Yep, that’s right. I have tattoos. And, according to my mother, some day I am going to be 80, in the doctor’s office and really embarrassed when my doctor is examining me. This has actually happened, all except for the being 80 part. But the problem isn’t that I’m ashamed of being tattooed, no, the problem is much more than that.

So I have three tattoos. #1 is on my right shoulder blade, it is a rose growing through a heart to symbolize that love, while beautiful, is also very painful. Because, I, Ms. Longest Relationship Ever Was 6 Months (and that’s not the guy I was engaged to), have no clue what love is all about. #3 is a very cute, cartoon rendition of a baby dragon who is asleep (Let Sleeping Dragons Lie (I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean, I just like to say it) on the swell of my right breast (which was a dumb place to put it because, hey, if I ever manage to have cleavage, I have to be careful of how much of it I show).

It’s the second one that’s the problem. So, I like smiley faces, or I used to, and so to symbolize my love for smiley faces, I got one tattooed on my left breast. And then, I saw Austin Powers and decided to turn the smiley face tattoo into my homage to Austin Powers by asking my tattoo artist to add some writing to the tattoo. Since a friend of mine and I are good repeat business, he agrees to throw in the writing when he does my 3rd tattoo, the dragon.

So, I’m sitting in the chair and explaining to him what I want the words to say. Why, oh, why didn’t I write this down for him in big block letters?

DM: Over the top of the face it should read “Groovy.” And around the bottom, it should say “Yeah, Baby!”

Tattoo Guy (TG): Okay. I can do that.

He proceeds to tattoo the dragon. I lean back and relax, completely at one with the world, getting my tattoo fix (they seriously are addictive). He finishes the tattoo and proceeds to start with the writing.

TG: Okay, so how do you spell groovy? Is it G R O O B Y?

DM: Uh, no, that would be grooby. And that’s not a word. It’s G R O O V Y.

TG: Oh. Okay.

He tattoos, I wince in pain. Certain ink colors can cause serious pain…for me, black ink is almost as painful as having a tattoo reworked. Ouch.

TG: Okay, how do you spell yeah? Is it Y A H?

DM: Uh, no, that would be yah (Is that even a word)? It’s Y E A H.

TG: Oh. Okay.

More tattooing. More pain and wincing. Stupid black ink. Why didn’t I say use green ink? Why? Oh, God, he’s stopped again. Now what?

TG: Okay, how do you spell baby? Is it B A B B Y?

DM: Yes.

TG: Okay.

Yes, yes, I know. But in my defense, I was thinking “My God, can anyone really be that stupid? Quit asking me questions, Tattoo Guy and get to the tattooing!” In my defense, my stupid former friend Jake was sitting right there and could have said something! But, no, he thought it was funny.

TG: Okay, what do you think? How does it look?

DM: Great. Except that it says “Yeah Babby.”

Jake: Hahahahahahaha! (Falls on the floor laughing. Damn him)

So a few years later, there I am, at the doctor’s office, watching my really great Physician’s Assistant freak out over the horrid rattling sound in my lungs. I am sitting there, flimsy paper robe around my waist, horribly sagging breasts horribly sagging with tattoos and nipple piercings weighting them down even more and in walks this extremely distinguished looking doctor in his late 50’s, the kind of guy I’m going to want to marry when I’m in my late 70’s. He begins to listen to my lungs and looks down. “Did you realize that baby was spelled wrong?” he asks in his distinguished “I’m a doctor, trust me” voice. I die of embarrassment. Because, even worse than baby being spelled wrong, I’ve also figured out that groovy was actually spelled G R O O E Y. What a mantra for our generation. Grooey! Yeah, Babby.

Yes, once again, my mother was right. God, I hate that.

The nipple rings are gone, removed during Act One of the great play of 2002, The Cancer Scare, where my PA found a lump and I had to get a mammogram. No way in hell were they squishing great lumps of my body with rings attached…and since I really only got the piercings to rebel against Mom and she was right, what was the point in repiercing?

*The title comes from Beth. She knew a guy who was convinced that everyone with a tattoo was the sterotypical trailer trash, white trash, hick. Stupid stereotypes. Fun title.