I’m old. I freely admit that I am old. I am eternally grateful that I am old because if I had to be young right now, I would hate it.

This past weekend we were at the outlet mall because we had to be somewhere and that seemed as good a place as any. While there, a woman passed us by and her appearance was noticeable, but probably not in the way she was hoping for. She had blond hair with neon pink highlights. Her outfit coordinated with her hair I guess. It was an outfit appropriate for a twentysomething person just like the hair. On closer inspection, the gray roots were about two inches long before the blond started and there were only half inch roots on the pink. That was amazing in itself. But she had to be in her forties and was still trying to be a teenager, which was just plain sad.

I hope I did not embarrass my teenage children by dressing and being so inappropriate. If I did, I’m so sorry. If I didn’t, you can thank me now.

One of the reasons I let me gray hair grow out is because of the double-takes I got. People would be walking behind me with my long dark hair and size six to eight still curvy body. They would pass, look at my face and cringe. I was expected to be  younger and as I mentioned in that first paragraph, I’m old. I decided it was easier on my ego to clue people into my age before they looked and were shocked. Now I get looks like “not bad for an old bat” which is much better than “dear God, it’s an old bat” looks.

Using this same line of thought … one of my Facebook friends mentioned yesterday she was going to get some more tattoos. One on her neck for sure and another on her ears. She is one of those cute twentysomethings right now. However, if all goes well, she is one day going to be my age. It won’t be so cute then, especially the ear things.

I don’t understand tattoos and think that calling it “body art” is just silly. They are tattoos. People line up for plastic surgery so they call all have the same nose or lips, they get face lifts to appear younger, and then they slap ink on for an “individual” statement.

Having worked in OR for years, I’ve seen tattoos that have been in place for decades. They don’t look the same as when they were first new. The skin doesn’t look the same as when it was new, either, which makes both the ink and the canvas less than it once was.

People who change their hair style every year or so, their clothes every day, and their ideologies a few times in the course of a long life somehow thing that the cute tattoo they get today will be appropriate in the decades to come. Tattoos are forever unless you want to spend a lot more money than you spent in the first place to get rid of them.

Both of my sons are inked. Craig’s first tat was some Chinese or Japanese symbol. He asked me if I wanted to know what it meant and I told him I already knew. It meant “I am an idiot.” Joe was smart enough to stop at one tattoo, but Craig has at least three.

I don’t understand how tats can be “individual” if everyone that is cool is supposed to spend the money to mar their bodies. I would have to say that it is probably people my age making it so popular. There is nothing like rebelling against the establishment.

But really, young people, I just think you are creating problems for yourselves later in life. Look at the 50 year olds today who are sporting ink in obvious places. I think they look like idiots myself. Perhaps we are going to replay the Dr. Seuss book of the Stars on Thars where the cool kids want tats, the old people who want to be cool get tats, the young kids refuse to get tats cuz too many old farts are getting tats and no one can tell if a tat is a symbol of coolness or stupidity.

Whatever they are, they look a lot less trendy on old farts.