I strive to write thought provoking posts on all of my blogs (and if you think this is my only site, you are sadly mistaken - the list of my sites is located somewhere on the sidebar on the left). I do my best to give intelligent responses to those people that come into my life and present me with various ideas (I touch on a recent interchange with Howard V. Hendrix at my Defender of the Blahs Blog). Mom's words of, "You become who you hang around," I suppose, is one of the reasons that I enjoy writing political posts here at Political Pistachio.
But sometimes I fear that I may be simply spouting the rightwing party line, which, if it's correct and accurate, I don't mind doing. Truth is truth. However, I don't always agree with all things Republican. I suppose that is why I call myself a Conservative.
But sometimes the simple things in life gets you thinking more than any complicated political situation. As an example, when I went in for my post-operative appointment the other day (for those that only visit on occasion, I had a double-hernia operation on December 29th, and won't be returning to my real job until Thursday as a result) my wife and I had a rare slight disagreement.
Okay, back up. I was already a little bothered because I have spent a large portion of my life in the care of doctors to the point that I want to just have a body-transplant and be done with it. (Rapture?) Every time it seems like I might achieve a clean bill of health, something else oozes to the surface. And true to form, I have experienced a few complications from my recent surgery as well. One of which is that I blistered like crazy (nasty ones, too) all around my incisions.
My son said it best, "Dad, you have a reaction to everything."
So, not being the biggest fan of the bedside manner (or lack thereof) of many members of the medical profession in the first place, as Doctor You're-just-a-slab-of-meat-to-me was removing the staples from my stomach, I was flinching and let out a whimper when he pulled out one that was particularly irritating. Then the doctor said, "Stop that. This is nothing. I just removed 40 staples from the patient before you and they weren't acting like this."
That, for lack of a better word, pissed me off. My wife knew it, grinned at me in that devoted wife look that she has, and I silenced my tongue (and grunts and whimpers).
My wife used to be a tough cookie, still is in many ways, and in the last couple years has softened in many ways to the point that we don't even argue anymore. How can I argue with such a devoted and loving creature? Anyhow, as I was steaming out of my ears on the way out, we passed by an OB/GYN clinic and it was jam-packed with pregnant women. The gal closest to the window that we were gazing into had tattoos up and down each arm, all over both legs, and licking up her neck. My wife, never fearing what other people think, immediately voiced her opinion in the middle of the busy lobby, "That's terrible," she said. "What kind of message is that woman sending her kids with all of those tattoos all over her body." She said something about disgracing the body, damaging the skin, something like that I think, but by that time my memory centers had been shut down by a sudden urge to crawl under the nearest rock.
Obligated to comment, I said, looking quickly around at the numerous faces that stopped what they were doing in the lobby to simply see how I would reply, "I agree with you and disagree with you, darling. Can we talk about this in the truck?"
Don't get me wrong. I do not typically cower in the face of confrontation. But some things need to be handled delicately, and throwing absolutes around when it comes to people's personal decisions like that of inking the body is not something one does in mixed company. (And I know I am opening a can of worms with that statement, so MK and any other lib, load up, cock your weapon, and fire away. I'm ready for what's comin').
Tattoos are a sticky subject. I have a friend who has this marvelous tattoo on his forearm memorializing his mother who died when he was only seventeen years of age. The tattoo is a portrait of her, and is graced with the words, "In loving memory." My brother has his kids names tattooed on his forearms. Many of my military friends have "Semper Fi," or "USN" or other military icons plastered on their arms, chests, and backs. An old friend of mine that was once in the fire department has a fireman carrying a child through a wall of flames on his leg. These are commendable tattoos. I have no problem with tattoos, for the most part.
However, one fact of life is true. People judge us visually. As members of this society, what people think of us is in direct correlation with what people see. Not just our bodies, but what we wear, what we drive, where we live, et cetera. Sometimes, and this is unfortunate, folks make determinations based on our ethnicity as well. That said, we have enough against us as it is, why would anyone decide to turn the tables against themselves by being tattooed from head to tow, with jewelry popping out of their lip, eyebrows, and nose while they're at it?
I may have lost a number of readers at this point, and that is a shame. This is only a matter of opinion, and rather than getting ticked and clicking off my site, I'd rather you voice your opinion in the comments section. Tell me I'm a dumb, intolerant so and so. Fine by me. Just remember, I do understand that people are people. Underneath, none of that junk on the outside really matters. Some of the nicest people I know scared the crap out of me when I first saw them (not that I scare easily).
And I understand individuality. That is what makes this nation so great. I just hope that the decision to ink up is for a reason that can be lived with, rather than an angry stab at a society misunderstood by its trappings of absolutes and visual judgements.
I guess where I am going with this is that to me it is perfectly fine what folks do. It's their business. In my opinion, it all really comes down to motive. What is the motive for inking up from head to toe? What's the motive for getting an earring that stretches the ear lobe to diameters far beyond natural? What is the motive of a man when he decides that the opposite sex is not for him? What is the motive of people when they decide that the values that founded this nation are no longer acceptable? What is the motive of politicians when they make decisions that may place our society in jeopardy?
Motives, my friends. Sometimes right and wrong is not what is on the surface, but the motives behind it. What's your motive?