Retired teacher with experience of life outside the classroom.Was, amongst other things, prior to becoming a schoolteacher,a barbers boy, a Woolworth's trainee,a windowdresser,an office clerk, a farm labourer and a youth leader.Oh, and for all of four hours a Betterware salesman.
Paul the plasterers name came up recently (see the previous post) in connection particularly with the subject of body piercing and tattoos. I confess I had no real comprehension as to the bile, the sheer depth of feeling the subject brings out, sometimes in even the mildest of people. An untattooed friend of mine becomes almost apoplectic when the subject is mentioned.
I personally have no strong opinions on the subject. But I realised I reacted when I noticed a young lady in a television studio had, there is no other way to put it 'A ring through her nose.' Was it the fact I did not expect facial adornment in a television studio? Is it a class thing; a gender issue perhaps. Do we view a tattooed ' native from the jungle' in a different way to, say, a person living living next door in the western world. There is obviously a difference in attitude and expectation. Friend Paul is not tattooed below his wrist or above his neck. Paul goes into other people's house in the course of his work. He realises to be a so-called 'affront' to people in their own homes is not inclined to suggest a competence in plastering. (No matter that Paul is a very fine plasterer indeed.) During our conversation Paul made an interesting comment. Asked what his tattoos and facial rings etc 'say' to other people, he suggested they are saying 'Leave me alone.' An interesting answer. I make no personal interpretation of his answer.
Next comes the reasons for our behaviour. Many of the young rebel against their elders. Paul's
upbringing was severe in the extreme, but he maintains his 'adornments are not an act of rebellion and I believe him. He is an intelligent, articulate, non aggressive individual ; (though not always so in his younger years), an ardent motor cycle man though this in itself is not a reason for leanings towards self adornment.
I choose not to wear a wedding ring, but for no reason that I remember. In fact I wear no jewellery, again for no remembered reason. I've never really been into fashion, though I once owned a 'ratting cap' for a while! (When I was a window dresser in a 'Teddy Boy' shop we were broken into. The thief dropped his cap. Being young I decided he must have been a man of the world so his head-ware became my head-ware; how easily are the young influenced!) But I digress.
Tattoos fall into two distinct groups. Those that are done by following a shape, design by way of a transfer and those that are created individually, each one unique according to the customer and the tattooist's skill and personal preference. The latter tattoos often show a skill that is awesomely beautiful, whether you do or don't like tattoos. Paul's leg is a work of art, don't you agree! (My blog is not X certificated; You can only guess at the tattoos covering the rest of his body! I have been writing this blog for all of six years. This is the first time I have written concerning a man's leg. Definitely a blog of the highest cultural value, don't you agree!)
IF, only IF we choose our path through life, with or without adornment, I suggest we have a better chance of making 'right' choices if we leave some decisions until we are of a mature age. Might I suggest the average male at least knows very little until he is at least forty!
I expected , when I started this little piece to have come to some conclusions. The only thing I will say is the subject brings out strong comments for and against. I wonder how many people actually 'see' the person 'behind' the tattoo? I find that the more I study, the older I get, the less I know! Are you the same, friends? And that goes for all aspects of life, not just concerning tattoos and body piercing. It's no co-incidence that my favourite answer nowadays to every conceivable query is 'Ah well, that's life!' Too easy an answer; a sign of old age? Maybe.
Are you tattooed; have you the baggage from a misspelt youth? Do tell!