Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I'll Miss You, Tattooed Dad...

...and I never even knew your name.

I first noticed Tattooed Dad as I walked down the elementary school hallway on First Grade Family Night. In the sea of polo shirts, the back of his shirt shone like a beacon, as it boldly featured a mud-flap-style illustration of a lady on all fours.

Well...isn't that family appropriate?

Thus he became Mud-Flap-Girl Dad...albeit briefly. We and the rest of the suburban throng made our way to the auditorium's folding chairs.

It was then that I noticed his heavily tattooed arms.

It was then that he became (ta da!) Tattooed Dad.

The artistry was such that I had to take a photo...

...even as my oldest daughter whispered to me that I was being rude in doing so.

If the photo isn't clear enough, among the images on his arms is Lon Chaney as The Wolfman and Bela Lugosi as Dracula.

I'm not a big fan of tattoos -- mostly because I'm not a big fan of pain, and when I see one all I think is, "That must have really hurt." Still you have to admire the artistic skill required to ink a recognizable likeness of someone on another person's forearm.

While we're on the subject of pain, Tattoed Dad also has his daughter's name wrapping around his neck in inch-high letters (and her name is eight letters long, making for quite an impressive tattoo.) (Although my main impression is, "Ouch!")

Yet I remain an advocate for personal expression, even as it makes me wince. So I send an imaginary "Yo! Bravo!" to Mr. T.D. for expressing himself so eloquently without having to say a single word.

But my favorite thing about T.D. is that his very presence takes the heat off me.

When I first started this blog, I wrote of my fitting-into-the-Suburban-mold issues. (Hence the name of this blog.) It remains a challenge.

But when a guy like Tattoed Dad shows up at a parental school function, ANYTHING I wear will look conservative in comparison. As long as I don't traipse into school wearing a g-string and pasties, I'm fitting in just fine.

But here's where our happy story takes a tragic turn. Word on the Mom Grapevine is that Tattooed guy and his family are moving back to the Big City.

Just like Eva Gabor, Green Acres wasn't the place for him. (Although in his case, he just adores a rowhouse view...)

And I never even got to see who was on his left arm.

I'll miss youse guys. I really, really will.

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