To tat or not to tat, THAT is the question


AGMA decided to make a late mid-life career change in my 50’s.

Despite having an MBA, I never quite warmed to the politics of “How to Succeed in Business by Kissing Ass” scenario. I’m not a mover and shaker type. I’m not uber competitive. I deplore drama of any sort.

When AGMA first started working as a young adult, I believed that intelligence, integrity and hard work would bring success in the business world.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha….

When it dawned on me how incredibly naive I had been, I settled into a career as an underling in the IT department of an insurance company in Cincinnati for 20+ years. But AGMA was pretty happy being an underling. I was able to work part-time (much of it from home) in a professional position that allowed me to be around for my kids (can you say car pool queen?) and do lots of volunteer work while earning a decent salary.

It was all wonderful until Son#2 (the snarky, but oh so sweet one) had the nerve to go off to college. My company got a new CIO who did not approve of part-time at home workers, so I was “forced” to work (I shudder when remembering)…40 hours a week. Full time.

Oh, the humanity!

AGMA was a baby about it; I was miserable even though I loved my co-workers and was now making more money than I’d ever made.

Then Hubs got a promotion and had to move to Atlanta. AGMA didn’t want to move to Atlanta. I didn’t want to leave what had been my home for 30 years to start over. I didn’t want to leave my friends.

“But you can quit your job and not have to go back to work in Atlanta.” Hubs crooned softly in my ear.

Thems was powerful words.

Buh bye Cincinnati!

But of course, AGMA, being undiagnosed ADHD, got bored pretty fast.

After taking a hobby job at a upscale cookware retailer for several years, and stocking my kitchen with amazing cooking stuff (eat your heart out Alton Brown!), I got restless. I had this nagging feeling that I should be doing something else; something more meaningful than working for minimum wage selling $200 chef’s knives to people with lots of disposable income.

That something was becoming a theraputic massage therapist. Who knew?

Since AGMA graduated from massage school in 2009, I’ve been hopelessly happy with my career choice.

OMG – it’s about time!

My business has morphed from exclusively table work to now, almost exclusively corporate chair massage. And I love it!

I contract with a number of other MT’s who own their own businesses. They do all the marketing, billing, payment and recruiting. They are the ones who have the headaches associated with owning a small business.

All I do is show up and work.

It’s awesome because it fits in perfectly with my travelin’ ways. AGMA works when I want and turns down jobs when we fly off to wherever.

A MT works with far more people doing chair massage than doing table work. A typical chair session is 15 minutes. A table massage usually last an hour. So in at a 3 hour job, I will work on 11 or 12 people.

And AGMA comes in contact with a whole spectrum of folks when I’m doing chair massage. Actors, electricians, teachers, administrative assistants, CEO’s, graduate students… And they come in all sizes, colors, genders, ages, religions – you get the picture.

And a lot of them have tattoos. A. Lot.

Even the ones who look like they wouldn’t a tattoo will have little ones hiding on the their shoulder blade. How do I know this? Sometimes is necessary to pull down a clients shirt a little bit in back to work on their necks. I mean, you gotta do the neck – people hold crazy tension in their neck. So that can give a pretty good view of their upper back.

There are others who have tattoos all over their arms and back. I worked on one young lady last week who had huge wings tattooed on her upper chest. She also had tattoos on her arms. All up and down her arms. And her back. She was quite colorful!

So, of course, AGMA, feeling like I should be more colorful, is pondering getting another tattoo.

I thought the one I got last year would be my first and last. I’ve loved it from the first day I got it and have never had any buyers remorse. Every time I look at it, I smile.

I realize that I am delightfully not normal.

But AGMA needs to accelerate the decision making process. It took 13 years for me to decide what kind of a tattoo I wanted. 13 years from now, I’m going to be closing in on 80. I think I want to pull the trigger a bit sooner for my second one.

But what to get, what to get…? And should I even get another one? I mean, I’m not a spring chick anymore. More like an old cluck up.

I’m conflicted.

So whaddaya think? Do I have millennial envy? Or am I just a late bloomin’ Boomer? A really late Boomer bloomer… Should I listen to my head that says, “WTF?” Or should I follow my heart and become more colorful?

Aging gracefully my ass!

35 thoughts on “To tat or not to tat, THAT is the question

  1. Hmmm. I am violently opposed to pain of any kind, so the thought of anyone sticking needles in ME for something I can easily avoid has zero appeal. So, I am definitely not the right person to ask.
    I think you will figure out if a second tattoo will bring you joy all on your own. And whichever you decide, I will be cheering you on, saying “great decision”. Because that is what blog buddies do.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are so supportive Shelley! Thanks! And for the record, I HATE needles. But just like getting needed immunizations (esp for shingles!) – I like the end result! I think I know what I want, but it’s not very colorful, and I like color. So I guess I’m back to being undecided! Thanks again!


  2. Being strictly a chemo-phobe, and having recently read somewhere about the chemicals and heavy metals present in tattoo ink, I vote no. But hey, far be it from me to rain on AGMA’s parade. Maybe you could find an organic tattoo parlor, with vegan inks and stuff, if that even exists. OR You could always just get a nipple pierced…or not.

    Liked by 2 people

    • OMG…that sounds SOOOOOO incredibly painful! Eek!

      And I am all about natural and organic, But since I’m not a young thang anymore, I figure by the time the heavy metals start doing their damage, not to be morbid, it really won’t make a difference (if you know what I mean..) Besides, my mouth is so full of mercury (from old fillings), I’m sure that’ll get me before the tattoos.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve always loved your blog and, reading “To Tat or Not to Tat,” it’s clear as day why I identify with you. Your words were really speaking to me today, AGMA. I truly wish I could find my “happy career” and am waiting for a Hubs-goes-to-Atlanta thing to happen to force me into doing it. But that’s me. I’m talking to YOU, to say, YES! Get another tattoo!! Sleep (and dream) on it, look at art and photos and nature, see what strikes your fancy. You’ll know it when you see it – and it won’t take 13 years if you’re focused! Good luck!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Flattery will get you EVERYWHERE my friend! Seriously, thank you for the kind comment about AGMA. And I’m glad that my story spoke to you. I was 52 when we moved to Atlanta and 54 when I started massage school. I wished I’d done it earlier, but then again, I would have never thought of doing it before I moved. I guess things happen when they should happen. That’s all to say, “Patience Grasshopper.” You can slap me now…

      Thanks for your encouragement! I’m leaning to the YES on the new tat after having it brew around in my head. I want lots of color. But it has to mean something to me. Guess I still need to let it brew!


  4. Now, see what you did here? I am usually lazy about reading comments with the bloggers I follow, but you made me read all of them because I wanted to see what everyone would say. Very crafty of you, AGMA. And thanks for your background too, btw. I thought for sure you were ex-CIA with all the traveling. Wrong!

    I’m like some of the other here with negative thought on pain and ink in my system. So I vote no; just enjoy what you already have and rest on your laurels. My two cents. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so funny Marty! ex-CIA… Yup – that’s me! I just made all that other stuff up.

      The pain doesn’t bother me that much. I had two bowling balls (other wise known as babies) come out of my body with no pain meds. Pretty much after that, nothing short of dental work, bothers me. And as I replied on an earlier comment, I have enough mercury in my fillings to make 100 old fashioned thermometers. The oral kind that is… And I’ve been exposed to enough contaminates in my life that I figure a few more – pretty ones of my choosing – aren’t going to make things much worse!

      Thanks for your two cents Marty!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I belong to a closed Facebook group for dental hygienists (I was one for about 20 years.) One of them put up a post asking the group to say whether they had any tattoos and if they were visible, were they covered by their scrubs or lab coats when they work. I was amazed at the number of responders, and at the number of tattoos they had. Granted, the majority of women on that group are much younger than “moi.” But it really points out how mainstream tattoos have become as opposed to the old days when it was a guy thing. I told them I didn’t have any tattoos, but asked if stretch marks count. I got plenty of those. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • On my thighs, my arms, my behind… Lots of stretch marks. TMI?

      It’s gotten to the point where I pretty much expect at least 50% of the people I work on to have at least one tattoo. Again, lots of them are younguns…

      I belong to a closed FB group called Crones of Anarchy. Seriously, there’s a FB group with that name…. I bet a lot of them have tats!


  6. I met a guy today and during the course of our conversation he told me that one of his daughters is a massage therapist and that she just got a tattoo on her wrist. He went on to say that to keep it on the down-low with her clients, it was done with ultra-violet ink. Apparently, you can only see it under black light. Yet another factor to consider, AGMA.

    Liked by 1 person

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