Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tattoos and permanent body marks

When John and I met, one of the first things that came up was his tattoos. I noticed one on his shoulder, and it lead to a discussion about whether I had any, if I was offended by them, etc. Obviously, I married him, I'm not offended by them, but I don't have any myself.

From time to time, this discussion comes up from other people and they always ask if I will ever get any.

I think this answer is a two part one, which roots itself into a deeper me, that not many people other than my husband know. All of you probably know that I have a birthmark, of a pretty decent size, on my arm. Everyone can see it, it's not in a place that's easy to hide, especially during the summer. The one good thing about tattoos is that you get to choose what it looks like, and where it goes.
I already have my own sort of tattoo. So, I think one reason people get tattoos is for the fascination of putting a permanent mark on your body.

So now into the deeper me. (breathe..1..2...3...) When I was growing up, people always stared at my birthmark. I could go into a store and actually watch people glance at my face, and then directly to my arm and walk past me, staring the whole time at my arm. I tried out for various teams and roles where I would be looked at, and got turned down for various reasons, but none that made sense. People have been afraid to touch my arm, afraid that it will "hurt" or that they'll get something from a birthmark. Countless times people have said "OH My God! You hurt your arm!!" and continue to point and shout. Even in my wedding pictures, I made a point to tell our photographer (go Amy for putting up with my craziness) to try not to get my birthmark in our photos.

It has affected my self-esteem to a point where few can understand. Most people say they hardly even notice it after they've known me for a while. But if you would've been on the beach with me in college, people didn't stare at me for being the skinny girl in the bikini, they would stare at my arm and think "what happened?" People notice.

When I was a teenager, my mom and I went to a surgeon and talked about options to remove my birthmark. Besides being a huge ugly, hairy thing on my arm, it is also a health issue with cancer. Due to the size and how deep the birthmark goes into my skin, they can not do laser treatment to remove it. I would have to have a large amount of skin graphed onto my arm, or go through a series of surgeries that would take up to 2 years to complete. Obviously, we decided to not go through with it and left the birthmark.

So how does all this relate to tattoos you might ask. Honestly, I don't see a fascination with them, at all. I'm not against them, and I think they're cool if you choose something that you wish to represent the rest of your life, but I've never felt like I want to get inked to remember those times. I still think my husband looks great, it doesnt change because he has tattoos, and because they're an expression of him, I find them pretty hot.

But for me, I've already had people stare at me all my life, I don't think a tattoo will help.

Because of my birthmark, and all the implications, all the under-the-breath comments, all of the things I've tried out for but wasn't chosen because the uniform of choice would be short sleeved (or sleeveless), I am very weary as to what I protray. I choose things importantly and very well thoughtout. When my husband says he wants to get sleeved out, I'm the voice of reason(or the party-pooper) who says that he will one day be judged very harshly for chosing those actions. I also think that if you don't want people to notice it about you, then take a proactive step to either cover it up, or not get it at all.

One day, I might get a tattoo, but I think it will be a huge hurdle for me to conquer emotionally.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


One of my new year's goals is to be more positive. It's not that I feel like I'm always negative, but I feel like it's easier sometimes to be negative when it's all around you.

Today, Is a GREAT day! And here are all the positives:

1. Our friend Adam, who got laid off a few months back, started a new job today!

2. John found out that one of his projects is actually going to get started soon, so we'll be getting paid very soon!

3. John finished up some much needed work on the existing Oakwood houses and will be getting paid very soon from that.

4. I started working out last night, and I feel the burn today.

5. I finally got the 2 huge stacks of patient charts cleared off my desk today (at work) that have been sitting there for months.

6. There are some promising doors opening for John's Band.

7. After over a hundred dollars at the vet, I have finally isolated the problem with our cat to a behavioral problem. (The problem itself is bad, but now I know what it is...that's the positive.)

Today was a very good day. And it's not even over yet! :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Stimulus package and homes

I was reading a friends blog talking about the stimulus package from Obama.

One question Traci posed:
"Do you have thoughts on what WE can do? and/or what the GOVT should do?"

And I started thinking about what I would do if they gave us money...again. And what I would expect other people to do.

First, I think there is enough division in our social class right now that most people can tell a more definite distinction than before our economy got flushed between who is upper, middle, and lower class.

Second, we're going to spend the money we're given in the same way we did the first stimulus package, or probably even more "cautious" than we did the first. We saved ours the first time. But since then, John has lost his job, we changed apartments, winter came and for anyone who knows construction and electrician work, that means business has been slow for us. So we're definitely going to be more frugal. We're going to pay our light bill, or the car payment, or rent. Some where all of our money is already going.

Third, the only way I'm spending money on shopping is if I get a mall gift card as my stimulus package. Ya know the ones, where you can only spend that money in that particular mall. And even then, I would be thinking about how much more I would rather be spending that money at the grocery store, or paying off my car, or paying my student loans.

So in response to the question posed at the beginning: I heard someone say the other day that if we have money to spend, we should spend it. We should pay for our roof to be fixed, or we should buy that TV we've been wanting, etc, because it means that someone is being employed by that money.

John and I have wanted to be done with renting for so long. No one knows just how badly we would love to buy a house right now. The market is a "buyers market"...but no one has money to buy a house. With him starting his own business, I don't see that dream of us buying a house happening for a very, very long time. I'm not talking later in the year, or even next year. I mean not for at least 3 or 4 years. This to me is extremely depressing. I am so tired of throwing money away renting.

If I could spend my stimulus package buying a home, I would. Government, Please give me a $100,000 stimulus package so I can buy a home.