Sunday, August 15, 2010

Rebel? Huh?


I should've seen it coming. I was *thisclose* but didn't really put my finger on it.

So I pierced my eyebrow and feel GREAT about it. Fantastic, really. I love it. I hope I can keep it even while I'm looking for a job in a few years (if I still feel the same about it then, of course).

I've talked about getting something pierced for a long time now. I always knew I wanted my eyebrow, but something seemed obnoxious about it at the time. For various reasons.

My first concern, about a year ago, was that it would seem desperate. Hello? You're in yr late twenties. A mama. Married. Laaaaaaaaaaaaame.

So I focused more on getting a tat, something else I've been talking about for years too. My big speed bump was always the whole "oh but how will it look when I'm 80" schpeal, but then someone said "everything else on you will be wrinkly too" and yeah. It will. And if it's a good enough tat with a good enough meaning, it will still be awesome.

But my heart wasn't in the tat, anyways. Not really. I wasn't even sure what I'd get or where I'd put it. Now I know, but it can wait.

Anyway, then I worried about family and how I'd deal with them etc. etc. You shouldn't care what other people think but we all have people whose opinion we care about.

I was done with that this time, especially after my previous post. I still care, but this isn't about them no matter what they may want to believe. Because people will think whatever they want to think. Period.

Then came the car ride. We had to go on an hour long trip to find a reputable studio, and I began wondering how other people would receive me. Other moms. My kids' teachers. And so on.

Eric told me it was okay, it didn't matter. It would work out. They'd get over it.

I was nervous getting this thing. The studio couldn't have been better, though. The girl answered all my questions, talked me through the process--very cool. Clean. I've had shots that hurt worse than this. But I left in a bit of a shock. I wasn't really sure I liked the bar they put in--thought it was too big. I wanted something more subtle. Otherwise, though, it was great.

I'm over it now. I love it.

So I went home and promptly posted a picture on facebook. Some didn't realize what was different at first, others complimented me, others--weeeell.

"My 22 year old would approve."

Now I like the lady who posted this, but seriously: what the fuck? I almost and probably should've wrote "yr 22 year old has awesome taste." I chose instead to ignore it.

And Eric says I'm always looking for a fight. Psssssh.

Someone else, and knowing her I think it was just in jest as she's a bit fringe-LDS, wrote something about me being a rebel now.

Gawd. I hadn't really considered that yet.

Here's the thing--and I'm not defending what I did or apologizing for it, just talking about it:

If I was doing this simply because I wanted to give a big "fuck you" to the church, I would've just stuck with the multiple earrings. Or the nose ring. Things I didn't really want but would've done just because I could and it would shock the hell out of people.


I have wanted to do this for years and was tired of being afraid and living in regret for worrying about other fucking people. Or how I was "supposed" to look.

This is not a matter of compulsion (though mania does help and I needed that push). Eric has been encouraging me to do it for months. I've wanted it for longer. I've given myself a lot of time to get used to what it'll mean both pro and con. And I feel better having it. A better sense of control and confidence.

I know some people are going to roll their eyes or dismiss me or not trust me simply because I have a bit of metal in the face, though that feels ridiculous to write. Maybe I'm being over dramatic and nobody will give a shit.

But some will. My dad--oh god, my dad, my evangelical daddy--hates it. I didn't even consider him until I saw him today. My FIL will hate it. Yeah people in the church won't get it, but I didn't do it to spite them specifically. Or at all.

It is a fun side effect, though.

No matter what they'll take it that way, no matter what I say. And I hatehatehate it when people mistake my motivations for doing certain things and there's not a goddamn thing I can do about it. Like the fact that some will think I'm just being rebellious. Like I'm 16 years old.

But whatever.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't going to get just a little satisfaction from this, the way members (or others) will react, but they weren't my core motivation. I'd be lying if I said I totally didn't care what my family thinks or what other people may think.

Here's the rub: if I cared that much about any of this, I wouldn't have gotten it.

This is for me. I'm getting a taste of freedom and a more genuine sense of self and it feels *awesome*


  1. AWESOME!! I've gotta go check out FB now.

    I'm still psyching myself up to get my IM tat... And I suspect that it, like your eyebrow, will be a great way of allowing me to see inside people, without them realizing it.

  2. I just left Facebook so I suggest, nay, DEMAND that you post said photo here.

    I didn't get accusations of rebelliousness, but it is a bit tiresome that tattoos and piercings, both of which are so common now as to seem mundane, are still thought of that way. My parents aren't religious, but they are conservative (Tea Partiers...sigh), and I wondered how they'd react with the piercing, then the ink, then the second ink. I think with the piercing, they thought it was rebelliousness, so I said straight-out: "You know, so many people do this now that it's not countercultural at all to have a piercing. I just think it's pretty." They seemed to get over it after that.

    The guy who did my equal sign had this great motto written up at his desk. "A tattoo is a mark of the soul. It can act as a window through which we can see inside, or it can be a shield to protect us from those who cannot see past the surface." My ink has become a sort of litmus test for people in my life. Some people ask about it in a thoughtful way, or never seem to notice it at all (and not in a studious "I'm pretending to ignore it" way), while some people immediately and visibly pass judgment. Those who ask, or obviously do not care, are people who care about me as a real person, and don't wish me to be simply a reflection of themselves. That's where I put the emphasis in my relationships.

  3. @Koda: DO IT. I think you should :D

    @Chandelle: Click on my picture and you should see it. It's not the best pic of me, but it works for this.

    And oy, tea partier parents. Thankfully mine aren't--at least as far as I can tell. Just...very conservative (which can be bad enough sometimes)

    I'm getting myself geared up for comments I'll likely get from certain people. I'll be okay.

    So yeah, I like what this will do. Litmus test for sure.

  4. I feel the same way about these sorts of things. My mother is convinced that I do certain things (study biological anthropology, refuse to get married, vote for Democrats or even independents) to get a rise out of people.

    It's sort of insulting, actually. As you said, like you're a 16-year-old trying to act out, rather than an adult making your own decisions.