File 36 - Wu-Tang Shamed

I love tattoos.  I just went and got my fifth one.  I think have always been drawn to art - music, books, photography....murder docs.  There is something comforting about the tattoo shop, aside from the skulls and images of the macabre. The rhythmic buzzing of the needles, the acidic scent of cleaning supplies, the walls covered in vivid colours and drawings.  All of this to the backdrop of a someone’s chosen playlist and the sound of voices - artists and recipients.  It feels vibrant.  It feels alive.  It feels honest.  I can only imagine the number of personal stories, opinions, and feelings that have been expressed within these walls.  It is like a therapy session, but you get to leave with something beautiful and permanent.  Did I mention I love tattoos?

It was a dark and stormy day, when a girlfriend and I set out for our latest body art. Okay...raining.  It was just raining.  We decided to get matching snowflakes. "What does that mean?"  It just means we like f**king snowflakes, okay Carol????  That question always kills me. I have heard myself asking it, even though I should know better.  I think it is safe to assume, if someone has gotten something etched permanently on their skin, that they love it.  And that may be it.  Or there could be deeper symbolism or meaning.  Personally, I have a mix of both.  I have the names of my littles, scrawled on one wrist, because they are  my everything.  And, I have a pine tree, on my other wrist, because I have always just loved trees.  Always thought trees were the sh*t.  That's it.  A fondness for foliage.

In all fairness, the snowflakes did have meaning.  We decided on them because they are the same but different.  This described our friendship, perfectly.  So similar, in so many ways - the really important, ride or die ways - and, so different, in other ways.  The snow crystals seemed like the perfect design to represent our symbiotic relationship. But, then something happened, at the shop, that made me question everything..... 

There was an eclectic playlist coming through the speakers.  Everything from Blondie, to the Doors, to Bob Marley.  And then, to my absolute delight, Wu-Tang Clan!  As the raspy voice of Method Man came over the sound system, I looked at my friend with sheer merriment.  This was the best!  The strange thing was, my friend was looking back at me, with a blank expression on her face.  Okay, so maybe Wu-Tang wasn't her thing.

"You don't like Wu-Tang?"


I searched her face for deceit.  This girl could prank with the best of them.  To drive the point home, she rolled her eyes.

"Never heard of them," she replies, barely stifling a yawn.

Before I could reply, I was called to the chair, for my tattoo.  As I laid there, taking in the sting of my new art and telling my friend that I was going to make her a mixed tape, which is old people speak for playlist, another Wu classic came on.  Everyone in the shop began singing along.  Well, everyone except for one.

"She doesn't know who Wu Tang is."  The entire room seemed to fall silent.  Everyone's jaw dropped.  And there, in a place of no judgement, we Wu-Tang shamed her.  She stared back at everyone and looked bored.

"No idea.  I really love pop and country music."

I smiled.  This is why I love her.  This is why we are friends.  This is why we work, so well.  First, snowflakes.  Next, mixed tapes.  The same, but different.

Shimmy shimmy ya, shimmy yam, shimmy yay.

Does Mommy need to lose her shit?

Not this week.