I overhear a lot of bullshit about tattooing. A lot. Rumours and conjecture and all sorts of totally unbelievable (and sometimes offensive) nonsense. Normally I don't comment, I stand quietly hoping people will notice how tattooed I am and just shut the fuck up on their own. But today, today was different...
Some back story: I am approaching heavily tattooed. I have spent 50+ hours and big bucks under the needles of some of the best artists in Canada. I have been tattooed in my kitchen, in other cities and in places that sent me running for a Hep C test! None of that tattooing has ever been for anyone but me. They are not a badge of honour or proof that I'm "tough" or badass (I am); they are art and I love them all. I love the communion between my skin and the artist; I love that I have 5'6" of skin to colour in and share the work of so many amazing artists in the process; I love how fucking hot they are! Anything else, and anything you think of me in the process is on you and my patience for ignorance is limited.
So there I am in Lester B. Pearson airport in our nation's unofficial capital listening to these middle-aged morons complain about their kids getting tattooed. I ignored it for the most part until one of the men started talking about how one of his coworkers should have been fired when she got a small tattoo on her wrist because it made her look so trashy. At this I began to prep myself for security-I took off my jacket and sweater revealing to these 4 assholes standing behind me a woman with a full sleeve. They didn't notice and I needed them to so as they began to talk about how "tattooed people are always sick because their immune systems are attacking the ink" I bent down, facing them to tie my shoe and as I stood up I made eye contact with one of the morons and said, "that isn't true."
Him: well, I heard it was.
Me: my doctor loves my tattoos, has some herself and is impressed by the health and shape I'm in.
His wife: well, you can't have an epidural because the ink will get into your spinal fluid and kill you."
Me: that's also untrue.
Wife: a nurse told me that.
Me: my tattooed gyno told me the opposite.
Wife: (with disbelief) both your doctors are tattooed?
Me: lots of people are tattooed. More than you would ever guess...
They still continued their tattoo conversation but at least it was just a boring one about tattoos they have seen and liked.
For the record, I have no idea if either of my doctors are tattooed. Neither of them are visibly tattooed but it doesn't matter, the truth of that is not important. My lie was silly and designed to prove a point to people who don't want to hear from a tattooed writer, they wanna hear from a doctor, even if by proxy, that everything they think is utter bullshit.
So people, if you get tattooed you will be able to get a job, have major surgery, give birth how ever you desire and your immune system will not destroy itself. And if you want, and I'd be cool with this, to be less of a dick about things that are completely unrelated to you, we'd all have a better time in airport line ups.