“Sooner or later we’ve all have to confront our choices”

Last Thursday I spent 6 hours in total driving to Miami, getting my tattoos lasered off, and driving back home. I’ve been doing this every couple months for over a year.

I got my first tattoo at 16 years old. My best friend and I thought it would be cool to get a tattoo on our backs to show off our toughness during the wrestling season. We both decided to get it in an area of our back that would be visible when we wore our singlets.

Years later when I joined the military, I got a barcode tattooed on the center of my left chest. Being the creative person that I am, I used my birth date as the serial number. That was over ten years ago.

What started as an act of coolness turned into a faded tattoo of a Superman and a blurry barcode which had no meaning to me whatsoever.

It was in that moment of understanding how little symbolism these tattoos had in my life that I began the process of getting my tattoos removed.

So as I sat in the chair like I have so many times before the assistant asked me if I would ever get another tattoo. You would think the answer would be obvious when you’re getting a laser to your chest. At first, I said no, but as we talked I told her that if I ever did get another tattoo, it would have to have a profound emotional attachment to my life.

Otherwise, the pain of getting another tattoo removed again (which is three times worse than actually getting a tattoo) would keep me from actually getting it removed.

Then again, If I didn’t get them removed, I would have to explain to my kids why daddy has a bunch of permanent squiggly lines on his chest. I’d rather not.