Monday, April 23, 2012

T is for...Tattoo

My mother when she was in high school

A few years ago, my 80+ year-old mother and I were sitting in her living room.  I was ‘home’ visiting and our conversations ranged wide and far. 

“I’ve always wanted a tattoo,” my mother said.  (Note: this is from a frail woman, church goer, pie-baker, farm wife).

“Ooooo…kaaaay,” I answered, not sure where she was going with this.  Sometimes Mom would say the most interesting things, and other times we talked about family and gossip.  “What kind of tattoo would you like?”

She chuckled.  “I’d like a….snake!  And I’d have it right here!”  She raised a pant leg, and pointed to just above her knee. 
One of many snake tattoo options

Our conversation continued, and then moved on.  I thought she had put the topic away.

A few days later we shopping and stopped to gas up the car.  

 One of the employees saw us ‘old women’ (I am not that old.) and helped us.  He talked with my mother through the window.  She noticed the tattoes that ran the length of both arms. 

“Where’d you get those done?”  She asked.

He blinked a little, told her a friend did them.  He was a younger, thinner “Larry the Cable Guy”.
I love this Larry guy; he makes me laugh....

“Can you give us his phone number?  I’d like to get a tattoo.”

He blinked a lot, looking at this 80+ yr. old woman.  “Why, sure, M’am.  What tattoo would you like?”

So she told him: a snake, right her above her knee.  When she was young, boys were always trying to reach up her skirt, and she thought it would be funny if she had a snake there.  To scare those frisky boys.

The young man blinked a lot, bit his lip, and nodded, “I’ll get you that number.”

He gave the phone number to me without a word.


  1. Ha, I love this story! Did you mother get the tattoo? And what a fabulous photo - you can just see her zest for life in that image.

  2. That's going to change his opinions on women in general but most especially older women and quite possibly influence his decisions when he gets older himself. Your mama is one cool chick.

  3. What a great story! The secret desires we hold inside us would surprise so many who think they know us.

  4. Your Mom is a hoot!
    Blessings, Joanne

  5. Did she manage to have that tattoo she'd longed for, I wonder.. :0)

  6. Hilarious story Susan!

    I have to give a cheer to your moms courage!

    I don't like needles and I doubt I could even sit still to endure the pain for the length of time it takes to get a tattoo. Not my cup of tea. I've seen people with tattoos all over and I often wonder how.... or even why? But - to each his or her own!

  7. Oh my gosh, I love your mother and her tattoo. Her photo is awesome.

  8. I like that lol- living the life regardless of our age

  9. LMAO I could never because I don't know where those needles have been, the pain wouldn't bother me one bit. Did she ever get it?

  10. I love your mother's attitude. Here's to old women.

  11. she sounds charming and i love her picture--sweet post

  12. That is an amazing story. You made me laugh out loud. I hope your mom gets her tattoo and loves it. that young man must have been stunned.

    Mimi Torchia Boothby Watercolors

  13. Bahaha! Best. Story. Ever. I love it! Your mom sounds like bucketloads of fun.

  14. I want to go along and get my first one, too! YAY for women who don't close themselves off from new things and ideas at any age.

  15. I really love the way your mother challenges stereotypes. I have no doubt that she blew that young man away.
    Like everyone else I do want to know whether she went ahead with this plan.

  16. Your mom sounds like a strong-spirited, no-nonsense kind of woman... no wonder the guy handed over the phone no. without further ado...
    Priceless! *giggles*

  17. Thanks to all who have commented on this post! My mom was full of "sass and vinegar" (a Midwest saying). She did not get the tattoo; her skin was paper thin and prone to tear at the slightest bumps. But she wanted one. She was one feisty lady, I tell you! She passed away April 3, 2011.


Go won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!