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Language Log

Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023 - 8:05 p.m.

Had E’s birthday party. It was fine. I’m exhausted. I had a nap when we got home, but I’m still exhausted. And thirsty.

I was having some thoughts about my tattoos that I wanted to get down. Last week on our outing to the grocery store bakery at the fancy mall in the foothills, just after I got my latest one, I noticed a couple looks from some of the conservative types who go there. Different than usual and I don’t know how common it will become but I expect I will get used to it. I mean, my most visible tattoo now is not even something feminine and pretty, it’s a demon fer chrissakes. Driving through Arkansas will be fun this year.

Tattoos are of course so much more common now than they were and the stigma is fading quickly, but I think they’re seen (by the non-tattooed) as a youthful thing, a mistake, an indiscretion, a bad investment that will be regretted. For someone older to be accumulating them like this is less comprehensible (even though older women generally do invest in their appearance if possible, one way or another).

But the way that it draws attention to the body is itself considered inappropriate for certain groups and makes it all somehow worse. Am I imagining this?

I have given up on caring what my mother thinks or anyone else. That doesn’t mean I don’t notice that they’re thinking things (or in my mother’s case, telling me things). I’m aware that I’m squandering some privilege with this. I’m ok with that. It’s there to burn.

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