Maybe we can’t change the world but
I wanna love you the best that, the best that I can
Oh, the best that I can
– Hootie & The Blowfish
If you took the time to read Untitled (or, at the very least, skipped to the bottom of the page just to creep the scandalous pictures…) then you already know – cat’s outta the bag – I got new ink!
Isn’t that fun? Aren’t surprises fun? I’d like to think so. And I’m sure my Momma and grandmothers think so too.
They probably thought it was just so fun when they were scrolling through those photos on my blog and noticed – not one, but – two new permanent fixtures on my body. Hahahahahaha. Haha. Ha. Good thing I did a good job of distracting them, you know, with my naked body, huh?
Look, it’s all about presentation, my friends.
Some would jump my ass for so inconsiderately springing this kinda stuff on the people I love most but I’d like to think that I’m merely just taking the more efficient route. You see, I could have easily went about it like, well, an idiot. I could have easily just taken the hit right after I left the tattoo parlour on MLK day, called up my mom, and been all, “Look, Ma! I got a new tattoo!” But thennnn, I would have had to suffer through a second lashing just two weeks later when I posted the sexy-picture-laden blog for the entire world to read.
So, by “two birds/one stone”-ing it, I would like to think I was actually softening the blow. Not to mention, by comin’ out of the gate with something like – “Gah. So glad those semi-nude photos I just posted of myself on the internet has me thinking of something other than the itch-fit these new tats have been giving me here lately. (Turns head. Stares off into the distance. Follows up any and all responses with, ‘Wait. What?’)” – I basically single-handedly reduced the odds of any potential familial disputes for the entire month of January by like, at least 83 percent.
See what I did there? Notice the use of smoke and mirrors, Ballas. No, seriously. Really pay attention to how I was dazzling with the left hand in an effort to distract you from what the right hand was doing. Now, go out into the world and use what you have learned here today. Go on. Get out there, fuck some shit up, and then come back home and tell your Mommas what you did. Promise they’ll still love you.
Unless you pick up a crack habit.
Promise, your Mom will absolutely not love you anymore if you decide to start smoking crack. Dumbass.
Anywho, maybe I’ll end up with a full sleeve, or maybe just a few teardrops, or maybe I’ll get one of those cute little Mike Tyson numbers on my face. #herestohoping
Then again, maybe I won’t.
Maybe I’ll stop with these two (… three) and be done.
Who the hell knows.
I, for one, couldn’t tell ya. But if these random, “Humm. Maybe I’ll go get a tattoo today.”-days don’t quit happening then I should look like that dude from Nip/Tuck in no time! Woo! Kidding. Ha. Actually, I’m totally effing serious.
Okay, sorry. Enough dicking around.
So, why a diamond on my foot and three birds behind my ear…
A few years ago, I gave Momma and Mace matching rings for Christmas. They were modest pearl rings set in sterling silver. Nothing too fancy, or flashy, or expensive – just a couple of pearls with tiny diamond embellishments on either side. I bought myself one too. “Mother/Daughter Love” rings is what I called them.
The “M/DL” rings were the gift that year. You know, the gift I fixated on, the one I totally obsessed over, the gift I couldn’t wait to give – yeah, that was those rings. I’ll never forget going to the jeweller to pick them up. The lady handed me one.
That’s the story.
She handed me only one ring. I looked at her and said, “Uhh, ya got my other two back there… orrrr am I just supposed to pass the one around?” She checked every safe they had and couldn’t find any matching rings. I remember her saying, “Maybe they assumed it was a keying error? Most people don’t order three of the same ring. Do you still want the other two?” I looked at her blankly, “Umm. Yes. Yes, I do, thanks. Especially considering you charged me for them…”
Just typical Christmastime bullshit in #MissClarissland, my friends.
Fast-forward to Christmas morning, both Momma and Mace huddled on the couch and read the Christmas card that accompanied their joint gift box.
Reading back over my card, yeah, so I wasn’t very articulate. I never am when putting an actual pen to paper. I guess something about the physical act of writing intimidates me. I like having the option to ‘Delete’ and ‘Backspace.’ I’m a wordsmith-er, an editor – a tens-of-drafts-in-queue…er. I prefer clean lines and symmetry. Not to mention, my handwriting looks very similar to that of a serial killer’s.
So, I bought us these love rings, right? And I wrote the world’s okay-est little card to go with said rings. And in said card, that accompanied said rings, I declared my Momma and sister #myrockandmywings.
Cool story, no?
Problem is… I never wear mine.
Umm, honestly, I never wear any jewelry. I mean, sometimes I’ll throw on some earrings but most of the time I’m even too lazy to do that. I would like to use the excuse – “Welllll, the box containing all of my jewelry (including the M/DL ring) still lives in North Carolina.” – but frankly, jewels just aren’t my gig.
And that’s when I decided to go one better than some lame old ring and get – a tattoo.
The diamond on my foot symbolizes strength, support, and stability. I can go anywhere, do anything, or be anyone I choose to be, but after it’s all said and done, I always have my family to come home to. They are my foundation. They keep me grounded. They are my shoulders to cry on, my reality checks, my “And you wonder why we ignore you”-s – they are my “rocks.”
The three love birds behind my ear symbolize all the people I have who stand firmly in my corner. They symbolize those who celebrate my independence. Those who embrace my free spirit and support my every decision. They represent those who lift me – my spirit, my soul – up every day.
My love birds could represent Momma, Mace, and me. Or Momma, me, and Dad. Or me, Bubba, and Mace. Or my three living grandmothers. Or my three grandfathers. Or my Nana, Momma, and me. They could even represent three of my best friends (just depends on which group I’m with that day, I guess ;)…).
The combinations are endless and ever-changing.
And I like that.
I like that I originally went into that tattoo shop with me, Momma, and Mace in mind. I like that this tattoo has become something bigger than just the three of us. I like that it has taken shape, transformed, and grown even more meaningful in my mind. I like that it’s sort of complicated to explain to others and rather ambiguous to the naked eye. I like that it appears to be two totally separate entities. Yet, there’s a narrative behind each line that connects them all together. Finally, I like that every time someone asks – “What’s the reason behind those two tattoos?” – I know where my story begins but can never tell where it’ll end.
“So, a few years ago I bought me, my Momma, and my sister these matching ‘Mother/Daughter Love’ rings…”