People can be SO rude.

Newsflash: I have tattoos.

5 of them, to be exact. And never before have I been so offended  for the simple fact of  having tattoos as I was this morning. It’s another chapter in “Asante’s Awful Marta Experiences”! lol. Let’s get some background.

The public transportation Gods do not like me. At all. My friend said it best: I have the worst luck on the MARTA. I meet the most offensive, rude, obnoxious people, and I don’t quite know what I’ve done to deserve it lol.

I’ve been sat ON. I’ve been pushed. I’ve been yelled at. I’ve had buses cruise past my stop like I’m invisible. I get inappropriate stares and comments by the bucketful. But the man I encountered this morning took the cake, people, let me tell you.  I’ll set the stage…

Scene: Southbound MARTA Train, approaching Civic Center station. Train is moderately crowded, there is an Impeccably Dressed Gay Businessman standing near my seat, by the door. As patient interaction at work is relatively low lately, I’m dressed more casual than normal: denim capris, white top, coral cardigan.

Train begins to brake.

IDGB: [Glances down at me, apparently catching glimpses of a few of my tattoos. Opens his mouth to speak, with a sneer and an obvious air of contempt.] “Well aren’t you… ‘decorated‘. Hm. I’m sure you’re not going to work today!”

A: [Silently glaring, obviously offended, secretly willing he trips and falls down several flights of  stairs in the very near future.]

Train stops, doors open, IDGB prances off into the station.

End Scene.

How rude is that?! I mean OK, I can understand the fact that people still aren’t exceptionally accepting of tattoos. I get that. And though IDGB may have had his reasons for disagreeing with my life choice, he had ABSOLUTELY no place to voice those opinions to my face, thereby not only making me uncomfortable, but basically assuming that he had a right to judge me for being myself.

Dear IDGB: Screw you.

Screw you for the brief second of self-doubt and insecurity you created in my head. For transiently making me think that my intelligence, my credibility  as a person, as a professional, and as a freaking MARTA customer is in some way diminished by the fact that I have chosen to decorate my body with tattoos.

Yes, some of my tattoos are rather conspicuous (my wrist, behind my ear, my ankle). Yes, I put them there after careful thought. No, I don’t regret a single one. You don’t have to like them. You don’t have to like me. You don’t have to like any person with tattoos, whether it’s some small design you can barely see or some obnoxious symbol across the center of their face. But you owe the person behind the ink the same respect you would give to any un-“decorated” person.

I think my tattoos are beautiful. I am extremely happy that not only have I managed to find designs that are meaningful to me, but that I can take pride in sharing and explaining them to others. Honestly, understanding people’s tattoos can be a really great way to get to know them. I’m sure the vast majority of people with tattoos will tell you that there is a lot more behind the ink than you could understand with a simple condescending glance.

So to those who believe that you are somehow better than me and the other inked ladies and gents of the world, hopefully you’ll step off that pedestal one of these days. Because tattooed people are freakin’ awesome.

And one day, when we’re old and wrinkly, we’ll be more colorful than you.

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2 Responses to “People can be SO rude.”

  1. I can’t say i totally understand what you went through as i am currently un-inked, but unfortunately i have been a culprit of judging a book by its design.

    there’s a guy in my faculty who has LOADS of tattoos and i used to be scared to talk to him, but at some point i decided to put my prejudice aside and talk to him….lo and behold he’s a really cool dude and i’d like to think that we are friends to some level. i even asked him about one of his tattoo; the word “left” on his his left wrist, and to find we have something in common, we both have problems with figuring which is left and right when put on the spot…he just went and did something permananent about the issue. he was just taking the light side of life and expressing himself :D.

  2. I completely understand, Asante. I don’t know why people appoint themselves as fashion police, morals police, or any other kind of police.

    His judgement of you says much more about HIM and his small-minded insecurities than it does about you. Remember, you didn’t get those tattoos for him; you got them for yourself and they have meaning for YOU. He is in no position to affect your positive feelings about them, so don’t ever give him (or anyone else) the power to cause ANY level of self-doubt. He probably spends his entire day giving snide remarks about other people, which tells me that he does this to boost his own sorry self-esteem (i.e. elevate yourself by cutting others down). By pointing out the “imperfections” of others, he gives himself a false sense of being perfect.

    Bottom line: Don’t let emotional vampires (yes, I called him a vampire) suck the joy out of your day. Continue being sunshine and light. Enjoy the rest of your day (and your tattoos) :-)

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