Showing my age I guess. In Hawaii, people generally wear a lot less clothes than back here in good old Texas. Not just on the breach where they wear a LOT less clothes, but everywhere. And so you end up seeing a lot of tattoos. I mean, a LOT of tattoos. And I find myself thinking, almost all of the time, “What are you thinking?”

I know tattoos are immensely popular now. Teaching high school seniors, it seems as though the key rite of passage nowadays is to go out and get your first tattoo on your 18th birthday. If they wait that long – some use fake IDs, some get parental permission (what are they thinking!) – but all the time I overhear the discussions about what their first tattoo is going to be, where it’s going to be, how many more they’re going to have, etc. etc. etc. And I find myself thinking, “What are you thinking?”

I know body art has been around for centuries. I know some of it shows a high degree of artistic design. But where I fall off the boat is the idea of permanently marking my body with some design. Over the decades, so much of my tastes and preferences have changed. Music, literature, movies, people – so to put something on my body at age 18 (or even 55) knowing I’m stuck with it forever just doesn’t work for me. And seeing some older people with tattoos on their less-than youthful bodies makes me shudder at times. A lot of times I look at the tattoos on younger people and think to myself “I’m really NOT going to want to see that in 30 years!”

I’m not sure if I’m even in the majority on this – many friends my age now talk about the tattoos they have recently gotten or are planning to get. A dear friend of my generation was posting on Facebook the plans and the act of getting their first tattoo a few weeks ago. and I wondered “What are you thinking?”

Call me old, but I just don’t get it.

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