My parents have each asked me not to get a tattoo.
“Don’t get a tattoo, don’t get a tattoo,” my mother chanted when I broke the news and tried to explain my rationale.
Big surprise. I didn’t think they’d be all, “Yay, tattoos!” But tattoos are so mainstream at this point, I didn’t think they’d be so opposed to it.
It makes me feel bad. I don’t ever want to do anything that my parents disapprove of. But sheesh, I’m almost 36 years old. They’re lucky I didn’t get a stupid dolphin on my ankle when I was 18!
I dressed up as Sporty Spice for Halloween when I was about 23. I got some temporary tattoos for the occasion, including a tribal design that goes around the bicep. I loved the look. Less so the faux gold tooth and the magnetic nose stud.
Around that time, I bought some Japanese symbols that I stuck to my ankle here and there. I remember trying to decide what, if any, Japanese word I should have permanently inscribed on my flesh. Maybe I should get the Libra scales…
Boy am I glad that thought process never moved beyond a fanciful musing. That’s the kind of tattoo a person might regret…or if not regret, at least think to herself, “Gee, I wish I didn’t get the Kanji for ‘love’ tattooed on my ankle like everyone else my age.”
I have never seriously wanted a tattoo before. Here’s why I want one now.
I’m going to love many more dogs in my life. I feel a need to memorialize Isis permanently. A reminder of her, recognizing the special relationship I had with her. I want a small tattoo of her name — four little letters, or more precisely, two letters twice each — on my foot, forever.
We had a painting made from one of her photos. I have a wristwatch with her picture on it. We have her ashes in a box with a photo of her. A stone engraved with her name near the spot where she died. These are keepsakes that will last a long time.
She’s also still the desktop wallpaper on my laptop, and the photo on my cell phone and iPod. (Well, the lock screen is a family photo of me, Rob, Leo and Mia; but the wallpaper is Isis.)
At some point, I’m going to get a new phone or iPod and maybe I’ll use a photo of a different dog. Maybe there will be a point when I don’t incorporate Isis in the header for this blog.
But a tattoo of her name on my foot. That’s forever. Something special just for her. Just for me. It’s something that I think will help me in my grieving process.
I don’t see how you can argue with that.