MGblues

Anybody Got A Good Explaination For This Question?

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"Why did you get all those tattoos? What do they all mean?"

That's a question I get a lot, and I honestly cannot think of an answer to save my life.

I always get it from people who either have none or maybe one or two.

"Because my dad got one in 1953 and it's one of the first things i can remember seeing from my childhood? I don't know?"

It's hard to express to someone who will never know just what you have endured or are willing to endure to have something no one can ever take away from you.

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I usually go with, "some have meaning, some don't. My first few had "meaning" (I usually point at a few that have a story better than I picked it off the wall cause it looks tough) but as you learn more about the history and culture it's more about the iconic images and what will fit in certain spaces"

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I'm new here so please forgive me but why do you get so aggravated with these questions? It is fascinating to people. And apparently, you dont look too scary to approach so they ask. I'm not judging, I'm really just asking. It seems like answering that some have meaning and some dont is pretty good. Or that you started young and have always loved tattoos.

I dont think I have ever asked about someone's tattoos but I can see others being curious. I have lately asked one or two people if they minded sharing where they got their tattoos or if they could recommend a good place. I have only been on this forum a short time and am trying to learn as much as I can about the culture and the craft but I havent yet been able to understand why people who are heavily tattooed are so annoyed with a simple question like that. I can see being annoyed by annoying people but as long as they are courteous and dont interrupt a dinner or something I dont see it being a huge deal.

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Johnny it's because tattoos don't have to have meaning, besides that we like the tattooer that did them, or we like the theme of that tattoo. Sure you can attach a reason why you got a tattoo, but it its not needed in every case.

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Depends how/when they ask, I reckon.

If it's some stranger on a bus who grabs your arm and starts being really rude, it's understandable to ignore/get a little angry at them. But if it's someone who does seem interested and is polite about it, I'll usually just answer something along the lines of liking how they look (and maybe telling the story behind a particular piece if they ask specifically).

If I'm not busy, and the person seems nice, I'll happily talk to them. No point in being rude or defensive.

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When someone random comes to you and asks the question about the meaning behind a tattoo that you have can and may hit a bit of a nerve as it's none of their business.

Asking about the artist who did the tattoo or commenting about the quality of it is a different thing all together. It seems like many people theses days have not been taught about common sense and how to be polite in public. LOL :P

Of course none of this helps you with a response to the questions you are being asked. Try a few of these when people start to get a little. . . brash with you.

http://www.lastsparrowtattoo.com/forum/funny-stuff/1119-zippy-comebacks.html

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Johnny it's because tattoos don't have to have meaning, besides that we like the tattooer that did them, or we like the theme of that tattoo. Sure you can attach a reason why you got a tattoo, but it its not needed in every case.

I completely get that they dont necessarily have meaning. I can also understand not wanting to go through the entire story every time you are asked. I completely respect all of the different approaches in this thread and on this site. I was really asking because I wasnt sure why it seemed to touch a nerve with so many people.

I also agree that if the person is a complete stranger and/or is rude, it would be annoying. Just learning, that's all.

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I completely get that they dont necessarily have meaning. I can also understand not wanting to go through the entire story every time you are asked. I completely respect all of the different approaches in this thread and on this site. I was really asking because I wasnt sure why it seemed to touch a nerve with so many people.

I also agree that if the person is a complete stranger and/or is rude, it would be annoying. Just learning, that's all.

Johnny, the thing is most people on here had tattoos way before the Miami Ink or LA Ink shows hit cable TV. When those shows came out every tattoo on them had a "meaning" behind it, these stories play on emotions and make for better TV. Once people outside the tattoo world started watching these shows they thought there was some deep meaning behind every tattoo and felt, since they watch the shows, they share a common corp of knowledge with us. It seems that they believe by watching Ami James tattoo 100 Koi Fish that they can speak intelligently about tattoos with us.

So that's why it hits a nerve.

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Deb, you beat me to it. Or the variation: "I was drunk and it was a dare/bet."

Surprisingly enough, this works! ...even with sleeves, or a backpiece. Dumb fucks.

Or better yet, tell them you got them in prison!

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Deb, you beat me to it. Or the variation: "I was drunk and it was a dare/bet."

Surprisingly enough, this works! ...even with sleeves, or a backpiece. Dumb fucks.

Someone asked me today why I got my tattoos. I said "because Stewart Robson was drunk".

That confused them and I made a run for it.

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Johnny, the thing is most people on here had tattoos way before the Miami Ink or LA Ink shows hit cable TV. When those shows came out every tattoo on them had a "meaning" behind it, these stories play on emotions and make for better TV. Once people outside the tattoo world started watching these shows they thought there was some deep meaning behind every tattoo and felt, since they watch the shows, they share a common corp of knowledge with us. It seems that they believe by watching Ami James tattoo 100 Koi Fish that they can speak intelligently about tattoos with us.

So that's why it hits a nerve.

I can certainly understand and respect that.

This thread is very helpful to me so I know what I should and shouldnt say if I see someone with a great sleeve or something. Now I know, I can approach them and say, "so, you got drunk and got a tattoo?"

:cool:

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I try to take these questions in stride because most of the time the person is simply curious about the tattoo(s). I get it almost daily in about every scenario (coffee shops, dr's office, checkout at Home fuckin' Depot, etc) you could imagine, as I'm sure is the norm for most heavily tattooed people. I attempt to be brief, vague, and polite about my tattoos' "meanings" (essentially that some have meanings, some don't, and that it's ok to just get a tattoo because you think it looks cool...yadda, yadda...)and carry on about my business. Usually, this works and I can finish paying for my latte. Unfortunately, one out of three times the person doesn't get the hint and segues into a long explanation of how they have this idea for an awesome (insert anime character here, etc...) half sleeve.

At which point, I usually ask if I can get my chips and queso anytime soon.

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