Apple for the Teacher

No, my foot did not attempt to off itself.

Today, high on another day of testing, the creation of an awesome PowerPoint on parliamentary procedure that uses the analogy of Windows Explorer, and the $600 I got from Uncle Sam for being a bang-up citizen of these here United States, I headed over to the local tattoo place.

It's something I've been thinking about for a while, and this week I just decided to do it.

"What do you have in mind?" asked one of the artists sitting around the table.

"I want an apple," I said.

I realize it's probably extremely disappointing to an artiste when someone comes in and wants something totally mundane and nipple-less painted on herself, but this next was completely unnecessary:

"Do you want it to be realistic, or did you want something [smirk] cutesy?"

In my head, I reacted immediately ("Seriously? I am here to pay you for a service and you're going to mock me? I'm SO SORRY that I am not here for SLEEVES or a NOSE BONE or, like, SOMETHING COUNTERCULTURAL, but if someone would just like to take my money and tattoo me with a apple, that'd be GREAT, okay, thanks.")

Of course I did not say anything of the kind. I just sighed and said, "Cutesy, please," and laughed a little, like a big dumb dummy. Stupid good manners.

My last tattoo was relatively painless, and I expected the same from this one. Boy, was I wrong. The last one is just a bunch of lines, and this one is colored in, and that makes a difference.

I did not scream, gasp, or even wince, because I will allow somebody with a tattooed head to make fun of my cutesy tattoo, but I will not let him see me cry.

It took less than twenty minutes. I paid the man, thanked him, shook his hand (MANNERS), and left. I managed not to start limping until I got well out of visual range.

I love this tattoo. ("So what do you do?" asked the man with the needle. "I'm a teacher," I said--notably without sarcasm.)

On account of the excruciating pain, I needed to stop for a little medication:

As I paid, I could see the little twerp behind the counter smile over his shoulder at his friend. "Cutesy," he probably was telegraphing.

That really burned me up, and I thought about it all the way home, crafting an elaborate speech about the nature of judgment and its historical and anthropological effects on societies from the ancients to today, with references to the Crusades, Ghengis Khan, and Pizarro, not to mention (obviously) the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and the Puritan colonists. It was a very long speech, and quite good, if I do say so myself.

But then I got home and had a drink and thought some more, and this is what I concluded:

Sure, I have cutesy tattoos, and I like cutesy drinks, and I make cutesy crafts, and I read cutesy books.

But I can scare a classroom of screaming fourteen-year-olds into silence with a flick of my left eyelid. And that makes me THE HARDEST-ASSED PERSON YOU KNOW.


J said...

congrats on the new tattoo! it is cute.

maybe you should have used your teacher voice to intimidate the tattoo artist, that would've made him shut right up. :)

Mei said...

Thanks! I love it!

I don't know ... I think it's best not to snap at the man with the needle.


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