Thursday, February 27, 2014

An Interesting Question

So. The Soctopus had an interesting conversation today with a gentleman who had some things to say about tattoos in general, and women with tattoos in particular. Very interesting. The conversation raised a question I will put to you, internets, and I want your opinions and answers. Comments welcome, y'all.

What the conversation boiled down to was this gentleman's opinion that women with tattoos, particularly "sleeves" or heavy, serious ink, are somehow differentiating themselves as less educated, less attractive, and "loose." His opinion was that women with tattoos show poor judgement and a lack of self-respect. I countered his argument, using myself as an example: educated, graduated with honors, hold a management position in my chosen profession, and -ahem- attractive. He agreed that there are exceptions to his rules, but stood by his statements. The discussion was civil, but raised a lot of questions, first and foremost: is it discrimination to judge someone by their body art?

The obvious answer (and my gut-reaction) is "HELL YES!" If you judge me based on my tattoos, you are judging me based on my appearance, and making decisions about my character. This is, as we all can agree, inherently wrong-headed. However, the quandary is this: I am being judged based on a facet of my appearance that I chose to modify, which sets tattoo-based discrimination into a strange and unique category. The question I have is this: can it be considered discrimination when the judgement is made on an optional modification in appearance? In other words, I *chose* to be tattooed, and had complete control over it. I opted to modify my body in a permanent and visible way. Does that render me open to outside opinions and judgement, again, based solely on a facet of my appearance?

It's an interesting question, and one I've been thinking about. I welcome any and all comments and opinions, and am curious to see what you, faceless internet, think. My personal opinion is that most negative opinions around tattooed people have their roots in ignorance and bias, as well as long-held cultural stereotypes about people with tattoos. I believe it's time to judge someone based on their character more than their skin color (or colors, for those with body art). But then, I am someone with tattoos. So come on, internet! Let's have a discussion!

Sunday, February 23, 2014


I did a thing! With needles!
(Spoiler alert: it fucking hurt.)

Why horseshoes? I've been feeling lucky lately, so why not make that luck permanent? But the big news is that these are the first tattoos I really have to hide at work, meaning long sleeves at work all year round. The flip side of that coin is that if I have to cover my arms for work now anyways, then sleeves aren't out of the question anymore. As a matter of fact, sleeves are now planned, with the artist thinking of designs. So that's coming, and I am excite.

(Spoiler alert #2: 3.5 hours is a looong time to sit still for needles. Maybe a bit too long.)

(Spoiler alert #3: yes, Dad said he was very disappointed in me. Again. Or still. I can't keep up.)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Emotional Trainwrecks Beware...

Oh, hey, internet! I missed you! But the Soctopus is back, again. Last time we spoke, I mentioned re-entering the dating pool and promised a few tales of woe and misfortune. Whelp. Here you go:

So a ways back, I met a lovely man. Just a peach. Handsome. Funny. Smart. And, unfortunately, broken. (Dear Other Women: STOP IT.) The Soctopus liked this gentleman very much, but it became clear very quickly that he had a steamer trunk full of baggage and issues, and had undershot how deeply those same issues ran. (Way to piss off the Soctopus #1-10: sugarcoat your bullshit.) So the issue at hand quickly became "how much do you like him vs. how much do you hate dealing with other people's crap?"

The Soctopus did the hard thing and broke off contact, in a mature way. But, damn, it was hard, because the 'Pus really liked this gentleman, warts and all. Then there was reconnection, and more emotional trainwrecks occurred. And the Soctopus started to realize that this lovely, handsome, funny man was beyond repair. (And the Soctopus does not run a repair shop.)

One thing became rapidly clear, as the Soctopus watched this man suffer through an emotional morass in his personal life: he was not in control of his emotions. And the Soctopus doesn't like overly emotional men. AT ALL. So yesterday, after months of hearing every single friend tell her how hopeless and beyond help this man was, the Soctopus saw it for herself. And realized that it was true: this lovely gentleman was utterly, completely broken, and was not in the market for repairs.

The Soctopus also realized that she really has no patience for "sensitive," "emo" people in general, particularly men, particularly men she would like to spend time with. The least attractive thing you can be, in the eyes of the 'Pus, is overly emotional and needy. *shudder* Last night, over a long conversation with the 'Pus' oldest and dearest male friend, he said, somewhat humorously, "We tough guys ruined you for sensitive men with feelings, didn't we? Whoops." He wasn't wrong. The Soctopus is emotionally tough, and bossy, and in charge of her life and feelings, which means that any man that wants to enter my life has to be even stronger in order to have my respect.

So what did the lovely gentleman do wrong? Exactly that - he lost my respect. And once that is gone, it's not going to be re-earned easily, if at all. Telling me you're emotionally lost, and then wallowing in it? Not attractive. Telling me you're in a terrible place where your partner treated you like crap, and then waffling over that same person and place? You just told me you're weak, and enjoy being a victim. Two more things the Soctopus has neither patience nor respect for.

So the end result is that the Soctopus realized, finally, that no amount of patience would be enough, that this lovely gentleman was broken and wouldn't (couldn't) fix himself, and she walked away. Lovely gentleman, you truly are a nice, funny, handsome guy, but the Soctopus can't wait for you to wade through your own crap. And wallowing in your own emotional misery is pretty much the fastest way to make the Soctopus run the other direction. At the end of the day, the Soctopus really needs to be with someone who has room in their head and heart to make her the priority, not someone who needs the Soctopus to make themselves feel OK.

Surprise of the day: the Soctopus feels pretty damn good about the whole thing. Now bring on the tough guys, the 'Pus is ready!