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Tattoo Are You?

8th May 2012

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I have always harboured the ambition of becoming a rock star. The fast cars, the excess -it’s all very alluring.

I’m currently fulfilling a few of the necessary criteria –unconventional haircut, black skinny jeans/converse combo no matter what the weather, and being the lead singer in a rock n’roll band (Red Havana, you can check us out on Facebook….if you want….)

However, there is one that I am currently lacking – a tattoo. Since realising that I can now do pretty much what I want without fear of retribution from my mother, I have been debating for the past few months as to exactly what to get, where to get it, and slowly realising that whatever ink I have on me will be there until my dying day.

Initially I fancied getting a Arsenal tattoo on my upper right arm and a skull with an Indian headdress on my left, at which point my girlfriend threatened to get one too, or worse, get her tongue pierced. After then briefly considering a canon tattoo to represent my beloved Gunners instead, I realised that this was not only ridiculously chavvy, but also quite violent – I’m a placid guy I like to think, having a symbol of war on my arm that says “I’m going to end you” would probably send out completely the wrong message.

After seeing a friend’s tattoo with the words of Edith Piaf’s anthem “Non je ne regrette rien” (she is French, so this isn’t pretentious, it is fair enough some may say), I was then forced to reconsider my previous options. As she put it to me, I shouldn’t get one for the sake of getting one, but should do if it means something to me. Currently I am enamoured with the idea of getting a crow’s feather on my upper right arm instead – why you ask? Because it looks cool (always a good reason……not), but on a serious note, the crow is a bird that humans have always been scared of, and it is a symbol of overcoming difficulties and taming this animal. Another of my best friends here has a roaring tiger on his back, which is in one word, awesome. He also claimed it didn’t hurt. I’m not sure if I believe him.

It also raises the question of regret – yes with piercings you can take them out, ex-girlfriends you can forget about, but a tattoo really is for life. When you’re sitting in your nice big office in your professional job at 30, will you really want to look down at your fore-arm and see a skull or a song lyric that seemed profound at the time, yet now is just sort of embarrassing? Will you want to be reminded of the foolhardy courage of youth? (“yeah man, this is definitely a good idea, every middle-class kid wants 'Thug Life' on their arm, you're such a badass”).

All in all, be careful, and think about your tattoos. They’re there for life.

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