I saw a really fantastic tattoo a couple of weeks ago at my favorite ultra-hipstery bar (no, I'm not telling you which one; it's too popular already). The female bartender serving my group had a huuuuumongous octopus snaking across her shoulder and down one arm. It might've been helping her pour beers, the thing was that big. And it looked badass.
Confession: Even though I'm terrified of needles, I have a lot of tattoo envy. And since the Chicago Tattoo Arts Convention is in Rosemont this weekend, I'm sure I'll see plenty of them strutting around town.
An intricate sleeve instantly heightens a normal dude to potential sex-god status, and women with a big, bold design automatically become more mysterious. It's kind of like smoking cigarettes—on the right person, a tattoo just looks [bleeping] cool.
But like the ol' cancer sticks, there's a potential future hazard to major ink that's easily ignored. And no, it's not the regret factor—although Megan Fox and her Marilyn tatt could tell you plenty about that situation. Yes, fellow Millennials, I'm talking about AGE. (Wait, that's not going to happen to me, right?)
Back in the olden days, there were exactly three types of people who got tattoos: military dudes, bikers and serial killers. Hippies and poodle-skirt-wearing teens weren't heading down to the tattoo parlor around the corner to pick out the perfect daisy and/or skirt poodle to commemorate their youth. That's why your mom doesn't have an enormous Jetsons tattoo across her scapula—and if she does, we probably should hang out.
But music festivals have gone from Woodstock to Coachella, and now everyone and their Whistler dance partner is all inked up. Ours will be the first generation where Uncle Myron won't be the only one sporting a stretched-out, topless mermaid.
Consider the above-mentioned octopus on an 85-year-old woman. Her grandkids are going to be pretty terrified when granny heads out to the pool in her skirted bathing suit—AND THE ANCIENT SAGGY KRAKEN. They'll be sleeping with one eye open for weeks.
We live in such a gimme-gimme-now time that the fact that we're all eventually going to be geriatric (unless we all get killed by cars while poking at our smartphones) probably doesn't even cross most peoples' minds. We're not all going to be as cool as we are today, and having a saggy, baggy elephant tatt will elevate you at least one level above the crazy cat lady on the creepy scale.
So even though I sometimes dream about what I'd get inked if I had the courage, I'll probably stick to something a little less permanent to avoid looking like a Rorschach test in the future. I did see a girl on the bus yesterday with an AMAZING red mohawk ...
DANA MORAN IS A REDEYE COPY EDITOR. SHE ALSO IS TERRIFIED OF SPIDERS, DOLLS, RATS, WIGS, PUPPETS AND HER OLD LANDLORD WHO LOOKED LIKE STEVE BUSCEMI. DAMORAN@TRIBUNE.COM | @REDEYEDANA