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Are you for or against tattoos?
It’s an endless debate between pro and anti. For me, given my dozen tattoos, I am automatically placed in the category of “pro”, although I have many untattooed friends and I don’t force them to get tattooed!
Some also say it’s like a drug. Maybe, but not for all tattooed people. For example, Cheryl, has only one she got when she was 19 years old. A swallow on her upper arm, and she never wanted to get more.
We are all different and that’s the beauty of this world!
But often when I meet new people, they ask me, “Why did you get these tattoos?”
Giving a reason is often difficult. There can be thousands of reasons, and we all have our own personal reasons. But sometimes, some tattoos can have unexpected consequences.
This is the case with these two of mine: “Can I have a photo?” and “You can have a hug!”
Some background : after a concert of Demented Are Go in Moscow, Cheryl asked Sparky, the singer, “Can I have a photo?”. To which Sparky replied, “You can have a hug!” And suddenly she got both! A photo of her being hugged in his arms. Well, not the best photo of the century but it was very cool anyway!
After spending some time chatting with the musicians and taking several pictures, we said goodbye to them and went home. We were very happy because it was such a good evening.
A decision is made
On the way home, we talked about this moment and this exchange with Sparky – insignificant for most people, but not for me. No! A picture of my wife in the arms of Sparky!
It was a great moment in my life! So I decided to tattoo these two phrases to keep, in addition to the photos. An indelible memory of this episode.
Sometime later, before a visit to Paris, I asked Cheryl to write this question “Can I have a photo?” on a piece of paper. Then in Paris I enthusiastically hurried to Toma, my friend and tattoo artist Fatalitas.
He took on the task of reproducing Cheryl’s writing on the inside of my right bicep. And on the left one, Sparky’s reply. A discreet and intimate place, I thought.
And now, I have for life the mark of this moment. And I’m very happy about it!
Now, if you know Moscow, and especially the beautiful metro in the Russian capital, you will have noticed that the seating arrangements are made in such a way that the passengers are sitting facing each other. There is a space in the middle so that passengers can stand up and hold the horizontal metal bar above them. It’s necessary to hold on so as not to hurtle when the metro accelerates or slows down. The Moscow metro is quite jarring sometimes, and it is better to have something to grip.
The girl in the metro
And on a summer day, decked out in a T-shirt, and with my right arm in the air and my hand on that horizontal handrail, a girl sitting in front of me looked up in my direction. Passengers sitting often glance around them, or at people standing in front of their noses. It helps to pass the time because journeys by metro can be long if you/re cross the capital.
So I didn’t pay attention to her eyes and I didn’t notice anything until I glimpsed a slight grin on her face. I then began to search for the reason. Discreetly, I tried to see what her eyes saw and who had cheered her up.
In fact, it was my tattoo – “Can I have a photo?” which made her smile. I understood then that this harmless question tattooed on this spot, which I had chosen because I found it discreet, could possibly be interpreted by other people, and more particularly the girls, as a sort of flirt, and even used for this purpose.
Since then, when I wear a T-shirt and travel by metro, I pay attention to the eyes of people sitting in front of me. And it’s not uncommon for people who understand English to be amused by this tattoo, which ultimately is much more visible than I originally thought.
Happily, this situation only happens when I wear a T-shirt in Moscow, where the summer can be relatively hot, although quite short. On the other hand, the winter lasts longer … therefore, for most of the year I’m not often confronted with this sometimes uncomfortable situation.
Yes, I happen to be slightly embarrassed when I catch passengers looking carefully at one of these tattoos, or both if I have both arms in the air. They must question the reason for their presence on my skin. Maybe I should suggest that they read this article on this blog, it would surely reassure them.
Is it shocking?
I should test this situation in public transport in an English-speaking country. I wonder what the reaction of people would be? Would they be like most Russians, who seem to be mildly amused? Or would they be shocked by this outrageous way of “flirting”?!
In any case, I didn’t expect this fun result just by having my tattoos done on this “hidden” part of my body.
And what about you, do you have any tattoos with unexpected consequences?
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