Monday, July 25, 2005

Tattoos on my mind... er, arm

Edit: Or maybe I should just get over myself and realize that there are things besides the Corps that I care about deeply, and that it's not really necessary that a bunch of strangers know about my past.

So I decided a while ago that I wanted a tattoo. But I never could really explain to people exactly why I wanted a tattoo (Note: I am still, as of yet, un-inked).

And then today, on the drive home from Blinn, when I was trying to figure out what I would tell a job interviewer if he/she asked why I had a tattoo, I figured it out.

Here's what I would say in reply to anyone that asked me "Why did you get tattooed?"

While I was in the Corps, I grew accustomed to being recognized as a member of the Corps from one of two things - my haircut, or my uniform. I really liked standing out in this way, and I was proud to be identified as a member of the Corps.

After I left the Corps, however, it became increasingly difficult to maintain that sort of identity, and to acheive that same level of recognition in people that I met. So much so, that several people never knew I had been in the Corps at all, until I told them - and then they were surprised... not the reaction I expected or hoped for.

So the desire to tattoo myself comes in... in getting a tattoo, I can regain that distinction of appearance that set me apart before, and do so in a way that conveys information about what sets me apart from everyone else.

There you go - it really comes down to the oldest reasoning in the cliched book: to be different.

But it's more that that (to me, anyway). Someone might say, "Won't your actions and behavior set you apart and let people know that you are different? Why do you need a tattoo?"

To answer that question, consider these two things.

1) For people to notice, be impressed by, and form a conclusion based off of my actions, they have to observe me for quite some time. A tattoo provides nearly instant distinction.

2) Also, there are several groups of people that pride themselves on their good behavior. The Corps certainly doesn't have a monopoly on manners. And we don't have any really unique mannerisms or quirks either. Just acting polite doesn't necessarily mean I was a member of the Corps. But a tattoo will give that information (if properly designed).

There you go... that (in a nutshell) is why I want a tattoo. Now you know (and so do I). I believe that the Corps left a lasting mark on me on the inside - something that I'm very proud of - and I'd like to have a representation of that on my outside(s). And I'm not getting that haircut again :)


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