Tattoo Etiquette

Today’s lesson on Tattoo Etiquette

At the grocery store today, the guy bagging my groceries asked me two questions that you should never, ever ask someone about their tattoos.

1) How much did your sleeve cost?

This was the first thing this complete stranger said to me. No “hi” or “I like your tattoos.” He just said “how much did it cost?” right off the bat. I answered this in a roundabout way, by saying “I get it worked on every few months, so it’s hard to say.” He then went so far as to ask me how much it cost per session, and I said it depends on the work being done, then busied myself by getting out my wallet.

Lesson: This is extremely FUCKING RUDE. I don’t even know this guy, and he wants to know financial details of my life? Fuck off. Tell me you like my tattoo. Ask me how many hours I have put into it. Don’t ask me about money when I don’t even know your fucking name. It’s RUDE.

2) Did it hurt?

Are you for real? I had a needle full of ink jabbed into my skin thousands of times, YES IT HURT. Dumbass. This question isn’t rude, so must as just fucking stupid. Congratulations, I now can’t take you seriously as an intelligent life form.

That being said, I don’t want this to discourage you from talking to people about their tattoos. If they have tattoos in a visible place, that means they had something they wanted the world to know. I love ALL tattoos, even the shitty ones, because there is a story behind every damn one. If you want to know more about someone’s tattoos, open up with “wow, I love your work!” or if you don’t love it, tell them it’s interesting. After all, if you weren’t interested in it (even if it is butt-ugly) you wouldn’t be asking about it.  I love receiving compliments, or telling you where I got them done. I like hearing about other people’s work, or their ideas. I like talking about tattoos. I don’t like talking about money, or being asked stupid questions. I’m not going to walk up to a random stranger and ask them how much they get paid at their job. Don’t walk up to a random tattooed person and ask them how much their work cost.

Anyone currently recalling an instance in which you presented one of these two questions to a complete stranger, don’t be angry with me or feel ashamed. Once you get to know someone, it’s perfectly okay to ask more detailed questions. Also, everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes the only way to discover that something is offensive is to have already done it. It’s okay. Just learn from your mistakes.

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Alcoholism is a Disease

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here. There hasn’t been much going on in my life that is suitable for public, so I’ve been neglecting this blog. My knitting’s fallen off the charts into “occasionally” and my cooking is just enough to get my family by.

There’s been some drama… My karate instructor is an alcoholic, and when it came down to him choosing between his two best families or his booze, he picked his booze. Up until now, I’d never dealt with a friend being an alcoholic. I wasn’t too sure I bought into the whole “alcoholism is a disease” thing, and I couldn’t imagine why he couldn’t just shake it. After dealing with him and his problems for YEARS, I can honestly say that it is absolutely a disease. It is a devastating illness that clouds his view of the world to the point where he doesn’t see anything realistically anymore. He refuses to see how much his behavior is hurting the people around him, and it is heartbreaking. He is driving to the school in the evenings drunk. He is teaching 5-7 year old children DRUNK. He has a good heart, but he is so self-centered that he refuses to ask for help. He is so self centered, that he sticks his head in the sand any time someone tries to talk to him.

Needless to say, this was devastating to everyone involved. We spoke to him two years ago about at least waiting until after class was over for the day to get wasted. We spoke to him one year ago about not drinking before class. Then he showed up to an important event very personal to me with alcohol on his breath and a slur in his speech, and I was done. We’ve been licking our spiritual wounds, and trying to move on ever since. It’s been rough going. I’ve only just now gotten back into running after a month and a half long hiatus, and every joint on my body aches. I haven’t been taking my vitamins, and I’ve been staying up too late. I try to be a model of fitness and health for the people around me, but it just got too hard after having to leave the karate school that’s been my home for the past five years. I’ve identified as a martial artist for so long, I’m a little lost without that direction.

I want to talk to my instructor. I want to speak to him and hear his plan for getting healthy again. I want everything to be okay. I want my friend back. But there’s nothing more I can do. In the end, sobriety and recovery are a personal decision, and he has no interest regardless of the consequences.

But you know what? No matter what happens, life goes on. So here I am, trying to move on. I don’t have any new recipes to post or knitting patterns to show off, but hopefully I’ll have something to share soon.

Thanks for stopping by.