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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Mom, Can I Have One of my Toes Removed at the Mall?


Back when Australia was still drifting away from the continent and my dance card was full, i.e., my formative years, having your ears pierced even once was crazy, rebellious stuff.

But within just a couple of years of my having graduated high school, the soft pink ears of girls and boys across the country were being pierced repeatedly, loops and loops of defiance; and every group of kids since then has added to the loopage until now we are running out of places to pierce.

Ears? HA! Forget about ears. What’s it like, being so hopelessly old-fashioned? We’ve now got in public what you used to have to pay a carnie to see: pierced noses, eyebrows, lips, nipples, and belly buttons, not to mention the piercing of parts sure to ruin your good undies.

My son asked, in 10th grade, if he could get his ears pierced.

“No,” I said.

I’ve found that children enjoy quick, decisive answers.

“How about a tattoo then? Can I get a tattoo?”

“No,” I said.

“Come on! Why not? It’ll say “Mom”, I promise!”

Awwww. What a good boy. His freshly-pubescent forearm will be permanently marked “Mother”.

“Dylan, when you are 18, you are free to do as you like, although I’ll ask that you wait until you’re out of college. Once you’re out of college, go crazy.”

“Mom, everyone has one!”

“Yeah, everyone and their grandma. Maybe by the time you’re out of school the cool thing will be to have never had a tattoo, to be a clean slate. Besides, what do you have to commemorate with permanent ink? You have great skin. Why mess it up?”

“How about a Mohawk? Can I get a blue Mohawk?”

“Sure. Knock yourself out. If you don’t like it, you can always shave your head.”

He didn’t, of course, get that blue Mohawk, although everyone on the lacrosse team that year dyed their hair platinum blonde.

What the heck. Hair grows.

There are an awful lot of ways to be different/be like everyone else these days. Never mind the tattoos and the piercings. There are studs as well, little knobs at the temples, sharp things sticking out of lowers lips, large Ubangi-style corks in tautly stretched earlobes, contact lenses made to look like cats or goats eyes…

So what’s next?

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and make a prediction.

This prediction is valid in the U.S. only and is not to be used for the purposes of gambling.

In keeping with how we generally behave, the U.S. will go in two wildly disparate directions: 1. the trend will swing to the point where super-conservative dress will become fashionable. No piercings, tattoos. Even jewelry will be eschewed so as to make it easier for one generation to truly differentiate itself from the previous; or 2. – and this is my personal favorite – we will embrace selective amputation. People eager to express themselves will have the first knuckle/nail of select fingers removed, opening up whole new areas of exploration in the insults-via-hand-gestures realm.

Missing a knuckle or two will eventually become, of course, the tribal-tattooed bicep/rose-on-the-breast tattoo of that generation; and the next generation’s rebels will be forced to move on to having their nostrils flared or their skulls replaced with glass, maybe something that lights up when there’s a thought…

Hey. Now there's a thought.

30 comments:

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

No no...I don't want anyone to know when I have a thought. I prefer they think I NEVER have a thought. It's so much fun to surprise them once in a while.
I wonder when people will realize that the outward appearance of their body has nothing to do with the uniqueness that is them?

Paula Wooters said...

I bet plastic surgeons are looking forward to the day when body art becomes passe. Then they'll probably set up kiosks in the mall, too.

jabblog said...

Much food for thought as ever . . . how to be unique and yet still remain part of the tribe - very difficult!

Sioux said...

And with the light that lights up when a thought emerges, that means that for some, their dome will remain dark...ALL the time.

Linda O'Connell said...

You are so right,these days, nothing is off limits. I saw an older man, had to be a fire and brimstone preacher sitting in a fast food restaurant, his had flailing as he made a point... minus half of his middle finger. I wondered whet his congregation thought each time he stood before them.

Joe Pereira said...

Transparent skull...what a great idea! Especially for boys who through inherited genes makes them prone to baldness. You may have just stumbled onto something, Pearl. Fame and loads of money...on their way to you...along with the inevitable marriage proposals :)

TexWisGirl said...

well, sure hope it's the first of the 2. besides, the second has already been done with a generation - of farmers...

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Oh yes - that lends itself to a whole new realm of law-making based upon the thought potential of the personality... oh the muse the muse... They'd definitely have to clean up their act!

jenny_o said...

Like TexWisGirl says, the amputation thing has already been done, just not on purpose. My grandpa was missing several fingers, a result of working in the woods for a living. I do like the thought of glass skulls that light up when there's a thought - makes it so much easier to spot the zombies :)

Jackie said...

To travel to the future and see what is in store for us (fashion wise) would be 'the trip' I'm sure.
I, for one, tend to find myself buried in the good old days...no permanent body ink, only two holes in the nose (God gave me two; I'll suffice it to say that He knew exactly what He was doing)...
I smile as I read your posts.
Love 'em....
J.

Rosemary Nickerson said...

Having just spent over a week in Atlantis, where people are strutting their stuff in next-to-nothing bikinis, I've seen more tattooed flesh than I thought there were people wearing skin! Somehow, I don't think the tide has turned yet. It is now called "Body Art". When they start tattooing their faces, THAT' s when things will slow down.
Rosemary

Rosemary Nickerson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Geo. said...

I share your reservations about tattoos. They probably don't improve one's prospects in life. But I think maybe I could've won more arguments if I had tusks. You think I'm too old for tusks?

Eva Gallant said...

Neither of your predictions would come as a big surprise; people are wacky!

Daisy said...

Pearl, I wanted to share a song with you but only way to do it was by making a video and putting it on my blog!

As a non-conformist, I loved this post! I still have all my toes and fingers tho!

http://fur-licity.blogspot.ca/2013/02/conformity-or-not.html

Daisy said...

I am old fashioned. Most piercings and tattoos just skeeve me right out! *shudder*

Gigi said...

I have to second @mybabyJohn/Delores...what will it take to make people realize that they are unique all on their own.

But human's are funny creatures - so they will do what they do.

But you and I are alike in that I've told my son the same - wait until you are out of college and paying your own way.

vanilla said...

Too many would be perpetually in the dark.

HermanTurnip said...

Argh. Did you read the recent news story about the couple of decided to bite each others ring fingers off at the first knuckle? There's "artistic", and then there's "disturbing".

Lynn said...

Let's hope, like you told your son, that maybe the new thing will be to have clean skin!

Rose L said...

Somehow, somewhere, someone will come up with some odd new trendy thing to do...maybe having the zombie look! LOL

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Yeah I told my girls they could poke holes in their body and insert ink into it when they were 18 and could do it without my permission........

My niece got a big tattoo on her back shoulder area when she was 16 with her dad's permission and now she regrets it......

Kana said...

It;s so sadly true, that whole "be different/be like everyone else" phenomenon...we need the validation of fitting in even as we strive to rebel. Hard to be a teen!

A newer form of body piercing I find lovely, if startling - necklace/bracelet piercings: http://s1.hubimg.com/u/105452_f248.jpg

The Elephant's Child said...

I love the idea of the head lighting up with every thought - for everyone else. I would rather be able to continue to say 'nothing' when asked what I am thinking about. And I would much rather be able to duck when someone asks me what I think about particular issues. I suspect many other people would be happier with my silence too.

River said...

I've always said I would never get a tattoo, but now that I'm getting older I've been thinking that maybe, just in case there's an accident where I am found unconscious, maybe I should have my name, birth date and blood group tattooed around an ankle.

Tempo said...

OK, lets get this straight once and for all... Australia did not drift away. We cut you all lose and crowbarred you away from our coastline. I could list the nasty things that led us to part ways from the weirdness of the USA, Europe and England but frankly you lack the room here....

Glen said...

as long as we are all riding about on Hover Boards and the whole Twilight crap has gone out of fashion, I'm in - sign me up and lop off a leg - You have to be in it to win it...

esbboston said...

Yesterday I had aLL ten of my toes removed from the maLL. They are usuaLLy in charge. I had not been there in maybe a decade, and after an hour of walking I was more than ready to leave, hopefuLLy to never return. I was s'pposed to have a job interview today, but we are in a blizzard. Not sure how deep the snow is on the roads.

the walking man said...

Sorry on your prediction Kiddo, body modification is already moving mainstream.

ellen abbott said...

it's the ones that slit their tongue in two that totally gross me out.