One Thousand Words on Piercings, Tattoos and Supreme Court Justices

I saw the ugliest eyebrow ring today.

It wasn’t a stud or a hoop, but a long, dangly beaded thing.

The woman wearing it was loading groceries into the back of her car and when she leaned over, the piercing waved back and forth in front of her eye.

It must be very distracting, having something constantly in and out your line of vision, hovering at the edge of your eyesight all the time.

But then I’m a little squeamish when it comes to piercings.

Earrings don’t bother me. I have three holes in one ear and two in the other, although I usually only wear one pair of earrings.

Those earrings that you make bigger and bigger until you have a giant hole in your earlobe kind of freak me out, though.

And I’m not a fan of earrings that go all the way up the ear. You know, around the top. That’s all cartilage, not just skin. It’s got to hurt.

Maybe that’s my problem with other piercings too. They look like they would cause a lot of pain, at least at first. The nostril is very sensitive. And it hurts like hell when you bite your tongue. Why would you purposefully cause yourself that much pain?

Plus nose rings and tongue rings just seem unsanitary. What happened when you blow your nose or eat?

Yuck. I don’t even like to think about it.

At least nothing else happens with the earlobes. They’re just hanging there.

The same with eyebrows, I guess. An eyebrow piercing is just a little more in your face, pun intended.

While I can’t imagine myself with any strange piercings, I have always kind of wanted a tattoo.

Nothing big. I don’t really care for those full sleeve tattoos. But a nice little one somewhere discrete seems kind of cool.

Once I even went so far as to have my hand on the doorknob of the entrance to a tattoo parlor, but three things stopped me.

First, I don’t know what design I’d get.

I don’t have any one thing that I love so much I’d like it permanently pictured on my body.

My cats? I love them, but I can’t see having a cat tattoo. I love theater, but the comedy and tragedy masks are too cliché. The same with music notes. I’ve never seen a book tattoo, but it sounds kind of boring. Books aren’t very picturesque really.

And even if I could figure out what I wanted, I could never decide where it would go.

I’m not daring enough to have it someplace really visible, like an arm or on my hand.

I once did a henna tattoo on my hand. It looked really cool, but I was embarrassed by it when I was in a professional setting. I found myself hiding my hand under the table. Thank goodness it was my left hand.

I could do something on my shoulder. I never wear anything sleeveless, so it wouldn’t show. But I also couldn’t see it. And if I’m going to have a tattoo I want to be able to admire it.

The ankle is a good place, I guess. A lot of people have ankle tattoos.

A couple of years ago I went to a big country fair. The kind with a midway full of games and booths that sold airbrushed tattoos.

I had a viney, flowery thing done on the inside of my foot, along the arch.

I really liked the way it looked. It was kind of an elegant place for a tattoo, if tattoos can ever be called elegant.

I even got comments on it when I wore sandals.

When I was having it painted on, I told the woman that I thought that was a great place for a tattoo.

She had a lot of real tattoos and she responded, “A real tattoo right there would hurt like hell.”

And that’s my third reason for not getting a tattoo. I’m scared of the pain.

I’m not afraid of needles. I’m not like my mother who can’t watch when she’s getting a flu shot or having blood drawn.

I sit right there and watch the needle go in and the blood come out. I don’t even blink.

But that’s one needle prick and a tattoo is lots of needle pricks.

What if you got a quarter or halfway through and couldn’t stand it. You’d be stuck with a quarter or half a tattoo.

And I’ve heard that you’re not supposed to drink before you get a tattoo because that thins your blood and you bleed more. But that might be an old wives tale.

So I guess I’ll stay my boring self, sans piercings and tattoos.

==

I heard on public radio today that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas hasn’t spoken in court since 2006, except to occasionally deliver an opinion. He hasn’t asked a single question during arguments in six years.

This flabbergasts me.

I’m not a big talker. When I attend meetings, I’m often the person who doesn’t express an opinion or ask a question. Instead I think about everything being said and process it later.

Maybe Justice Thomas is like me. Maybe he needs to consider what has been said before he can respond or even come up with a question to ask.

It seems to me, however, that some question must have popped into his head in the past six years. I hope it has anyway. I mean how can anyone sit through all that lawyer talk and not have one question?

He says that he relies more on the written briefs than oral arguments and that he thinks the oral arguments are completely unnecessary. He calls them a side show.

But he and his colleagues are answering some of the biggest questions facing this nation. I’d feel better if he were engaged enough to ask a question once in a while.

And if he’s not going to talk, I hope he’s at least listening.

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