I saw this question on the Internet today.
"What can you buy that costs $100 and lasts a lifetime?" The answer is...a tattoo. I heard a new term on a radio ad the other day- tattoo regret. The commercial was for an ointment that allegedly will fade tattoos away to invisibility over several months. The pitchman for the product runs a tattoo parlor and spoke about how people are later mortified by what they have more-or-less permanently imprinted on their bodies. He swears the cream is effective and painless. Laser removal of tattoos apparently is not painless. There remains a foolproof method to the dilemma: you never have to remove a tattoo that you don't get. Tattoos were never an option in my house nor was wearing an earring. Neither bothers me anymore; it's just part of the culture. It's easy to undo a pierced ear by just leaving your earring in the jewelry box. Tattoos, though, don't disappear as simply. I like that term, tattoo regret. I wonder if that rub-on stuff really works. I have seen some folks who would probably purchase a barrel or two!
Like I said, I never had the desire to add a tattoo to my body repertoire but that doesn't mean I don't have regrets from the time period most people get them inked into their skin. Her name was Patti. I met her on the first day of freshman orientation in college and immediately was smitten. She was from Denver and beautiful. I grew up in a little town in Nebraska and was awkward when it came to the fairer gender. I had little dating experience in high school, focusing instead on my quest to make it in the NBA. We started dating and it lasted a number of weeks. I wasn't a good boyfriend. We stopped seeing each other once and got back together. The second time, there was no reconciliation. I took it hard. I took it so hard, I became an idiot and took it out on Patti. Shortly thereafter, she started seeing Gary, one of my friends and basketball teammates. It became serious rather quickly between them. I was jealous. I dated around but it's difficult to like who you are with when you don't like yourself. I had trouble sleeping and even food didn't taste good. The funny thing is, I was never mad at Gary and he was tolerant of me being torn up over his girlfriend. They both transferred at the end of the year and that was the last time I saw Patti or Gary. Fortunately, it wasn't the last time they saw each other. Their relationship kept blooming and eventually, Patti and Gary were married. Over the years, I have heard bits and pieces about their lives. The Lord has blessed them with children, a wonderful marriage, and good works in the kingdom of heaven. It turned out like it should have. Feeling like you're in love can make you incredibly giddy and swirl you into a state of irrational stupidity. At eighteen, when it came to Patti, I chose Plan B. I never got the chance to apologize. If they have medicine for tattoo regret, you would think they could develop a product for love regret. We were students at a small college and yearbook signing was a big deal. I pulled mine off the shelf tonight and read what Gary wrote in my annual long ago in a Nebraska springtime:
"About the little lady, I can't say I'm sorry because I feel like I'm the luckiest guy in the world. We must just have seen the same things in her."
All I can say is, AMEN! The Lord blessed Gary with Patti and Patti with Gary. I have no idea if I wrote anything in Gary's yearbook that night but in case I didn't, let me close with the last verse of a great song, Diary by Bread. (Whatever happened to all those intellectual names of groups?)
"And as I go through my life,
I will wish for her, his wife,
All the sweet things she can find, All the sweet things they can find."
God bless you, Patti and Gary.
Applicable quote of the day:
"I want to get a tattoo of myself on my entire body, only 2 inches taller."
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org