HOOPS OR STUDS?,LONG SLEEVES OR SHORT?,DUDE ,YOU NEED GLOVES...AND EAR MUFFS
I pierced my first ear when I was 14,I did the other one when I was 29.I got my first tattoo at 22,I got my most recent ones at 47.I started stretching my ears at 36,stopped for a while,and when they didn't close-shock!Opted for a 4 gauge (I think) pair of midnight chrome eyelets which have adorned my ears ever since.Unless they are pulled out by the tossing and turning in my tortured sleep (no doubt in response to nightmares involving my misspent-and grossly extended-youth)ending up on the floor.Where I find them a day or so after replacing them.And let me tell you,looking "cool" isn't cheap and the purveyors of such jewelery know it.
When I was a manager in the headache business,I had clearly defined rules about this stuff.They were as follows:
Get as many tats as you want as long as they can be concealed by short sleeves.
Wear a small hoop or stud tastefully in your left ear.(when the gay faction infiltrated the social work field when I was about 27 and those guys had both ears pierced that rule changed).
When I left the headache business I had money and aspirations of making a living in the music business where you can do whatever the fuck you want,and I did.
I don't have to tell you that that plan didn't pan out-we were always 25 years behind popular trends or 10 years ahead(see stoner rock).
So,here I sit at 48...tattooed and pierced ears,frustrated musician,struggling electrician,and to quote Petty-One foot in the grave,the other one on the pedal,I was born a rebel.
I've been lucky in life all things considered,always-but sometimes barely-landing on my feet.And I'll do ok with this electrician thing.
But I watch my kids(all of them,not just my own) getting tattoos,cruising into my territory.And I wonder if they think about the potential consequences?I didn't,yet somehow it's worked out for me.I was/am very lucky in that regard...hell,most of the people who know me well don't even see my ink-in that way.I'm just Rob or Dad,it's just a part of me.
Would I change it if I could?Hell no.
Would I have held off until I knew I could make a good living going against the grain?Probably not,but I should have.Like I said,I've been lucky...and we all know what a bitch luck can be.