Friday, August 9, 2013

street cred

I haven't gotten a tattoo yet, but it has caused quite a bit of talk amongst "all" of my blog readers, so I'll give you the rundown on the thought process involved.

I have been reading this book called Interrupted, by Jen Hatmaker. (PS---She writes a completely hilarious yet honest blog, which I highly recommend that you read (especially if you dig sarcasm, adoption and reality). While explaining the pitfalls of overgeneralizing beliefs about a marginalized population based on stats instead of basing beliefs on realities experienced while in relationship with that culture's members (I could take all day unpacking that thought alone), Jen points out in her book that you can't always generalize people groups based on a few stats. For example, she grew up in lower-middle class Kansas, has a tattoo, and was a member of the party sorority in her university, but she is also a pastor's daughter, a pastor's wife, and graduated magna cum laude from a conservative Baptist college. Without getting to know her, people could easily misinterpret her and her needs based on the first set of stats. Like I said, I could unpack this idea all day long, but I have some other thoughts about the book, so maybe I'll wait until I can make sense of them and share all book-related thoughts at once.

Basically, she is living missionally, working with people from all over the world to reach the lost and broken in the dirty parts of her city. She is becoming all things to all people and, besides her daily activities of serving the poor and orphaned, her background sounds very similar to mine.

Except for the fact that I have no street cred.

Yep, street cred, my partial motivation for possibly getting a tattoo. Brad has three tattoos, so when I married him some of his street cred immediately rubbed off on me. He has a (sometimes horrendous) beard 9 months out of the year, and he can shoot about 29 different types of weapons with accuracy (burglars, beware...). What do I have? I am grossly squeaky clean (except for the boogers I wipe off my kids' faces) and insanely boring. Exhibit 1: A PE coach who is an HGTV-obsessed blogger? Woohoo....don't you want to hang out with me?

My remedy? A tattoo. It provides a topic of conversation with people who are not necessarily like me. Have I mentioned that small talk terrifies me? Talking about weather, how the summer's been, how old your kids are...Sometimes it's very difficult to keep those things going. But if there's a tattoo, it's an immediate jumping off point for meaningful conversation.

So, here are my street-cred-providing, conversation-starting tattoo ideas (since you asked):

 


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If I got this one, I would have "He has made all things beautiful in his time" inscribed on the stem.

Of course, if I got one I would probably get it where basically no one could see it, which would defeat the whole purpose. (Note: Also considering brown or white ink...)

I really do think it could start some good conversations, though. Some of us do need help with this...Exhibit A: Brad thought I was a snot when we first met. [But that's a story for another day. Sometimes my "shy" is interpreted as "snot," okay?] Exhibit B: I was called "Bible-by" in college--when my last name was Bybee--by a fellow track athlete (who later went on to the Olympics, by the way) because I was a goody-goody. Too bad I could relate to about two people with all of my "goodness." Way to be Salt and Light, Bybee.

If getting a tattoo will help me be more relatable and approachable, it might not be a bad idea. Right?



Consider: 

19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)