Tattoos or Scars…Updated!

which one tells the better story??

We have all heard the quote, “Scars are just tattoos with better stories”. But is that really true?

Is the story about how you fell off your bike and had a rock in your knee really better than the story told by a World War II veteran about how he got this tattoo while stationed in some exotic place with his war buddies? I think the stories are two different beasts. One is a story that is shared and related to others often, the other is one that is sometimes kept only to that person and a select few because of the memories it conjures up.  If it is just the story we are concerned with, I think it would be better to stick to the scar.

However, there are different kinds of tattoo stories as well. The stories of a spring break down in Panama, a family member or friend remembered forever or just one crazy night in college. Which story would we be more interested in hearing? For the most part, I am guessing that it would be about the spring break or crazy night in college…because we never want to get to close to people anymore and know something as intimate as the story behind the anchor, initials and dates that sometime adorn the bodies around us.

Would it be so terrible to walk up to someone you know and ask them about the tattoo on their arm or leg? Sometimes you understand the meaning of the tattoo by just looking at it but do you really understand the reasoning behind the person getting it if you never take the time to ask? Most people are glad to share that information with you and most of the time; I bet you will be surprised at how open individuals can be when you give them the chance.

As we watched the Olympics this summer a lot of tattoo talk was brought up by a certain photo. Yes, I’m talking about the Misty May- Treanor/ President Bush photo. Misty has three tattoos; one is on her lower back of the Roman numeral five along with initials (the tattoo represents her favorite number and basketball player Jason Kidd).

Those details aside, if you have ever watched a match including May-Treanor and her partner Kerri Walsh, (or if you watched their interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show) you know that Kerri slaps her behind after a good play. All President Bush was doing was a more appropriate way of doing that when he visited their practice. I shudder to think what former President Clinton would have done in that position. But back to the tattoos and scars…

I wonder if Misty enjoys the fact that everyone knows what her tattoos mean. We heard it all throughout the Olympics, the one of her shoulder is in remembrance of her mother Barbara May, the one in the famous photo also includes her grandmothers initials, and on her wrist is tattooed M2, a tattoo which she shares with her husband, Marlin’s catcher Matt Treanor (but we didn’t hear about that one…maybe because its not too visible?)

Do we talk about the scars that Misty surely has from all her years in sports? I haven’t heard one thing about any athletes or celebrities scars unless they were surgery and therefore the scar is ‘job related’. You don’t hear that this scar is from climbing a tree in the backyard or this scar is from a little league baseball game. Why is that?

Are tattoos that much more interesting than scars? Does having a tattoo represent something make it more important than the scar you got while sliding into home to score the winning run? Who decides it is more important?

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  1. #1 by Sarah Rohrer on 17, September 2008 - 11:43 pm

    Very interesting! All three of Dwayne’s tats have special meaning, but you wouldn’t know it for two of them unless you asked him. You made a really good point!

  2. #2 by ireneintheworld on 20, September 2008 - 11:29 am

    great post. something i hadn’t given a lot of thought to but i like the idea of asking strangers about their tatoos. x

  3. #3 by Sara at On Simplicity on 3, October 2008 - 3:17 pm

    As a person with no tattoos or even real scars, I find this a very intriguing question. I think for me, the uniqueness of something is what determines the value. I probably don’t want to hear about the tribal armband tattoo or lower back butterfly. I can guess. But a unique (or uniquely placed) tattoo would intrigue me. Are you sure that if I ask about a tattoo I won’t get beaten up? 😉

  4. #4 by klar4230 on 3, October 2008 - 3:35 pm

    Sara,

    I’m not sure about getting beat up…but I wouldn’t suggest asking someone that looks like they could potentially act on that! 🙂

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