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And Then I Did This...

Posted May 30 2013 12:00am

When I was a kid, I knew someone that had this shirt. It said: A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bike.

I was only about 8. I didn't understand that shirt. Why would a fish need a bike? Why wouldn't a woman need a man? Why WOULD a woman need a man? Women, men - who cares, can I go for a bike ride?

Feminism is wasted on the very young.

If you really know me, I'm not a feminist. I don't rage against the man. I don't scream for equal work and equal pay, I wouldn't ever burn my bra - God, have you seen my boobs? I need every bra that is available and then some - and I love me some men. Men are awesome. Men are my favorite.

I love my husband. We have a great marriage - and the last time I said this, someone told me The more you say it, the less I believe it, stop talking about it because it smacks of "The Lady Doth Protest too much".

Whatever. I've learned one thing in 43 years - there are some people who will never believe me, no matter what I say, and it doesn't matter to me. I know the truth. It's the part of me that I need to transform - the desire to make everyone BELIEVE what I believe, THINK like I think.

It ain't happening.

Let me interject here  - I absolutely, 100% believe that women should have exactly the same chances, opportunities and pay as men. I support equal right all the way. I'm just not a bra burning, card carrying, strident and ardently impassioned feminist. I'm not sure what I am, to be honest.

When I first talked about this tattoo, more than a year ago, there were two schools of thought -  the You go, girl! and That's a terrible sentiment heavily divided camps. The "terrible sentiment" people were of two further divided camps - either it was an anti Christianity saving and I was going to hell - or I was saying that I didn't need my husband around, and what a terrible wife I was to think I could do it all without my husband - didn't I care about his feelings? After all, men have an almost desperate need to feel appreciated and admired and if you make them feel like that, you will never ever be unhappy.

Ahem. That came from a book I read this week. Scouts Honor. It also came from someone who told me that I was guilty of the sin of pride, by thinking I can do it all and bragging about it.

If you know me - you know I most emphatically canNOT do it all. And I will be the first person to tell you that I cannot do it all. I feel as if I frequently fail, falter my way through life, flounder around in the muck, splat on my face and basically - live my life so as to serve as a warning to others. I will TRY, to the best of my ability, to do as much as I can. But I never will say that I do it all, and I never will say that I do it well.

But this saying has stuck with me for a solid year. I paid the deposit for my tattoo 6 months ago, and I periodically would reflect on what I wanted. I already have three pieces - not huge, but all of them mean something special to me. I have had zero remorse. None. I've been the topic of conversation before - remember the Christmas party, and I was in the bathroom struggling to pull my Spanx up with about 6 vodkas and no dinner in my system and I heard other (church) women talking about my tattoos and how I danced like someone was putting dollar bills in my panties? - wait, maybe you forgot that story.

It was a good one. Maybe I'll share it one day.

Three days ago, I pulled up a couple of other tattoo ideas I'd been marinating and pondered. None of them spoke to me like this one, and so I just did it. 

I had it done in a typewriter font, because duh.

The artist who did it does very few small pieces - mostly full sleeves and back and chest pieces, but he did my wrist piece last March and I was super awesomely and amazingly impressed. I'm a tough nut to crack, too. I visited just about every tattoo place in two cities and came away with the best feelings about this location. Today's visit was exactly the same - I won't go anywhere else. 

He offset the letters a bit, and made the type look, interestingly enough, as if it came from a typepwriter.It's on my upper back, above my bra line, between my shoulder blades.

He also calmed me way the hell down when I almost freakin' hyperventilated because, no matter how many tattoos I have - I still freak out.

I love it. It speaks to me. I AM the HERO of my story. I CAN do it. (It being my life.) I am strong and capable and powerful enough to get through whatever I need to get through - and I've gotten through some shit that might fell another person - man OR woman. It reminds me that, when things get really, really tough - and there's some of that coming up in the on ramp oflife that I've been on -

I can do it. I am strong. I don't wait for other people to do it for me - whatever IT is - I just get in there and do it.

I'm the hero of this story. I don't need to be rescued.

And Then I Did This...

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