There’s this young woman at work who wears short shorts, and you can see she’s got a big tattoo on one of her legs.

It reminds me of how I don’t have any tattoos. It’s not because I’m afraid of needles, though I probably wouldn’t be able to watch it getting done. I just haven’t ever really had any interest in permanently altering my skin.

When I was in college, I heard that a really high percentage, like, 85%, of freshman girls get tattooed. I wasn’t interested in being like 85% of freshman girls, and, to be fair, I was not like 85% of freshman girls. When I moved into Stoke Hall in September of 1996, I didn’t smoke. I didn’t drink. I had never even seen a joint. I was straightedge all through high school.

Needless to say, I did not fit in with the other girls on my floor, most of whom had partied pretty hard in high school.

But it wasn’t just that I didn’t fit in. Those girls didn’t like me. Especially one of my roommates, who ended up moving out in the middle of first semester. She basically told our whole floor I was a dud.

They made fun of me. Behind my back and to my face. “I like your hair,” says this girl one night in a hallway lined on both sides with onlooking girls. I’d had it pulled all up into a bun for bed. Who the H cares what their hair looks like at bedtime?

My other roommate, thankfully, was not so judgmental, and kind of took me under her wing.

But, no, I never felt the need to go and get a tattoo. The most radical thing I did to my body was to have my cartilage pierced. Remember how people used to do that? So I had an earring at the top of my ear, as well as in my lobes.

I wanted a belly button ring, and I had the perfect little flat belly for it, but I was afraid of it getting infected.

Tattoos are so permanent. A piercing you can always just remove. But with a tattoo…what if your interests change? Derek wanted an Insane Clowns tattoo when I met him.

Or what if your body changes, like mine has?

All I’m saying is, if you’re gonna get a tattoo, you’d better be damn sure you’re always gonna want that thing there. That it will always be relevant to you. I can see doing something simple, like a little star or a flower or your astrological sign. Maybe your kids’ names. But other than that?

Like, I see people covered in tattoos and I can’t imagine doing that, myself. I get why they do it. It’s self-expression. Art. But if I want art, I just go to a museum.

And I guess I just use clothing to express myself. I can change my clothes if I change my mind, or my mood, or my body.

That’s probably why I’m always changing my blog title, too. I’m noncommittal. Fluid. Literally shape-shifting.

That would be one way to look at it, I guess.

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