About Me

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Delray Beach, FL, Westport, MA, United States
Undergraduate degree, Colby College; MA in English, Columbia Teacher's College; former high school English teacher in three states; former owner of interior design co. with MA from R.I. School of Design. Barking Cat Books published my first book in 2009 titled, MINOR LEAGUE MOM: A MOTHER'S JOURNEY THROUGH THE RED SOX FARM TEAMS. My humorous manuscript titled ELDERLY PARENTS WITH ALL THEIR MARBLES: A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR THE KIDS was published in June, 2014. In 2015 A SURVIVAL GUIDE won a gold medal in the self-help category at the Florida Authors & Publishers Association conference. In 2018 Barking Cat Books published my SURVIVING YOUR DREAM VACATION: 75 RULES TO KEEP YOUR COMPANION TALKING TO YOU ON THE ROAD. See website By CLICKING HERE.

Monday, August 3, 2015

What's on Your Shoulder?

I recently saw an insect that had taken up residence on a woman's shoulder.  The woman stood ahead of me in line for an ice cream and appeared to be in her fifties.  I wanted to warn her before I whacked the thing. "I think there's a dragonfly on your shoulder," I said.  "I'm going to get it off."

"No!" she yelled.  "It's my tattoo."  She gave me a hard stare with her round brown eyes and vacated the ice cream line.

Even without my glasses, I could see the dragonfly had lost its ability to get airborne. Which led me to thinking about the tattoos I see on younger women.

I suppose despite the pain, expense, and time in getting a tattoo, particularly one with several colors or an intricate design, the appeal is to catch eyeballs.  Tattoos are believed to be the epitome of femininity.  Some exposed designs certainly do make me stare to the point of rudeness.  Is that really a snake taking a bite where I think it is?

Designs are endless, ranging from entire works of art covering both arms and legs (almost nothing needs to be worn with those designs) to simulated collars starting at the chin and leading down into the bosom. Other smaller exposed designs that have caught my eye are red cherries behind one ear and interlocking feathers around an ankle.

The symbols are supposed to convey messages:  hearts for love and devotion; butterflies for readiness to change; flowers for beauty, purity, and hope; birds for freedom (hummingbirds) or strength (eagle); stars for a starlet; anchors for stability or our Navy.

But what happens as age takes over? Does a woman in her sixties really want to wear low-cut tops for every occasion because she has a tattoo that simulates a collar?  Doesn't she know that the collar will begin to droop downward as the "girls" sink toward her navel?  Cleavage over age sixty is not a pretty sight. People might try to straighten the collar for her, just as I wanted to swat the insect!  A flame on a neck might begin to bulge outward resembling an iguana in heat, as the wearer develops a double chin.

Entire torsos are covered in monsters, tigers, vampires, unicorns, and dragons.Smaller designs, such as skeletons, bats, skulls, seashells, hearts, flowers, and ribbons reside on hands, feet, hips, belly buttons, and groin areas, presumably for the benefit of loved ones. Needless to say, the bikini is a favorite choice for summer wear among women with belly button and hip designs. Jeans must be low-cut. However, there's the small (or not-so-small) issue of love handles flapping over the design that often distract my attention. 

The biggest area available on the body for tattooing is the lower back. Supposedly the lower back resists aging the best, without much droop or resemblance to leather. Still, I wonder about the corset design I saw on the back of a young woman on the internet.  The ribbon pulled tightest between the shoulder blades, becoming more open with more flesh popping as it progressed down into her buttocks.  At age seventy, it might be impossible to lace up her booty!

And then there's the spider web I saw encircling a woman's shoulders and back. The spider sat comfortably in its web on the left shoulder.. Eventually, I'm afraid, the web might resemble a shawl, draped over a drooping back.

There's also the matter of removal. We've all seen someone who's attempted to have her tattoo removed through more pain and needles, not to mention the danger of hepatitis or worse. Unfortunately, in most cases the outline of the previous design is still
                                                 visible.  Which makes me wonder if  she got her money back?