You'd think the generation, or maybe even two, before mine would be comfortable with seeing tattoos. I saw my first tattoo at eight years old when an uncle stopped by sporting a topless woman named Tilda on his bicep. Since I was still a few years away from seeing boobs in the flesh, or at least in the pages of a magazine, I remember thinking tattoos were pretty neato. I was also the kind of wizened kid who knew tattoos were not for me, but I digress. My point being tattoos have been popular for at least forty years, maybe longer, to the point where they have become mainstream. Certainly the stigma once associated with body art has disappeared. Or has it?
Fast forward to a story I heard the other day from my
niece. She's twenty and has it together -- she's in college and has worked
as a waitress for three years at a fancy four-star restaurant. Recently, she
was harassed while waiting a table of two couples who went out of their way to
tell her she would never get a decent job with graffiti on her body. (Sidebar:
Her tattoos are very tasteful and are easily covered by a blouse, but it was
warm this particular day and the body art was noticeable.) So these dining
buffoons take her to task and ask her if she thinks she'll ever get anywhere in
the professional world with tattoos on her body. Now my niece has a lot of
class and tried to be polite, answering their lame questions. As the couples
continued to heckle her, she mentioned she knew several people who have tattoos
and respectable jobs. They pressed for details as to what kind of
professions and when she replied, they wrinkled their noses and scoffed. Nice,
I asked my
niece how old these jackanapes were. About sixty, she said which took me aback.
I thought for sure they'd be 110. But sixty!? Seems odd for some of that generation to
be so archaic in thought. Apparently these folks, who also complained about the
food, had a bone to pick.
I told her if they stopped in again to give me a call and I'd verbally beat
them to a pulp.