Because I can't quite get started on work this morning and because it's always something I've thought about and because it's something I doubt anyone will ever truly be able to answer without some massive study, I've been thinking this morning about the why to tattoos.
There's a tattoos and why thread, but I've always thought there must be something about the people getting tattooed or becoming tattooers. They're seemingly two different things but, barring some exceptions, tattooers are also getting tattooed themselves.
It seems to me -- and, again, there are always exceptions -- that everyone who becomes heavily tattooed has had, for lack of a better description, a disruption in their life somewhere along the line. Doesn't always have to be something traumatic, or something the person is always conscious of, but nine times out of ten, there's something.
Maybe a parent died, maybe there was a struggle with addiction, maybe you got tossed in foster care, maybe you just moved around a lot, or your folks split up, or who knows. Of course, there are plenty of people who are tattooed who had a happy childhood with two parents who are still married with a relationship that is as healthy as ever. But when I think about a lot of people I know, it's always the divorce card, or the death card, or maybe just the hard-living card.
Any ideas? For us, mostly, we're not connected with an indigenous culture in which tattoos are significant. We don't have rites of passage and we don't have extreme measures of manliness or adulthood. So I think, in a way, we're subconsciously creating our own by saying, "Shit, I'm a kid and I have to take care of my mom," or something along those lines. Or thinking, "Wow, this year has sucked and I've kept it together somehow -- time for a tattoo." And we load up on all this armor to both protect ourselves and ward off all the external shit.
Just thought I'd throw that one out there. I tend to think about things way too much.