I wanna be the Minority

Growing up in Southern California, it was hard for me to believe that I being a Latino meant that I was part of a minority.  The town I lived in had a majority of latino residents, and many of our city’s leaders past and present were of Mexican American descent.  However, when I turned on the TV, or picked up a newspaper I always got the message that I was part of a minority group in this country.

Of course the numbers were rapidly changing in California.  More and more Latinos were coming to this state, or simply being born here. I was first generation American on my father’s side, while my mom’s side has roots that run deep in old California.  Turns out it was not just a California thing, and Latinos were making their way out of the traditional areas such as the Southwest, Miami, and New York.  We are everywhere it seems.  As the year’s go by, I have seen the proliferation of the Latino, and our culture.  For several years now, I have rarely used the word minority to describe myself.

Until now…

One observation that I keep making in my daily meanderings up here in my Redwood Curtain home is the staggering number of people who have ink.  You know, a Tatoo, or in many cases, several.  They are on arms, upper leg, lower leg (ankle, calf), neck, back, face, foot, and any place you can imagine.

I have had a few occasions when I pondered the idea of getting ink.  However, the idea never rooted in my mind long enough to get it done.  It just does not appeal to me.  I love the art of the Tattoo.  The creativity of the tattoo artist and the ideas of the patron come together to make some memorable art.  I admire a good tattoo, but I have never felt compelled to join what I now perceive as the majority.  I have a hard time finding a person with a blank canvas like me.  We are the ones who stick out like a dislocated thumb now.  I have considered wearing nothing but long pants and long sleeves from here on out.

So I now find myself in a new minority group; one that replaces the old.  I doubt this new group will ever qualify for government assistance.  Hate Crimes?  Doubt it.  Internment Camps?  Please!  We will just take our place among the albinos, the double jointed, and the conjoined twins.


10 thoughts on “I wanna be the Minority

  1. I, too, am one of the few unmarked. For reasons that escape me, unlike 95% of the people I meet who think that tattoos are the coolest and sexiest thing ever – I find them repulsive beyond words. I know it’s extremely judgmental…but if I see an attractive woman with one, she immediately drops from a 9 or a 10 to a 2 in a matter of seconds. I remember being in college where everyone I knew was getting them…in one case one guy I knew took out extra student loans to spend thousands of dollars and cover a large part of his skin with some crazy artwork.

    The appeal has always escaped me. From history classes, I’ve been told it originated in the West when Spanish sailors first met the Maori tribesfolk of New Zealand who adorned themselves with artwork for cultural reasons. And due to the open sexuality of the females (who apparently swam to boats and bedded the sailors en masse) – the tattoo became synonymous with sailors and sex appeal.

    I guess for me, a person who hates to wear clothes with a brand label and would never put any type of bumper sticker on my car – I prefer not to stand out. I’m not sure if this explains my extreme dislike of tattoos…but I know 100% that I will never, ever get one. Oh well. 🙂

  2. Thanks for the history lesson! I think I am up at like 98% of the people I meet have ink. Well I do not find ink repulsive, I am not going to place getting a tattoo on my bucket list.

  3. I am not a big fan of tattoos. Though if they are nicely done and are on the buff arm of a good looking man, they become more tolerable. I personally don’t like needles, pain, or the thought of having something permanent written on my body so tattoos are not likely to be something I would ever get.

    Italiano…I will find you a very special bumper sticker to put on your car!

  4. I’m right there with you Tapperass. I’ve had numerous close calls in the Army when my buddies and I would get drunk and seek out the local tattoo guru. Somehow, I managed not to be a part of the pack and get one, despite a lot of coaxing and ribbing.
    Practically everyone I know has a tat. My three sons and wife have tats. Wife has a little one on her ankle – 3 sons have a multitude of tats that seems to keep growing.
    I’ve been wondering if that makes me an old stick-in-the-mud, but now I see that I’m part of a minority. Long live individualism.

  5. Hey Dave, should we start a grass-roots organization? Maybe call it the NAANTP; the National Association for the Advancement of Non-Tattooed Persons.

  6. I don’t mind a few small tats on people, and they get bonus points if it’s something I can easily understand (not an inside joke/meaning) and/or humorous. (Example: Steve-O from JACKASS has “Your Name” tattooed on his ass.) However, the appeal of “sleeves” or covering large parts of the anatomy with them simply escapes me.

    Another thing I don’t understand is the “once you get one you’re hooked and you’ll want more” mentality, which I’ve been told by a number of inked folks. Perhaps it’s true, but I’m not willing to test that theory.

    As for myself, don’t have any and don’t plan on getting any, despite prodding from friends and acquaintances who have them. Just not high on my priority list, and I’d rather spend the money to pay down bills or whatnot.

    That said, if I ever were to get one (and I mean ONE), it would likely be my mother’s family crest — something small and inconspicuous.

  7. Sure Bratty! I think “I brake for small grapes” would be good. 🙂

    Tapperass – I think I’d called the group ‘TNT’ which stands for “Tits Not Tats”. What do you say?

    My father once told me that he knew a guy in his unit in Vietnam who had barber pole stripes tattooed on his junk. Just how my dad learned this particular tidbit of information I never asked, but I’m sure that guy was a riot at parties.

    But I will add one exception about tattoos. I dated a girl once who told me that she had one small one somewhere on here body, but that it was up to me to find out where it was hidden. Needless to say that didn’t bother me in the slightest. ^_^

  8. NAANTP……I would also be a member. Although, my 22-year old daughter and my ex-wife both have tattoos. My daughter received her first right after her 18th birthday. She had an affinity with the punk crowd and wanted to be somewhat of a joiner. And, her Uncle Mark who is just turning 40 and one of the first of the new era of tattooed Gen-X youth, inspired her. Now, she says her tattoos are a sign of her independence……????? Hmmmm, when everyone else her age is also getting them? Two of my own uncles, WWII Vets had them, but my generation (50-65 year olds) were kind of skipped.

    When my father worked in the local sawmills in the 1950’s, the foreman wouldn’t hire a man with a tattoo. He said they were too unreliable.

  9. Along Italiano’s lines…

    I knew a girl who had a shamrock and “Lucky You” tattooed on the small of her back, below her pant line.

    (pause for effect…)

  10. If I ever got a tattoo it would only be one blue dot because I dont like the idea that it might hurt!!!! Ow!!!

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