some of the other students in the class who are covered with various kinds of body art. Last night in class I was chatting with a (much younger) classmate who showed up with a septum piercing for the first time (or so I thought). It was one of those big silver horseshoe shaped rings that hangs down over the upper lip. I hadn’t noticed it before, so I asked if it was something new, and the young man smiled and said no, he’d had it for years, he just usually tucked the ring up inside his nose when he was in class. We chatted about that for a bit and then he moved off to work on something.
And that’s when “Mr. Monk” told me that he thinks that the way people decorate their bodies is a sure indication of their character. The implication being that people with big nose rings are in some way deficient.
I, of course, immediately let him know that I’m a tattooed person, and that I’d chosen to have my tattoos in places that could be covered up fairly easily, mainly because other people sometimes have a problem. Alas, I think I was being far too subtle.
Are our body decorations an indication of character? Well, perhaps to the extent that we multicolored people are independent thinkers who don’t want to just settle for whatever skin we happened to be given by Mother Nature. I don’t really understand why other people have a problem with body art–but then again, I don’t understand why my father said I couldn’t get my ears pierced because it would “look cheap” either.
I have been thinking about getting a more visible tattoo, probably a bracelet. The main things that have been holding me back are the cost of good tattoo work (I don’t mind paying it, it’s just that I don’t have anything in the budget right now) and the idea that it might be a problem for a potential employer. Yes, even at my age, and after taking early retirement from my last job, I still think about some HR person catching a glimpse of a tattoo and resolving to run my application through the shredder ASAP.
We have to wear protective clothing in the shop, but only on the upper half. Soon’s the weather gets warmer I’m switching to capris so at least my Egyptian ankle will show. And “Mr. Monk” is just going to have to like it or lump it. Perhaps an averse reaction to body art is an indicator of character too!