(inspired by Melissa, Oh?)
I have one tattoo. It’s an image of a Rude Boy and a Rude Girl skanking on my left bicep. The image was taken from a reprint of an invite to a 2-Tone Christmas party I found in the “2-Tone Book” when I was 19. It was the mid-90’s and everyone else was getting tattoos, so being a vaguely hip guy I figured why not.
I guess it’s a conselation that I still like the music, eh?
When I told my parents about my decision to get said tattoo, mom was pretty vocal about her displeasure and dad seemed pretty ok with the idea. So the day came and I went to the parlor with two friends and freaked out about halfway through and almost welshed on getting it altogether. But the tattooist, god bless ‘im, was able to talk me down and even though he screwed up the design on the Rude Girl’s shirt (it’s SUPPOSED to be a music note, but whatever), I still think he did a pretty swell job. I show it to my folks and my mom loves it and my dad hates it. OH THE IRONY!
So flash forward a few months to that Christmas time and my cousin Kelly’s wedding. This is during my sophomore year of college and I decide that it might be a really, really good idea to bleach my hair, and my girlfriend at the time TOTALLY supports that. I may or may not link a photo at some point. But anyway, this is also when I’m in the midst of my mod/ska/vintage phase, so when the time comes to go to my cousin’s wedding, I get dudded up, sure, but wind up looking like nothing as much as a low rent Sting as Ace Face from “Quadrophenia.”
I also get nominated to videotape the whole thing, which I’m glad to do. This means I get to stand at the back of the church while everyone comes in, so the first thing they see is my “dog-pee-on-snow” blond hair and y’know, at least we get that reaction out of the way. It’s about an even split of kudos and “that’s nice, Michael.” And then my Grandpa comes in and shakes my hand and goes on his way. He sits down next to my parents and a few minutes goes by and I see him looking around and he leans over to my mom and asks her something. She turns around and points to the back of the church. He looks confused, then disappointed. From what I understand, the exchange went like this:
Grandpa I.: Where’s Mike?
Mama H.: He’s back there! You said hi to him when you came in! (points at me)
Grandpa I.: (Pause) You mean behind the blond guy?
Mama H.: (Pause) He IS the blonde guy.
(Cue look of confusion/disappointment on Grandpa I.’s face. He turns around.)
So the next day at the wedding reception I’m wearing this plaid button up shirt that I’ve got cuffed up just enough so you can see the tattoo, which I’m expecting to get as much of a mixed reaction as the hair. Not so. It’s an overwhelming success! Even Grandpa I. has nothing bad to say about it! The younger cousins think I’m a fucking rock star! But I think my cousin Beth (who has been through a LOT and knows a thing or two) summed it up best when she said,”Oh Michael I love it! But your hair…”
So, in summation: if you want to be a part of my extended family, feel free to get all the ink you want, just DO NOT bleach your hair, capiche?
Happy friday, y’all.
*UPDATE 8.21.09, 10:41 am*