A freebie Valentine’s tattoo is a lifetime of heartbreak

For those looking for a recession-worthy Valentine’s Day gift this year, please heed one warning: Avoid the free tattoo.

For those looking for a recession-worthy Valentine’s Day gift this year, please heed one warning: Avoid the free tattoo.

Sounds odd, I realize. Who would resort to a free tattoo to impress a current or potential lover? Well, this year the underpinnings for disaster are out there.

It’s been several years since the Billy Bob, Anga-Brad-Jenn throwdown laid the problem with inscribing a lover’s name bare. And with the advent of the happy little United Nations family the kerfuffle produced, the sting of some of those scribblings are probably fading from the public purview.

In fact, if one were to find the coupon for a free tattoo CNB Piercing & Tattoo in Rutland is offering, there might even be a moment of temptation, if not all out jubilation, at the brilliant free gift idea.

If one is to consider the many freebies, half-offs and two-for-one deals out there this time of year, one has to admit, the tattoo is among the more creative.

But please do not be fooled.

While that innocent little slip of paper may be buried in one of those purchasable books that make one feel like they’re getting a steal of a deal, this one is guaranteed to cost you an arm or a leg.

As one who has a rather ill-thought-out tattoo—albeit nothing to do with anyone’s name—I can honestly say there is no amount of free that could possibly be worth the free space one loses when a goofy tattoo takes up residence.

Even at the coupon’s $50 limit—which one has to assume would leave room for only a couple of initials—adding a lover’s name, initial, astrological sign is ultimately like tattooing “don’t date me” on your body to everyone outside their exclusive range in the universe. I’m pretty sure it would cost you less humiliation to just get married.

Now, there are a few people who manage to date within the same name consecutively. In fact, if you’re a guy in my age-range, give or take 10 years, you might arguably want to consider throwing the name “Jennifer” on your body in hopes it might eliminate the need for a cheesy pickup line.

But for those who opt for the “Marthas” or “Gwendolyns” or even the near fail-safe two-letters “J.T.”, you are ultimately looking at a lifetime of misery.

By the time one has sorted the dating pool for the obvious—basic intelligence, half decent dog, ability to wash, what have you—one has to figure honing in on one specific two-letter combo, let alone a full-blown name, is going to really make finding love tough.

Unless, of course, making a clear decision is your problem. As you will read in my coworker Kathy Michael’s column (see A10), apparently there are a good deal of dudes out there who are so indecisive they bail out of all relationship forming for a quarter of a year to ensure they don’t get snared into a Valentine’s Day date. In this case, I suppose eliminating a few female options might be a positive. But for the vast majority of single, semi-single, bored-of-the-ring downhome folks out there, bad ink is probably best left for another day.

My friends want me to use the coupon to tattoo a four-leaf clover on my body. Something about getting lucky. Thankfully, I’m all grown up and done with insane mistakes. Besides, I think that’s a holiday column for another day.


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