“The ramblings and grumblings of author Ad Hudler”

Tattoos and the Target shopper
Sunday, August 3, 2008

To celebrate my birthday, my wife and I slipped away to Sarasota yesterday for a night at the Ritz-Carlton. I always like staying at a Ritz-Carlton. I like how everyone always says, "With pleasure," and "It is my pleasure." And everyone, even the chamber maids, are outfitted with those little hidden ear pieces and microphones like the ones you see on secret-service agents, which is their secret to making sure you never have to wait more than 1.4 seconds for anything. Honest to god, they'll even do things like whisper your names into the mic so the doorman you are approaching will know to say, "Have a wonderful evening tonight, Mr. and Mrs. Hudler."

But now to the matter at hand. Yesterday I wrote about Wal-Mart shoppers having more tattoos than their Target-shopper counterparts. Well, it takes a big man to admit this, but I got busted by the stereotype police at the Ritz swimming pool. There was this beautiful mother with her young toddler daughter, and we overheard her tell someone she was pregnant with twins.
Her hair was blond, an EXPENSIVE haircut and color, my wife assured me. Her teeth were porcelain-white and perfect. She wore some kind of designer sunglasses and a diamond bracelet. She used multiple-syllable medical terms when explaining to someone how twins are formed in the body. Oh, and she and her husband were in Sarasota to find a vacation home to buy, and they couldn't have been older than 30. In short: Educated, affluent, and, most definitely TARGET SHOPPERS!!

And then, when I saw her stretch up to adjust the shade umbrella, the flap of her pregnancy swimsuit fell aside to reveal ... A TATTOO OF A DRAGON ON HER BELLY!!

Okay, so apparently tattoos have become so commonplace that even the Target crowd wears them now with pride.

I need to reexamine tattoos. I guess we need some new criteria for judging them. What's cool in tattoos? What's outre? What is considered an artful tattoo? And, more importantly, when Target buyers are penning their love to country and/or mom on their limbs, what is the Wal-Mart crowd doing?

True confession: I've wanted one for about the past two years ... ever since I started power-lifting. My wife and daughter vow they will disown me if I follow through with it.

"What if I get one of, like, Shakespeare?" I asked. "Or maybe Hemingway or Thomas Edison?"

Nope. I guess it's best. I have one friend who says that on Judgment Day everyone with tattoos will get shoved into the Going-To-Hell line.

Hey... send me pix or descriptions of your tattoos. Or your girlfriend's or husband's tattoos. There are some pretty amazing ones out there. I'll post them here. And be sure to say whether you are a Target or Wal-Mart shopper ... so that we can adjust our realities.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you ever seen a tattoo on the lower back of a woman well past her 30's? I wonder what the tattoo on the Target shopper will look like in 30 years? As my teenagers would exclaim, "I'm just sayin'"

August 4, 2008 at 6:25 AM  
Blogger Ad Hudler said...

Hey, J. Bennett ... I'm starting to see butt caps/tramp stamps on the backs of men as well. Doesn't surprise me, I guess, since so many guys are shaving their legs now. Oh, how can one even expect to stay in touch with the vagaries of pop culture...huh?

August 4, 2008 at 6:41 AM  
Blogger Libby McMillan said...

The thing about tattoos is they only look good on dark-skinned people. There is something about blue ink on pink flesh that just makes my skin crawl. As the trend has become more of a rule (and I am the exception) I continually examing my visceral reaction against tats. I STILL can't think of one place on my body where I wouldn't regret having one, and can't come up with a design I could live with for 50 years either...!

I hear that now there is a new technique for removal that's quick and painless. So what!

The only breathtaking tattoo I ever saw on a female was on the back of a beautiful 20-something, who waited on me at breakfast in Austin, while wearing a halter. When she turned to walk away, she had a full set of wings on her back. I was speechless and still remember it vividly. Maybe you could get little wings tattooed on the back of your ankles.

P.S. I'm a Target shopper. Only force myself into Wal-Mart for fresh poblano chiles. They have the biggest and the best, amigo.

August 4, 2008 at 8:59 AM  
Blogger Ad Hudler said...

Thanks for the HOT tip!!

August 4, 2008 at 10:11 AM  
Blogger LU said...

Happy Birthday! Any tattoo tears over this one? No black and blue regrets? Can you 'Target' the best birthday ever? Ha-ha ...god, I just kill me! Thank you! I'll be here all week...

August 4, 2008 at 5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You need to check out "No Regrets: The Best, Worst, & Most #$%*ing Ridiculous Tattoos Ever". I'm guessing it will be a while before Ritz mama gets one featured in it.

August 7, 2008 at 10:36 PM  

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