Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Tattooed Daughter

Oh, the things we do when we are young and/or under the influence. My beautiful daughter is getting married. I'm lucky she is not a fancy stuff kind of girl and things will be pretty simple. She is getting married in a long yellow cotton jersey backless dress. It arrived the other day and she was so excited. She rushed over to try it on and was admiring herself in the mirror. "I love it" she said. "It's really pretty!" Then turning to view the back her face fell a little. "At least it would be pretty if it wasn't for the damn tattoo."
Across her back, one on her shoulder, around each ankle. They are fairly simple thin line designs and not as obnoxious as she could have done. But still, when she was born she had the most flawless porcelain skin, it makes me cringe. Though several young people I know have one, and my Dad did too,  they just bother me. It isn't the tattoo in itself but my need for visual symmetry. To me it mars the lovely line of the human body and distracts from the person themselves. She is only 22. I begged her not to get them or at least wait till she was older to see if she still wanted them. Within a couple of years she has a love/ hate relationship with them. But you can't take them off when they're in the way and I can't afford to have them removed. She certainly can't either.

When she was 15 she had long hair, almost to her waist. One day she came home with it dreadlocked.  Her friends did it, not professionals. They didn't cut it first either. I just bit my tongue because we were dealing with more important issues but it really looked awful. She left them in for two years. Things changed a lot in that time period and just before Thanksgiving when she was 17 she came to me. We were having a large family gathering and she wanted to look nice. Could I get them out? Or die trying, you betcha!
I went to the store and bought 2 giant bottles of Infusium. A metal teasing comb, a bag of regular combs and the hardest brush I could find. We started in the morning. She had let the hair grow out about 2 inches or so. I figured  at worst she would end up with a short haircut. I soaked her head,  cut the tips off and began. 10 hours, four broken combs (the metal one was bent) and a paper grocery sack half full of hair later, I was done.
And she had a pretty decent head of shoulder length hair. A little thinner than before and with one, kind of chunky, cut at that back, but her hair has a wave so it wasn't too bad.

I have spent half my life getting this girl off the ground, coaxing her to fly, for all of her rebellious independence she is still gripping some of the strings & may not ever let them go. I can't comb the tattoo's out, no matter how many hours I would toil. But I can find the prettiest shawl on earth, and I am searching. And I can love her and be very proud of the young woman she has become. And I very very.

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  1. What a beautiful post! You handled yourself with a lot of grace, mom.

  2. Oh! Don't know to laugh or cry. Where do I begin. I have a tattoo, and it is a love hate relationship( I never thought of it that way). My 15 yr old tried to fix her mouth to ask me for one today. By the time I finished chopping her down she couldnt stand the thought of looking me in the eye. The dreads. You are a reaaaaal mom. I'm a hairstylist and I would have went straight to wacking it at the The next time someone asks can you take dreads aloose, I'll say I know someone who did.


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