Monday, February 22, 2010
I must admit, I've seen some truly gorgeous ink art displayed on my friends' arms, shoulders, ankles, hips, and even hands. Some of them have chosen really thoughtful, clever, and original designs that completely grasp their personal style. But I must confess, I honestly don't think it's for me. Let me tell you why...
I once volunteered with an organization designed to aid nursing home residents who had no remaining family members. The program's aim was simple: they compiled a list of residents who normally wouldn't have any visitors and assigned them each to a volunteer who would periodically stop in and check on them. I thought it was a marvelous idea and signed up immediately. After clearing a background check and interview, I was assigned to a woman named Ethel. They gave me her room number along with these simple instructions: show up, sit with her and talk! From the very minute I walked into Ethel's room, I knew I was going to LOVE this gig!!
My favorite thing about Ethel was her former occupation. Are you ready for this? She was a DANCE HALL GIRL for a traveling carnival!! AWESOME, right? It was true, too! I checked with her social worker and learned Ethel had spent the majority of her life working in carnivals. When she grew too old to dance, she took on other jobs in the company, but her days onstage were clearly her proudest!
Ethel LOVED to tell stories about her travels and the celebrities for which she danced. With very little prodding, she'd get up and give you a sample of her "moves," and I never got enough of her performances! Grinning from ear to ear, she'd stand up, place one hand on her hip, the other behind her head, and begin this amazing belly-dancingesque, pelvic thrusting maneuver that never failed to make me blush! Then, just like that, she'd bow, grab a cigarette from the nurses desk (she was allowed three a day!) and wave for me to follow her to the back outdoor patio. After I finished my vigorous applause, I complied!
"Oh my gosh, what happened?" I asked her. "That's a pretty nasty bruise. Did you fall?"
Ethel, cigarette dangling from the side of her mouth, looked at me in disgust and replied, "No, silly girl! That's my TATOO!! Something wrong with your eyes? It's a heart with an arrow through it!!" She "tsked" at me, flipped her hair and took another long drag of nicotine.
I apologized and looked back at her arm. Even though Ethel had not gained much weight in her later years, her skin had definitely sagged. A lot. What used to be a beautiful heart was now a large, ugly, black smudge. I was glad that Ethel still saw her precious heart, but I can assure you, no one else COULD!
What about you? Do you have a tatoo? Of what? If you don't, would you get one? Tell me!! I'd love to hear! And, as always,
Thanks for Reading!!
- Anything Fits A Naked Man
- Nashville, TN, United States
- Welcome to my blog! I'm Joan, a former actress attempting to reconnect with my first love of writing. Join me as I ponder my Irish dad, sweet grandma, GPS dependency, hatred of the Hallmark channel, and other insightful topics that make you go, "Hmmm..."
- Last Trailer on the Right
- Missing Sunsets
- Compassion Meter
- Ethel the Tatooed Lady
- Cheese, Mushroom, and Saliva, Please!
- Good Grief
- Terror at Gettysburg
- Can You Say, "THREE-PEAT?!!"
- Worth the Wait
- "SNOWPOCALYPTIGEDDON" for ME!
- Homecoming Schmomecoming!!
- Postcards from the Bottom Rung
- Singing Praises
- Pink Plastic Real Estate
- ▼ February (14)