Even Barbie Has a Tattoo

I don’t like tattoos. I find them unattractive and I’ve never seen the appeal. Now, if you or someone you love have tattoos, that’s your business. There are reasons why I will never get one and I’ll get to those shortly. A couple things happened the other day that brought the topic of tattoos front and center.

 

 

The first trigger was hearing about Barbie getting a tattoo. My first reaction was to roll my eyes. I remember when Ken got facial hair in the 70s. Um, yeah. Groovy.

I had every Barbie accessory. My Barbie lived in the townhouse with the working elevator. She had the dune buggy and camper. And she even used to date my best friend Tony’s Big Jim. (What do you mean Big Jim isn’t an accessory?!) Perhaps “date” is not the correct term for what Barbie and Big Jim were doing. What do you call taking Ken to the prom and as soon as he gives you a chaste peck on the cheek you’re calling Big Jim to come over and demonstrate how his prehensile hands work? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

So, the idea of Barbie getting tattoos doesn’t surprise me considering that they’re more common nowadays. I still remember when having a tattoo was stigmatized. People made judgments about someone based on having tattoos. Is this right? No, but we all make judgments about people based on many factors. Anyone who says he or she doesn’t, needs to book that flight to Rome for canonization for sainthood.

The second event that got me to thinking about tattoos was a woman I saw at physical therapy. She was older than me, perhaps in her late 50s. As I get older, it’s harder for me to guess someone’s age. In any case, she wasn’t some nubile young thing with a toned torso and beautiful biceps. She was an average, older woman except for one thing. Her arms and legs were covered with tattoos.

The sight of her made me think about why I’ll never get a tattoo:

Pain: Listen, lab technicians have enough problems finding a vein when I need blood drawn. I can’t imagine willingly subjecting myself to skin carving. I’m a lot of things, but a masochist isn’t one of them.

Tattoos Don’t Age Well: A tattoo of some hot, curvy babe on your muscular biceps may look great when you’re in your 20s. Look in the mirror when you hit 50 and your biceps haven’t been curled in years, buddy boy. Add to this, the effect of sun damage and wrinkles, and you get the picture. And it’s not pretty.

Tattoos Are Permanent: I’m in a constant state of flux of what I like and what I believe. It would be just my luck to get a yin-yang symbol tattooed on my ass only to become Amish some day. Great. Try explaining that to my husband Yoder. Then again, he’s named Yoder and he wears a goofy beard. And there’s that little fact that I’m a lesbian. But, you get my drift.

So, friends, if you decide to get a tattoo, remember to stay in shape, keep out of the sun and moisturize and don’t put anything on your body that you may be embarrassed about later. You’d be surprised how bitchy those Amish women can get around the sewing circle.

Babies Crawl and So Does My Skin

Some of you may remember my rant about the Nutella commercial in which I take umbrage with the premise that giving Nutella to your kids for breakfast is acceptable. Well, boys and girls, once again a commercial has elicited a strong reaction from me and yes, it relates to my childhood. (I know that you’re shocked.)

This time the commercial is for Huggies and it features miscellaneous toddlers crawling all over the floor. I’m sure that most people find it cute, perhaps even amusing. It creeps me out. In case you haven’t seen it, here it is:

Why, you may be asking, does this commercial bother me so much? Well, to answer this question, I need to give you a little back story that may help. In my first post on this blog, I told you that my parents tried for nine years to have a baby and after multiple medical tests and novenas, ta dah! I was born.

Well, with all that effort, you can imagine how wanted I was and how protective my parents were. (I wasn’t allowed to cross the street by myself until I was 10. I’m not kidding.) One of the ways my parents protected me was by controlling my environment. Compared to the rounded corners, helmets, knee pads, elbow pads and the like that today’s kids deal with, my parents seem almost negligent. Then again, back in the 1960s and 1970s, kids got boo-boos and weren’t micro-managed. But that is a different post.

There was one area in particular in which my mother was obsessed. Dirt. I’ve written about growing up with an aversion to the beach because sand was dirty and dangerous. My mother had the same fear about floors. Not any particular floor, but all surfaces on which you walk: linoleum, wood, carpet and of course, pavement. These surfaces were teeming with all sorts of disgusting and unmentionable things. When I was a teenager, my mother and I were at some function and I saw the look she got on her face when some mother put her kid down on the floor to crawl. The look was a combination of shock and disgust.

Naturally, I asked her about this and here’s how the conversation went.

Kelly
What’s that look for?

Mom
That baby. Crawling all over the floor.

Kelly
That’s what babies do.

Mom
You didn’t. We didn’t let you.

Kelly
What do you mean you didn’t let me?

Mom
Floors, no matter how clean, are not
hygienic. That child over there had his
hands where shoes and dogs have been.
Now his fingers are in his mouth. God
knows what germs he’s picked up.

Kelly
O-kay. How did you stop me from crawling?

Mom
You went from standing in your playpen to
walking. Every night, your father or I would stand at
the opposite end of the playpen and get you to walk
to us. Then you started walking all over the place.

Kelly
(mumbling)
Except across the street alone.

Mom
What was that?

Kelly
Nothing. Nothing at all.

So, according to my mother, I went from this:


to this without missing a proverbial beat.

(There was no way this outfit was going to get dirty, no sirree!)

So fast forward to me today at age 46 and this commercial comes on. I don’t see happy, giggling kids scampering across the floor. I see little human Petri dishes of disease. I bet you’re not surprised that I decided not to have children, are you? My cats are enough work and it’s a good thing that they wash their own paws. But, I do have these on hand just in case…

Tennis, Anyone?

I’m re-discovering my love of tennis while watching the 2011 US Open and as I do with everything I get interested in, I become obsessed. Thanks to an upgraded cable package that included Tennis Channel, I’m getting acquainted with a lot of new faces, especially on the Women’s Tour. For a few years now, I’ve found women’s tennis unwatchable due to the prevalence of shrieking that so many top players seem to engage in as they hit EVERY SINGLE BALL.

Now, I’m not a professional tennis player but I used to play a lot. I don’t remember Chris Evert (my favorite), Evonne Goolagong (my Dad’s favorite) or even Martina Navratilova wailing like banshees as they hit the ball. They just played the game and played it well. This shrieking is unnecessary, it’s distracting and it’s pure gamesmanship. Some of the men grunt and groan but not all of them. If Roger Federer can win all the championships he has while being as silent as Marcel Marceau, what’s Maria Sharapova’s excuse?

In any case, I found myself watching more men’s tennis of late but I started missing watching the women. So, I started following the coverage on Tennis Channel and there are some incredibly talented women out there, and even some who don’t cause dogs to bark on the other side of the world. One of my favorites is Sam Stosur from Australia. She’s strong and fun to watch. And she’s quiet!

She’s made it to the semifinals and is now set to face Germany’s Angelique Kerber. I know nothing about Kerber but I’m hoping Sam makes it through to the finals. The other semifinal is between Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki, the current Number 1 player. Both Williams and Wozniacki can make noise but I’m hoping I don’t have to watch it on mute.

Watching tennis again has brought back a lot of memories, most of which are wonderful. I started playing at age 10 with my Wilson Chris Evert Autograph racquet and I won a mixed doubles championship at aged 11. I remember copying Chris’ mannerisms and strokes as best I could. I try not to remember the cruelty of the girls on my high school team whose taunts and dirty tricks made tennis not fun anymore and led to my quitting the team after two years.

But high school was a long time ago and it may be time to pick up my racquet and start playing again. Luckily, tennis is a game that you can play at any age and I have courts within walking distance from the house. Now I just need to find a partner. Tennis, anyone?

Nutella It Like It Is

Every once in awhile, a commercial comes along that annoys me beyond words. Well, maybe not beyond words, since I’m now blogging about it. But, you get the idea. This Nutella commercial is the current target of my advertising angst. We see a harried Mom of three oozing gratitude that Nutella came into her life. Now she can give her family “a breakfast they’ll want to eat” and she can feel good “that they’re ready to tackle the day”. Really? You popped toast in the toaster, slathered chocolate and hazelnut on it and threw it in front of your kids. Wow, you are SO getting the mother of the year award!

I don’t have kids and have no idea how difficult it is to get them fed, clothed and out the door every day. But, still, is this what we’ve devolved into? I can tell you this, if my mother had sent me out the door with toast and a spread for my “nutritious” breakfast, the neighbors would have called Child Protective Services.

But, you know, maybe I need to not take things so seriously. It’s just a commercial after all. I should look for the lighter side of life. Like this. Ah, parody always makes me feel so much better.