What’s Up With Tat?: Why I’m Not Ready For Children

Nicole J. Levin
Delphine Rodrik

We were laughing so hard my parents thought we were drunk—which given that it was 6:00 p.m. on a Tuesday, would not be unheard of.

But after checking all the bottles in their liquor cabinet (and—with some foresight—the rubbing alcohol in the medicine closet) my parents realized that their daughter and her childhood friend were, in fact, not intoxicated.

The question of whether or not we were on recreational drugs was never asked.

We were merely high on the natural (I’m using a liberal definition here) pleasure that comes from temporarily covering your body with images of flaming guitars and flowering skulls.

That’s right. I’m talking temporary tattoos. Or, as I like to call them, “tats.”

My experimentation with tats began on a typical August afternoon in Fairfield, California. I love my hometown; we have the Jelly Belly Factory and a mall. Inside the mall, we even have an American Eagle, and one of those “As Seen on TV” stores. But we don’t have much else.

Consequently, the only two things that kids normally do for fun in my town is make babies or get tattoos (or a combination of the two—Baby Tats are a growing trend). And, after debating whether or not I wanted my baby to be born a Taurus—the Zodiac sign would make a sweet Baby Tat—I decided against the former and got tatted up instead.

So, after a five-hour trip to the mall, my friend Polly and I did what any self-respecting 19 year olds would do: We covered ourselves from head to toe in “Rock ‘n Roll Rockstar” tattoos.Perhaps we should not have gone with the pack of 60.

At one point I had 20 on my skin, and at least five of them were on my hands.

I was especially proud of the flaming skull on my thumb. I called it the thumb of death.

Everyone else called it a clear sign of my mental deterioration.

I prefer the thumb of death.

I know it’s been years since most normal people have seen a temporary tattoo, but I think it’s time we bring back the trend and expand it to more social gatherings and holidays. Who wouldn’t want a temporary tattoo themed wedding?

My goal was to host a Tattoo Party at Harvard. I started a collection in preparation. I went to the Haight-Ashbury district in San Francisco, in search of some quality tats. After passing by multiple tattoo parlors and “licensed” street inkers I finally found an art store that sold quality temporary tattoos. I also had my younger cousin send me a few that she didn’t want anymore—she said something about them not being cool in middle school.

I greatly underestimated the maturity of my friends, who, despite my vast collection, were not particularly impressed by the party I registered: TattyTimez2012.