But that’s your problem, not mine, really.
As I was walking out of Walgreen’s this morning, a rather malevolent looking woman shot me the strangest, most forced smile I’ve seen in a while. Granted, my hair probably looked I just stuck fork in a socket and I had some really short shorts on. But it wasn’t those things.
It was my tattoos. Definitely my tattoos.
I don’t care, my feelings weren’t hurt. Mostly because I don’t have any, but that’s for a later date. But my feelings weren’t hurt, not one bit- I guess because when I looked at her, she looked sad. Her hair was perfectly done at 8:25 am and she was wearing heels. I am lucky if I have even finished my first cup of coffee but then. But she looked sad and angry. And I smiled back, but I didn’t have to. Because her less-than friendly smile didn’t deserve it, but I don’t suck as a human. I wanted to tell her that her ugly shoes were so 2005, but I didn’t. Because I am nice. (Maybe not that nice, but still…..)
Because through her fake ass smile, I could see her judgement.
She wasn’t smiling at me. She was using it as a way to try to distract the fact that she was staring at my arms and legs, covered in super colorful (and wonderfully done, if I do say so myself) artwork.
Now, the thing that really pisses me off is that I am not a rarity. I feel like 75% of my generation has visible tattoos. Maybe not on their hands, but fuck it, they are my hands. And my arms. Right? Are we really living in a society where people use a smile to try to cover up their disgust? Come the fuck on. You cannot be serious.
What in the actual hell gives someone the right? I have run into a lot of judgement in my life. From the tattoos and piercings to being a lesbian… to sometimes having a rather strident personality… I’ve faced some adversity. And quite frankly, people were assholes to me in high school. Like, 99% of the entire (very religious and borderline cult-like) school I went to, so I’m used to it.
But here’s the things- if you’re a stranger, and you feel like casting judgement with your snarly face- move on. I don’t want to look at it. And please, tell me, what happened to ‘if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all’? Surely, that applies to your face. This woman came from the generation that drilled that into our heads. But it defintely applies here.
A better way to deal with that is stop and ask a question. You want to know what possessed me to do something you wouldn’t ever do, or think is awful? Ask me why! Don’t flash me a fake smile behind your mean eyes. Grow up. Be an adult. And I will tell you… it’s been really fun collecting these tattoos since I was 18. I get one every time something in my life happens. Like when I met my wife, had my kids, passed my roller derby skills test and was an official team member, came out of the closet. This is my life story, on my fucking arm, my legs, my everything. Not yours. Not your daughter’s.
I’m also a business owner. I have two (mostly) normal kids. I am actually super active in my community and put in a lot of volunteer hours locally to various charities. I have never been to prison and I have never killed anyone. I don’t smoke crack, either. Like, I am kind of an up-standing citizen.
And best of all, I don’t judge people based on the way they look. Unless they are wearing K-Swiss shoes with a spaghetti strap tank top in a public place. That’s not okay. (And you should probably update Pinterest…. there’s lots of ideas on there.)
Next time you look at someone covered in tattoos, or with colorful hair or crazy clothes and find yourself judging them ask yourself this: do you know anything about them? No? Are you still judging? Then you’re an asshole. That’s all there is to that.