Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Tramp Stamp Epidemic: Sad Lady Indeed

Although it is 3 years old, the Saturday Night Live Tattoo removal skit is perhaps one of the best SNL bits of all times. I live in Southern California where sadly, the lower back "Tramp Stamp" has become somewhat of an epidemic. Even in my Stepford-like, upscale neighborhood it is not uncommon to see a mother bend down to pick  up her toddler, revealing a hideous purple garland o' pansy's hovering above her thong, or  garbled Chinese lettering resting comfortably above her butt cheeks.

I too am a victim of the tattoo craze that swept through my college in the early nineties. At the time, thankfully the lower back was not yet an option for upper middle class sorority girls. No, the ankle tattoo was all the rage. At the age of 19, nothing said "classy" to me more than a tiny rose bud tattoo, placed delicately on my right ankle. Sure it would stay with me forever, but really what is more timeless than a rose bud? It would never go out of style and practically screamed, "You are a refined yet confident lady." My parents almost shit a brick when they eventually discovered my disfigured foot. Dad was certain I would never get a real job. After all, who would hire an inked up punk like me? My mother thought I'd most certainly start turning tricks any day now.

Regardless of my parents' concerns, I did manage to get gainful employment after college and despite a few drunken make out sessions with some oddballs, I never really did turn to a life as a prostitute. My tattoo will always be a symbol of the mistakes we make growing up. Cut to 19 years later and it is no longer a delicate rose, but rather what appears to be a faded chili-pepper with a stem, lurking amongst the wrinkles of my calloused cankle. "Sad lady" indeed!

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