Am I Covered in Braille?


There seems to be a common breach of etiquette these days. Many people are running around, assuming they are friendly, yet crossing lines that should never be crossed. While I understand curiosity, there’s a level of human decency that seems to be missing. Or at least a little common sense.


Apparently I’m covered in braille.


Maybe a slight exaggeration, but that’s the only conclusion I can come to. Truly, tattoos are no longer something that are just viewed, but they must be touched. When I decided to start getting tattoos, no one warned me about this particular side-effect. Maybe it was in the fine-print of the waiver I signed before getting inked?


I will never forget a visit to the grocery store when a woman approached me from behind. Apparently my tattoo had some magnetic power that drew her in because, before I saw her, she had literally grabbed the sleeve of my t-shirt and started pulling it up to see more of my ink. I’ve pondered this exact moment, and tried to put myself in her shoes. Tried to understand why?! But I can’t. I cannot comprehend how that would register in someone’s mind as an acceptable action. I’m not sure I understand how people can miss the concept of a tattoo still being part of a person’s body. But it is!


Once while attending a concert, the girl next to me literally put her nose within an inch of my wrist to view the script. She never spoke to me, but for several minutes, no matter where my arm moved, she followed.  While I would typically be put-off by someone intruding into my personal space in such an odd fashion, I found humor in her annoying behavior. She honestly looked like a complete fool for the duration of her viewing (which other people around us had even begun to notice!).


The worst of the worst happened during the summer when I was at a water park. Minding my own business, I was following my son through a shallow pool of water and probably other things I don’t want to consider (germs! ew!). Suddenly, someone came up from behind me. No words uttered, no remarks, completely unseen by me, they proceeded to rub both my arms repeatedly. I actually behaved myself in that instance, as best as I could. Shocker, right?! Choosing to only give the most vivid, blatant ‘drop-dead’ expression I could, I quickly left that area feeling violated. It’s moments like that I think it’s probably good I don’t carry a taser. Also, a taser in a pool seems like a really foolish idea… And I might have to see if there are any YouTube videos of that now…


But really people, how hard is it to understand the concept that groping strangers is unacceptable behavior?


Apparently harder than it should be! Frustration led me to develop a few guidelines for those who lack a bit of common sense when encountering tattoos, with hopes that people will relearn some manners…


Here they are, and in no particular order-


If you’re curious about the ink, ask. Most people will tell you about it, or they’ll tell you it’s personal. Simple.


And if you want to see more of the ink that is hidden by sleeves, or other pieces of clothing, ask first. It is not okay for you to move said piece of clothing. Ever. (I’m talking to you, grocery store woman!)


Under no circumstances is it ever okay to approach someone without asking, or even making eye contact, and start touching their skin. Please remember it’s skin. As in a part of someone’s body. You’ve just invaded their personal space. It’s not braille, it’s ink.  It’s not a canvas, but skin. Would you grope the Mona Lisa?!  Never! (That may be the weirdest question I’ve ever asked on this site.)




Have tattoos? Hate tattoos? Want to get a tattoo of the Mona Lisa?


8 thoughts on “Am I Covered in Braille?

  1. I have to admit at first I was put off by tattoos on women. However they have grown on me. In fact I want to get one myself. I cannot imagine some stranger touching me like that. Wow you have restraint Jaklyn . I still dont like the one on my daughters beautiful chest. She recently told me she wants to have it covered.

  2. I have had similar experiences… but it’s been more from my students, so it’s not totally as awkward as strangers.

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