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Perhaps fifteen years ago, I was busy in the kitchen doing prep work for dinner for my four children, assorted hangers on and my ex. My daughter was home for the summer after her first year at university. She worked as a life guard at the town pool and didn’t have to clock in until 2:00 that day. One son was at work, the other two sons had returned after a midnight shift at a local factory and were snoring away. My ex was at work. My daughter came into the kitchen and turned the television on. She clicked onto the “Jerry Springer” show. (I know - UGH, but she was only 18). It was another “Who your baby daddy” episode. As she put together breakfast for herself, she hitched her sleep shorts up and mimicked the antics of the show participants. That’s when I saw it. Something red on her butt cheek.

I said, “that had better be temporary”. There was a few minutes of silence. That’s when I knew it was a tattoo. My vision was poor enough at that point that I was not sure what that red blob was but I knew it was not something that had been there when I changed her diapers. It turns out it is a poorly done red maple leaf. A group of girls were at Grand Bend (for those of you unfamiliar with Ontario, Grand Bend is a teenage beach oasis) and they all drunkenly decided a tattoo was the thing to do. She has since had a more artistic celtic knot tattooed on the other cheek (her husband is Irish) and has had a nose piercing as well as multiple ear piercings.

I was reminded of this today when I went for a hair cut. My stylist ,Crystal, is a woman in her mid thirties. She does an amazing job and I really like her. An acquaintance told me a couple of weeks ago that she would be hesitant to book an appointment with Crystal because Crystal has a full sleeve tattoo.

Hmmmmmm ...... Is that tattooism? Regardless, I didn’t know Crystal had a tattoo. So, today when I had Crystal cut my hair I decided to ask her about her tattoo. I told her a friend had told me she had a full sleeve and was she comfortable describing the tattoo to me. She was thrilled to tell me about it. It is a collage of Tim Burton movie characters. She also told me about the full back tattoo, the two ankle tattoos and the 4 leg tattoos. I asked if she wanted more and she described the Disney villainess full sleeve she wants for the other arm.

One more lovely thing about being blind. No hurried and undeserved assessments based on one’s image or preconceived ideas. Do I plan on getting a tattoo? No, I don’t. A 55 year old body is not the ideal canvas for art. I cringe when I have to have blood drawn at the lab and I have enough trouble matching my shoes to my dress and accessories, let alone the overtones, colour, and undertones of a tattoo. Do I judge those who do choose to tattoo? Not any more. I no longer care if my daughter’s poorly done maple leaf is temporary or permanent. We all make decisions based on what we believe is the best decision at that time. We do the best we can. So tattooed or not, Crystal will be styling my hair for a long time to come. And my hair looks damn fine.


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