I’m 98.5% certain that I’ll never get a tattoo and it has nothing to do with my opinion of them on other people (because my opinion of other people’s bodies doesn’t matter one iota, but for the record – I think your tattoo is fantastic) or needles (a little to do with needles). It really boils down to an adolescent crush on Jonathan Taylor Thomas.
Growing up in 90’s suburbia there were two types of people: people who thought *NSYNC was better than the Backstreet Boys and people who were wrong. Sure, I’ll rock out to a Backstreet Boys jam today but my loyalty still runs deep. There were also two generally agreed upon adolescent crushes, Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Devon Sawa. You couldn’t go too wrong with this one, because ugh Devon as Casper, melt my 11 year old heart, but I set up camp in the land of JTT.
*NSYNC, that other boyband, JTT, and Devon were all regularly featured in Teen Beat, Tiger Beat, Cosmo Girl – all the classics. Teen Beat had the best posters though and I have vivid memories of going to friends’ houses and their bedrooms being covered floor to ceiling in dreamy teenage love.
Not my room though, because while I don’t remember my dad taking a super hard line on a lot, he had a thing about permanence. And resale value. He also had a pretty good understanding about the fickle nature of children.
As a result, Pop could not care any less how cute Jonathan Taylor Thomas was, his Teen Beat poster was not getting tacked onto my bedroom wall. Haphazard adolescent tacking would ruin the value of our home and wreak havoc on my parent’s nest egg. I negotiated for tape but that was also against house regulations for fear of peeling paint. If something was going onto your wall it was going on there framed and with a nail carefully placed by an adult. And it would be up there until the end of time. You had to make a real glass/plexiglass/plastic commitment to bedroom decoration. Maintaining the pristine condition of our walls to ensure that my parents would retire comfortably seemed like a lot of pressure on my 11 year old self, but it was a good, albeit a little intense, lesson.
This permanence stance wasn’t solely related to JTT posters or bedroom walls. Car bumper stickers were also a no go. I honestly believe that if I was ran for President of the United States my dad still wouldn’t put a bumper sticker on his car. Don’t get me wrong, he would totally vote for me as long as I was running on a fiscally responsible platform but I could not count on him for an advertisement on wheels. I was taught that once a bumper sticker was on it would be there for.ev.er, again severely damaging resale. To this day, if I see a car donning a bumpers sticker for a politician who failed to win the office of her/his choosing a little part of my heart dies. For the politician who really was just trying her/his best, for the car owner whose dreams were dashed, and for that poor car who just lost a couple hundred bucks of value in Kelly Blue Book. Living in politically active Massachusetts it’s really a wonder I make it through my commute without eating all the ice cream in despair.
As an adult my car remains bumper sticker free. (Glen’s car has stick family stickers in the back window because we are “those people” but they peel off very easily without residue.) All tacks are reserved for cork boards, inconspicuous areas above door frames for birthday decoration purposes, and holes left by the previous home owners. We have canvas prints for a gallery wall that might be put up in 2024 because I have a paralyzing fear of the permanent marks the nails will leave when I inevitably mess up the placement of said pictures.
So, yeah… putting a very permanent tattoo on my body doesn’t seem likely in my future. I have friends and family members with gorgeous, meaningful tattoos and they are awesome. But for me, JTT will have to stay in a small frame that can easily be removed from my nightstand.
With an inkless body and a desk drawer full of unused tacks,
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