Literary Tattoos


I was reading a review about literary tattoos and started to write a comment.  When my comment became so long I decided it was really a blog post. Therefore I shortened my comment to simply:  "A novel idea!"  and decided to share my real comments with you. 

Literary tattoos are a whole new world for me.  My experience with tattoos is somewhat limited since no one in my immediate, and very few in our extended family, has one.  But living on the fringes of the music world for a brief time, the tats I've seen at shows seem all wrong for me.  If I were going to choose any I've seen, I'm telling you, I'm going to pass right now on all the skulls, zombies and especially the seven deadly curses God sent to Egypt.

The ones I was slightly interested in were the floral, birds, angels, and more feminine ones, but they still seem all wrong for me.

Then I saw a photo recently on Facebook.  It was a picture of an online friend with Maud Hart Lovelace "sleeves". One of my all time favorite authors!   Suddenly Uncle Keith's Trunk drawn by Vera Nevill or the Backyard Maple drawn by Lois Lenski or even my three heroines on the bench all looked fun to have!  Not as sleeves of course, but as an individual tattoo.

I've always loved Lois Lenski's  Backyard Maple

                                           And the  Neville illustration of Betsy and Tacy

Instead of music lyrics, and let's be real, even if my own son did pen "He wears a slick jacket and gold watch" on the 2006 record, Dogs Can Grow Beards all Over,  I just can't imagine having that inked anywhere. Music lyrics are fine if you stay 22 forever or choose a song that has stood the test of time. Let's say a more tried and true song...such as inspiring lyrics from Amazing Grace, A little sappy lyrics such as Wind Beneath My Wings or Christmas favorite, Ave Maria.  Wait.  Scratch the last one.  I think it only has one lyric.  Maria.   OK, I'm digressing now.  Music lyrics are fine if that is your life passion.  Mine happens to be reading.

                                           My favorite job over my lifetime was as a Librarian
        who better to spend the rest of my life with but 10 year old Betsy and Miss Sparrow

Literary illustrations and specific quotes from well loved books could be the answer to my staunch statement "I would love to have a tattoo, but...." 

I've quoted Ma Ingalls for years. "All's well that ends well"  "There's no great loss without a small gain" and even in my head while cleaning, "Draw the broom, Laura don't flip it"  (Actually, I may even be remembering the quote slightly wrong, so I recommend before you tat, look it up.)  Even the stiff Nancy Keeps House book has quotes that have gone through my head for years.  "Hot water cooks eggs" (so soak your pan in cold soapy water).  "Iron the collars and cuffs first"  ( so you don't wrinkle the freshly ironed garment trying to do them last) .  But really, I think I could do better than that. 

How about this gem that began hundreds of beloved stories?

                                           Surely a better choice than "Iron the collars and cuffs first"

I have always maintained that the time to get a tat was when you were 60 and knew that your tat would be memorable and beloved the rest of your (much shorter) life.  I never forbade my kids but counseled them about how something you love with all your heart at age 20 might look foolish on someone aged 60 with saggy skin and generous pockets of fat here and there.  I don't fool myself thinking I was the reason my girls don't sport any and surprisingly my son who is a former Marine and  my rock star son are ink free, but maybe there was a tiny influence there. 

So,  I'm over 60 and never found a tat I wanted until now.  It's just a shame that I have saggy skin and generous pockets of fat.  Soooo...I'm pretty sure you won't  find one on me anytime soon. 

                                       Unless I decide to mix the music and literary themes!
                                                     Hmmm...  Zombie Betsy, Tacy and Tib?

An actual illustration from the book:   Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown


Anonymous said…
You are Hilarious
Susie said…
That was a great blog! did you know I have a tat? On my inner ankle, a crescent moon w/face and 3 stars. I got it at about 40, and have no regrets. It can be easily covered, which I did occasionally when it was new, altho it never occurs to me now to hide it. I really liked the concept of your literary tattoos, and think the last pic is great!

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