Saturday, October 1, 2011

Tatoos, Motorcycles, and Being Different.......

Most of us have a yearning to be our own unique person---different from others in an acceptably interesting way. 

Of course, there is always a peer group at work, telling us that we should conform to its standards of the day.  The peer group begins to exert its pull on us at an early age, when we are urged to behave and dress and think a certain way.  The peer group exerts more and more influence as we age---until, that is---most of us get old enough to be tired of the games and the control, and we say "to hell with what others think."

But, I digress.

What got me to thinkin' about all this is the current rage of tatoos.  When I was growing up, there were two types of people who got tatoos---sailors and people with rather low intelligence quotients.

After all, my mom told me that you couldn't undo a tatoo; and what might seem like a good idea today might look just the opposite in a few years.  That made sense to me then, and it still does.

But tatoos are everywhere today. They have definitely gone mainstream.  And more than that, there are so many folks walking around with multiple tatoos.  They got 'em on their arms, legs, chests, backs, necks, faces, and even other places.

I have to shake my head and ask "Why?"

Is it a cry for attention?  Is it a submission to the peer group?---an attempt to "fit in" with the crowd?  An appeal to be accepted?

I am reminded of the old John Hartford song, "Natural to be Gone", in which he poses the question, "What's the difference being different when it's difference now that looks alike?....."  Ha.  That about nails it, doesn't it?  If everyone has tatoos, all of a sudden having a tatoo is not different, but the same.  And all of a sudden it's guys like me who are different because we DON'T have tatoos.  This is delicious.

Motorcycles are another one---used to be that if you rode a chopper, you were a wild thing. My momma told me to avoid guys who rode motorcycles because they had a bad reputation.  There were stories about Hell's Angels and lawlessness and raping and killing and so on.

But now, motorcycles are everywhere.  Motorcycles aren't different anymore.  If you wanna be different as man, DON'T get a chopper.   Ha.

Let the comments, especially differences of opinion, begin!


  1. I haven't got a tattoo so I suppose I'm in the monority these days.

    Thanks for your comment yesterday, hope you make BRANSON MO., he's there every November,
    he is not retiring just taking some time out to try other things.

    Have a lovely week-end.

  2. Jeepers! Imagine having a tatoo AND a motorcycle! (jus kiddin' of course)

    I must be truly different, too! No tatoos on me. A motorcycle might have been fun in our "Golden" years but it is all I can do to not get in an accident while inside the armor of an automobile! I can't imagine driving with no protection at all. Anxious to hear from your followers on here. ♥

  3. No tattos nor motorcycles here. At one time I wanted a heart with wings but that has faded and I don't think about it. For me, my stroke made a big difference even though I am the same person I don't want the same things that I did 2 years ago.

  4. (delicious - ha!) you make some good points. i was always afraid of the pain and permanency of tattoos. motorcycles can be fun, though. i dated a guy who rode a sporty one, and riding around in the summer was so nice. of course he wasn't allowed to go fast!

  5. It is rare these days to see a man without either a tattoo, or an earring. The men who turn my head don't even how Harley's... what's up with that? I LOVE Harley's, always have so I've determined that once I'm done with being a student and out working one of the first things I'm treating myself to is a Harely... after the bike lessons that is. I also went out and got a tattoo two years ago. Did I do it to fit in? Nope, not in the least. I'm at the "I don't care what others think of me" age group. I got my tattoo for me, as a matter of fact I didn't know how I was going to tell my oldest son. Funny how that worked. I never allowed my children to get tattoos, once they were old enough they have the choice and neither of my boys has a tattoo.

    My daughter on the other hand has one classy tattoo which I LOVE. She's 1/2 Italian and she had inscribed on the inside of her foot "the good life" in Italian, she told me that this reminds her that each time she takes a step she's walking into the good life. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, except she wants a racing bike, now that would cause me gray hair if she actually got one.

    I guess it all comes down to personal choice, and being old enough to know that it's permanent and giving whatever you choose to do plenty of thought. Who knows, I might take a bike out for a test drive and decide against it. The dream is phenomenal!

    I don't agree with kids getting tattoos and you're right, the array of "I'm going to regret this one day" tattoos that are out there are unbelievable. I think that fads and phases the media puts out there should be given more thought by the corporations who impose these fads. Would "they" allow their 16 year old daughter to get a tattoo of a snake and a skull on her body? I didn't think so.

    Have a great day, your posts sure are interesting!

  6. Peer pressure has a lot to answer for! My son is nine, and will be returning back to school shortly after spring-break. To save a few dollars, I showed him a bag I had with snoopy on the front. I thought this bag would make for a good library bag. His reply, "Mum, some people at school think snoopy is babyish." So it's okay to like snoopy at home, but off limits at school. I asked him, "Since when do we care about what others think?"

    I don't have any tattoo's, nor fancy motor-cycles and I pray my son will have enough common sense when he's older, not to either!

  7. Don't you have a tatoo somewhere or an earring
    or those metals everywhere?
    So you are not fitting in the world today!!!
    Have a great weekend!!!!!

  8. You are talking to women here remember.

    p.s. I do have one tiny tattoo that I did myself, while my friends were tattooing boys names on their wrists and ankles. I made a small heart on one finger. It is still there. I consider it an experiment.

  9. My favorite child care provider when my kids were little was a young woman who looked like she should NEVER be around children. She was pierced and tattooed everywhere you could see. Her hair was spiky and dyed, and she always wore black. She was absolutely the most responsible, ethical, wise person ever. I trusted her completely with my kids. And when she picked my daughter up after school, my daughter quickly became the most popular kid in school. I can tell you no other nannies looked like hers!!

    I popped over from Darlene's blog. I see you are in Knoxville. I grew up in Memphis (in the "other" Tennessee!) Now living in Oregon.

  10. Why I am having my Tattoos??? Because I like them and they are special to me. It is not for attention, because two of them you can only see when I am on the beach and one is just for myself or a boyfriend.

    Every Tattoo has a meaning for me, they are a part of me. But one thing, but I would never get tattooed on the arms, neck or face. I think thats not aesthetically

    Have a beautiful weekend and take care


  11. I totally agree with you... I am not into tattoos or motorcycles.

    One interesting experience in the nursing homes where I have worked is that staff members with prominent tattoos are not well seen by the residents or their families. I heard remarks such as: "yeah, that nurse with the tattoos" etc.

    I guess I am old fashioned... but I like it :-))


  12. Well Clint, I don't like tattoos and my son has about 25 and is almost covered from head to toe. One tattoo covers his entire left arm. He is the nicest fellow you could imagine and those tattoos have gotten him into more trouble with the law than I can shake a stick at. He is so prejudged by the tattoos he is now sorry he got them and hides them at every cost. So that means long sleeve shirts in summer if he has to go somewhere "official" like to find a job, take his daughters to the doctor, go to court to pay parking tickets, etc. This is an example of a child not listening to the parents and rebelling, trying to look intimidating so he would not be bullied. Had I known his after school job was paying for tattoos I would have tried to handle it differently. Once their bodies become private they can hide all sorts of things on them.............! Sorry for the long comment but I agree with Cindy about loving the armour protection of riding in a car. I don't like the vulnerability of a motorcycle, and yes I have ridden on one briefly so it's not a case of "don't knock it until you've tried it." Take care!
    Carol B.

    PS Google won't let me post comments again :(

  13. Well Clint, i have to say i have NEVER ever seen so many tattoos on people as here in the USA. On grandma's, grandpa's kids, teens, just everywhere!

    I can't say to much, it have a little tattoo, maybe you remember my post about that??? but i don't think i ever get another one.

    And putting people in "boxes" just because they have a bike, special car or a big/small house is just, well.... kinda dumb...

    a big kiss for you and your lovely wife from Indiana

  14. I had the same opinion as you about tattoos until I read about them on the net sometimes ago.
    Tattoos - in ancient times the women were tattooed so others knew who she belonged to, and there is heaps more reasons down the ages etc.

    I don't mind a well done tattoo, but I don't like to see lots of tattoos on anyone, to me it doesn't look good, just one big mess!
    I don't mean to offend anyone.
    I understand that tattoos are 'fashionable' in certain circles.

    Motorcycles....they once had a bad name too, but not any more, not where I live but of course there is good and bad in everything :)
    My husband bought himself one, one of our sons bought himself one at the same time, they both went to Motorbike School or whatever it was called and had to pass their exams, both practical and oral.
    They both found riding a bike was rather dangerous at times due to some drivers of cars so both were very careful, they eventually sold their bikes and don't ride anymore.

  15. Wow! Great comments from everyone. I appreciate your thoughts because 1) I can learn something new and 2) I get to know each of you a little better.

    Truth be told, I have always wanted to have a hawg, but by the time I could afford one and had the time to ride it, I was in my 60s. Of course, there are those who maintain that age is no restriction, but I have talked with a number of folks I trust who tell me it isn't a good idea to take up if you are over 50. Fact is---bikes are dangerous, and reaction times of 60 year-olds is not comparable to reaction times of 30 year-olds. Plus, I know how much my wife would worry, and it just isn't worth it to me at this point. Maybe I'll buy a chopper and just go out and look at it every day. Hmmm.

  16. Don't have any tatoos but I sold my motorcycle when I hit 70. Got it when I was 65, had some marvelous rides for 5 years, felt like I might be pushing my luck and sold it. Where I live, there is a HUGE contingent of codgers on bikes. We have some really beautiful roads to ride with lots of curves and almost no traffic. It really is a blast.
    Arkansas Patti

  17. Beyond tatoos and motorcycles....what I got from your post was the fact that it is silly and absurd to place one's identity in the "styles" of the day, because they are forever changing, and what you think makes you seem important and "cool" today, could make you look silly and crazy tomorrow! I think that is how God sees it too...."why do you regard man? Whose breath is in his nostrils"...Isaiah the prophet said, for God!!

  18. Hi, Clint
    I have not been able to access your blog for the past few days - but I tried. thank you for the kind comment you left yesterday.

    As for tatoos, well, I think my older son, who is a high school teacher says it best for me - at least as concerns the girls in his school who proudly sport them - he calls them "tramp stamps" :) - That about says it doesn't it?

  19. Mmmm, Marsha, there's a very special place those "tramp stamp" tats go. Often they're called a "target" - hope that isn't too graphic.

    My husband and I both have them. But where we differ is that his are visible but he works in a job where it doesn't matter. I, on the other hand, am a full time student and hope to be in a professional setting soon. I love my tats and they have deep, significant meaning to me. Just me. They have a history, a story. They are placed where they cannot be seen when I do finish school.

  20. hit the jackpot of comments didn't you? Tattoos and motorcycles...from my "age" group...that meant independence, meant "different" meant "not a follower but a leader" was an inward statement of the depth of my be ME! I never owned a bike < Harley's only >, but did date boys with fun fun...and scary ...came close to Pearly Gates a couple of got as close as Dayton Beach on the Broadwalk, but chickened out due to the thought of Aids through needle point.....Thank you LORD for wisdom coming through fear! I just noticed the other night my granddaughter had this huge one on the lower portion of her back right before her "dividing line of you know where and though I never said a thing ...I was disappointed...marking up her body as she has ...that removal is only painful and expensive ...she as you stated "wanting to fit in " be one of the cool kids on the street ...if truly one desires to know what the LORD has to say about it then they can look it up Lev 19:28...
    BTW: I am "Sleepyeyed Rhon" I deleted my other blog and now have only the Joy of Denim and Lace...stop by and say hello....

  21. Dare I say, "Ditto"? I've never quite grasped the allure of tattoos - all three of my children have them; especially my son, who has I think 30 or so at last count. He says it is about art and expression of individuality. Right. As for "murdercycles" as my mother always referred to them, I have dug Harleys for as long as I can remember, even to the point of acquiring a healthy collection of Harley T-shirts; but never owned one and not likely to for the same reasons you mention in your comment above.

    Still - Rock On! We are non-conformists!!