I am one great big contradiction. What you see, is most definitely not what you get. I think I dress fairly normal. Sometimes I dress a little funky and sometimes I wear things that are considered super preppy. Sometimes I mix funky and super preppy because I have eclectic taste. When JC and I were engaged and planning our wedding, we went to pick out our china. I had already picked out my silver pattern and basically told him he could like it or not: Repousse by Kirk Stieff. We went to this little boutique shop in Sandy Springs, and the lady kept telling me that I simply could not put Repousse with Kusumam by Rosenthal. It was so horrible a faux pas, it was practically illegal. Wellllllll, you know how I love me some illegal anything… I was waiting for someone to walk out and make a Citizen’s Arrest. We left that little boutique that day, fully registered for Kusumam by Rosenthal, as well as Repousse by Kirk Stieff. The lady was horrified. I did not give a rat’s ass. It was not her future table I was going to be setting, It was mine, and I was not even going to be inviting her to dinner. Why did she care what I chose? It was none of her damn business which china I wanted to put with Repousse by Kirk Stieff! Who really gives a shit what china I put with Repousse by Kirk Stieff? I bet Kirk Stieff would not give a shit which china I wanted to put with Repousse. I would have left that shop, but it was the only place we could find Kusumam by Rosenthal. Go figure. The picture has to be big, so you can see how big the wine goblets are. I still drank wine back then, and I chose the largest goblets known to man. You can fit a half bottle of wine in those suckers.
Even with my eccentricities, I am not sure that “let me tell you about my first tattoo” is something that most people expect to ever hear me say. And, to be fair, I do not actually say that-ever! The story is mortifying and I don’t really like telling it, but I will, because it is necessary. I did not even get my first tattoo until I was 33 or 34, and had been sober for a couple of years. My husband and I went to San Francisco, and for some strange reason, I got this idea in my head that I was going to get a tattoo in the Haight-Ashbury area of San Francisco. JC was like: Whatever. He knows how I am. When I get an idea in my head, there is just no turning back. We found a tattoo parlor (I hate that word: parlor ) that looked decent and the artist gave me some stuff to look at since I had not yet decided what I wanted my tattoo to be. Now that was a problem. Tattoos are very personal. I should have known what I wanted before going in. I learned that lesson and did not need to learn it again. All of my other tattoos have a reason behind them. We learn from our mistakes, I suppose. I picked out a yellow crescent moon and some stars. The location was the middle of my lower back. I decided this would be the best spot because I could cover it up easily. It did not hurt as badly as I had expected. Don’t get me wrong–it hurt! But I had been afraid that I might cry, and it just wasn’t that kind of pain. A few days after we got home, I was driving down the road, listening to a local radio show. I felt my face turn red, as I picked up on the conversation…something about a tramp stamp. I had never heard this term before, but it did not take me long to realize that I now had one. Fuckety fuck me. Of course I did. Of course I had a fucking tramp stamp! Great. Later that week, I almost ran off the road as I had a sickening revelation that my lovely tramp stamp looked very much- too much –like the logo for the Crescent Moon Diner…fuckety fuck me AGAIN. Since it was located on my back, if I wanted to look at it there, I had to look in a mirror. I could pretty much forget about the damn thing and pretend it never even happened….well…unless I was bending over to get something out of my bag at the kids’ school and my shirt and my jeans were separated for that split second that Suzy Q. Homemaker from the neighborhood happened to be looking down my way. Those little incidents were so much fun, they almost made me want to wear things that invited the opportunity. I loved hearing the shock in their voices. “YOU have a tattoo?!” It was almost too much for some of them. I did actually get,” Jennifer, is it REAL? “ several times, as if I would actually apply a fake tramp stamp just for the hell of it. Seriously, people? Is it real? Come on. When I clocked in at a hefty 225 the day before The Baby was born, it looked like it was the size of a paper plate. There have been lots of times when I would have made a different decision regarding that particular tattoo. The good thing about it is that I don’t have to look at it, and neither do you, so we are all good. I have a Sons of Anarchy tattoo on the inside of my right forearm. I got that one at Kat Von D’s L.A. Ink. It’s about the size of a quarter. I have a Buddhist symbol for mindfulness on the inside of my left ankle and a skull and crossbones on the outside of my right ankle. All three of those tattoos have meaning for me. Nothing is larger than a half dollar. When Mini Me started talking about getting a tattoo awhile back, I was not surprised. I expected it, actually. What I did not expect, was for him to ask permission to get it. I think I just thought he would go to college and show up with one someday. Tuesday, I got a text from Mini Me, saying he really needed to talk to me about something, but wanted to make sure he wasn’t bothering me at work. This sort of text is not usually a good sign, as it means I might go ape-shit, so he wants to make sure I am not around other people who would matter. Finally, he asked me if I would mind if he went and got his tattoo. I was disappointed. I had secretly envisioned the two of us going to Liberty Tattoo together, on a mother/son field trip before he leaves for college next weekend. We could get tattoos together! It would be so much fun! What 18 year old boy wouldn’t want to go get a tattoo with his mother??? I sent him a text with my idea and asked him if he would just consider it. He responded that it had to be today because it was the anniversary of Jerry’s death. Today was not an option for me. Even though I was disappointed that our little tattoo bonding experience would not be happening (yet! 😉 , I totally understood this utmost importance and pressing need. Mothah remembers where she was when JFK was shot. I remember where I was when it was announced that Jerry Garcia died. It was like 6:00am. JC and I were dating. We had stayed up all night with JC’s brother, re-decorating their mother’s kitchen as a surprise. She was due in from a trip later that day. I had made an early morning Krispy Kreme run. This was before cell phones, so I had to actually wait until I got back to the house to let anyone else know this tragic news. My kids think that is the worst part of that story-that I could not call people and share the news on my way home. I told Mini Me that I had to tell (warn) his father that he was going to get a tattoo, so I texted this information to my husband and got no response. I got tired of waiting, so I called him. His response was this: I do not have time to deal with this. Oh, okay. I knew he was coming home late. I told him that I had to be up extra early for work and asked him not to wake me up when he got home. A little while later, I was getting ready to go to bed and Mini Me texted me a picture of his tattoo. I thought I might pass out. It was HUGE. It looked like it might be 4 or 5 inches long. Mother of GOD. I asked him if he was happy. He was, and very. I asked him if it hurt and he said HELL YES. I told him that I did not expect it to be that big, and I am pretty damn sure that he knew all along that I had no idea how big that thing was going to be. And now, as a result, Tuesday night, August 9, will now be forever known as The Night FUUUCK Was Heard ‘Round the Neighborhood. JC got home, got in bed, and got on his Instagram, and saw a photo of Mini Me’s tattoo. I was awakened to FUUUCK!!! GOD DAMN IT! The kind when you are so mad that it sounds like: GOT TAM IT! JENNIFER! WAKE UP! Have you seen this? OH MY GOD! etc. etc. I was livid. Of course I had seen it. It wasn’t my favorite thing in the world, but it wasn’t worth all of this drama queen bullshit. The ONE thing I had asked–was that I not be awakened, and damn it, here I was, awakened. I know it is supposed to be Jerry Garcia’s hand print, but I can’t help it. To me, it looks like it could be Harambe the Gorilla’s hand print. I am sure it will be much better when Mini Me’s skin calms down. One can hope… As for the size, Mini Me originally said, and I quote, “as small as possible”. I assumed (obviously incorrectly) that this meant he could get it as small as my quarter-sized tattoos. This is as small as he could get this tattoo, and now that I think about it, I really should have known that this would be a design that could never go as small as a quarter! It’s way too intricate. It’s someone’s actual hand print. but that is really my only issue with it. Like I said before, tattoos are very personal. It does not matter to me if you like my tattoos or not-they are not for you, they are for me. Mini Me’s tattoo is not for me. It’s for Mini Me. If it makes him happy, then he can rock right on with his bad ass self, and it’s really nobody else’s damn business. As for me, I can certainly say that Jerry Garcia has, posthumously, left an indelible mark on my son, and I am not exactly sure what to think about that! 😉