Tuesday, March 24, 2009

tattoos and social interaction 101

so you dont have any tattoos, and are in the general vicinity of somebody who does. perhaps youre being introduced, or perhaps youre both at a social gathering, and theyre simply standing near you. and the simple fact is this: youre not quite sure what to do. what should you do? what should you say? should you say anything?this example-based approach will teach you—who do not have any body modifications, or who got them to impress your friends—how to interact with other human beings who do have body modifications, and take quite a bit of pride in them, such that everybody may feel respected; such that everybody may have a grand old time; and such that you dont look like a total doucheass.

1. lets say, for example, a person who has some calligraphy tattooed onto them walks into a party, and their ink is clearly visible. should you:

a. not do anything.

b. stare at them.

c. demand of them, “whats that say?”

d. comment on their artwork, and then inquire as to what it says, and perhaps follow that up with, “what does that mean to you?”

e. none of the above.

if you selected choice “a”, thats a pretty good start. what the heck does it matter if somebody has got ink or not? if you selected choice “b”, that would make you pretty lame. if you selected choice “c”, then that would make you look like quite a doucheass. if you selected choice “e”, then perhaps you should take the introductory 100-level course. however, if you selected choice “d”, then you clearly understand that it takes quite a lot of thinking and commitment for somebody to get something tattooed onto them (that is to say, on them for forever), and you want to respect that person and be respectful of something so very permanent, like somebody’s own child, say.

2. lets say you know somebody who has got some tattoos, and youre introducing them to your friends from home. do you:

a. introduce your friend or acquaintance this way: “hello, id like you to meet my friend; hes got tattoos.”

b. introduce your friend or acquaintance this way: “hello, id like you to meet my friend.”

if you selected choice “a”, then, that would simply make you look like a fool to everybody around you, and as though that wasnt enough, that would make you look like a major doucheass to your friend or acquaintance. however, if you selected choice “b”, then you clearly understand that whether somebody has tattoos or not should not impact an introduction, nor should it necessarily be a topic of discussion. perhaps you understand that it is your friend or acquaintances choice as to whether or not to bring up their body modifications in conversation, and that something like that shouldnt necessarily be called out by you. for example, it could be said to be as inappropriate as saying, “hello, id like you to meet my friend; they have a feeding tube because they have acute digestive system failure and are pretty much near death.” its just not necessarily something your friend or acquaintance would like announced to planet earth, im sure.

that concludes todays lesson. hopefully you are now better-equipped to handle what seems to be such a difficult social situation for some people: interacting with those who have respectable body art.

1 comment:

Eric said...

I for one am guilty of asking you what the tattoo on your leg was. However I already know you, so I dont know how this applies.

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