11 Things I’m Tired Of Hearing After I Got A Man’s Name Tattooed On My Arm
I am a feminist, and I have a man’s name tattooed on my arm.
Before I continue, let’s get the true, real definition of feminism straight, shall we? As a feminist, I believe men and women should be equal, so that means I’m never trying to beat them, but rather, catch up with them. You know, in an “I’m trying to walk down the street in shorts too and not get harassed” kind of way.
I feel like that had to be addressed because as a woman in 2014, having a man’s name on your arm is quite a taboo thing. We all know the cursed fate: Get a tattoo of your lover’s name and you’ll be breaking up sooner than you think.
Sure, getting the name “Chad” surrounded by four-leaf clovers might have been cool in the 90s, but we Millennials know better than that.
I’ll hold off on what exactly my tattoo, the name “Frank” written in typewriter font on my left bicep, really means. Before I dive into that, here are the top 11 things people assume or ask when you have a man’s name written on your arm forever:
1. Do the guys you date get pissed you have another man’s name on your arm?
This, of course, is only ever asked to me by men. My favorite response is, “No, I date girls.” They usually shut up right away, become awkward and conclude they’ve insulted me. No, you’ve just annoyed me.
2. Who’s Frank?
My second baby’s daddy. I didn’t really care about the first one.
3. “I’m just trying to be “Frank” with you…”
No. Just no.
4. Would Frank be jealous that I’m talking to you?
No, but what about what I think of you talking to me? I’m annoyed, especially after knowing you’ve been staring at my tattoo for the last five minutes and contemplating what exactly to say to me.
5. You must have some type of daddy issue.
It often doesn’t make sense to people that a 23-year-old girl would have a lover’s name tattooed on her arm, so people often jump straight into the daddy explanation.
In my experience, most men assume girls these days either have one of two relationships with their fathers: He’s either wrapped around our finger and funding our New York City apartment, or we’re perpetually f*cked up and and against all men. Apparently, both warrant a tattoo?
6. Is that real?
Apparently, “Frank” is written in the same typewriter font as the name of a coffee scrub brand — as was so nicely pointed out to me by my coworker. No, this tat is not a freebee I found at the bottom of my body scrub bag.
7. Who died?
Since we know better than to get our lover’s name permanently inked, a name tattoo must be for some family member or friend who died. Well, although my tattoo isn’t for someone I know personally who died, it is for someone who is dead…
8. What will the person you marry think?
Well, hopefully, he’s not as shallow and vapid as the person asking me this. Because it’s just a tattoo.
9. Were you drunk when you got it?
Hmm, yes. But only because I happened to go to brunch with bottomless mimosas that day. The tattoo was pre-planned, not a result of a drunk decision.
10. Hey, where’s Frank tonight?
I may be alone in a bar, and it may be only Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean Frank just became your new competition and you need to beat him at something.
He’s not here, and if I tell you who he really is, you probably wouldn’t have any idea who he is anyway.
11. That’s my dad’s/grandpa’s/brother’s/uncle’s name!
Of course, people are bound to ask annoying questions for any tattoo, despite how popular they may be in our society. Some days, if I think about my tattoo just by classifying it as a man’s name, of course I question my decision.
Then I quickly remember the real reason behind the ink: It’s an ode to Frank O’Hara, the influential poet alive in the 50s who created the “I do this, I do that” style of poetry.
O’Hara wrote often about love, New York City and his friends, and did so with astounding passion and fervor. He’s definitely someone I admire and his lines like, “Each time my heart is broken, I feel more adventurous,” or “I've tried love, but that hides you in the bosom of another,” can knock the breath out of me in an instant.
He also happened to be a gay man who subtly wrote about his experiences with men in such hushed and beautiful ways that not many critics at the time caught on. He tragically died in a dune buggy accident in Fire Island at the age of 40.
So, no, Frank isn’t my dad’s name, a lover’s name or anything in between. He’s simply a person I admire, not because or in spite of his sex, but because of his work.
His name is forever tattooed on my arm, and I’m okay with that.
Photo Credit: Sean Horan
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