Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Nobody’s Angel

Gym sightings: Nobody’s Angel

So I’m running on the elliptical machine at the gym, sweating my arse off and smelling like pancakes, when a young woman walks in. She selects a treadmill from the vast row of machines in front of me and steps on.

She couldn’t have been more than twenty-one, although the older I get, the younger I think people are. So to me, she looked twenty-one.

She had a very girl-next-door type of look. She was of average height and had a slim frame. She had long, straight brown hair, which she began wrapping into a ponytail before beginning her workout. She was pretty, but not in a sexy way. More like in a young, innocent way. She wore blue running shorts and a white hoodie bearing her university’s name and logo.

She removed her hoodie to reveal one of those cute halter work-out tops that go around the neck and are open in the back. With the upper half of her back exposed, I saw something that caught me off guard.

This young, innocent girl had humongous angel wings tattooed on either side of her back. I could only see the top, but the way the wings were cut off by the shirt, I assume they went all the way down to her waist.

The tattoo was beautifully done. It looked like a sketch with perfect shading and intricate details. This young woman just didn’t strike me as the type who would have a tattoo at all, let alone a giant one that covered her entire back.

I know this sounds terribly judgmental, but if I saw a girl with dyed-black hair, tons of eyeliner and piercings and a giant spear going through her nose, I wouldn’t have been surprised at all by a full-back tattoo. That’s all part of the look. I get it. But it’s not something one would expect from a girl-next-door-type of girl.

But maybe that was why she got the tattoo, for the shock value. Or to piss off her parents. Or both.

I remember being very young and doing the unexpected just to shock people. Always the good girl, it felt good to occasionally drop an f-bomb or skip class and then watch people’s surprised reactions. The desire to shock people drove me to get my tattoo. I was eighteen, and this was before everybody and their grandmother had one.

I didn’t look like the kind of girl one would expect to have a tattoo. People were always surprised to find out I had one, and I enjoyed that back then. Now, everyone has one, and I look exactly like the kind of woman who would have a very small tattoo in a very discrete location. Not so shocking at all anymore, but in 1997, I felt like a rebel. It sure pissed my mom off!

So is this what young girls have to do these days to rebel? Tattoo their entire backs? Does it really take that much to shock people nowadays? Well, it sure shocked me, so I guess I have my answer.

What's the last rebellious/shocking thing you did? 

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