Monday, December 26, 2011

When is a Tatoo not just a Tatoo?

I have never understood tatoos--until today.

Much in the manner of a Jewish Prayer Shawl or a Catholic genuflecting in true humility, I learned today that a tatoo can be an, "Outward Sign of an Inward Grace."  A communications tool of the best that's in us.

Sally is a lovely single woman in her early thirties.  She has great friends of both sexes, but for full time companionship, she has decided that Dani is her lifetime companion.  They don't go to protest marches, at least, not any more--and they've found contentment after one successful house sale and one near foreclosure together.

Today at a family dinner she has kind enough (though she didn't need to ask our permission) ask if Rosie and I would be offended if she got a small discreet tatoo in the form of a ring around the base of the fourth finger of her left hand--and she had her reasons at the ready.

There is not "convenient easy shorthanded way" to communicate to an interested guy that she's in a comitted relationship.  In our culture the wedding ring does that easily and quickly with a minimum of confusion.  Trouble is, Sally is a health care professional and washes her hands multiple times daily.  The water gets in under the metal, no matter of what kind, and eats away at her sensitive skin.

A discreet tatoo (technically against company policy where she works, would help solve that problem.

Of course we said yes!  We love her, we support her and her self defense tactics, however unique and personal.

Sally explained that a well-to do man of 57 asked her out, as do many who receive her care--and explained when she changed the subject discreetly that she was wearing no ring.

We laughed and told her that since she was obviously that "scrumptious" she should't be put off by interest from the opposite sex though she is interested only in her own---right now!  Her companion, Dani, said she had told her the same thing more than once.

I took the opportunity to tell her that years ago when she got together with Dani we went to our Bishop and asked him what we should do.  So many were kicking otherwise loving and lovable children into the street for that choice.  He gave us wise advice and we've found it easy to follow with our daughter-- "Just love her!"

I had worried that she would never know the joys of motherhood---at least that's what we used to call it--but somehow both she and Dani have managed to avoid all the having of a baby and still raise two fine sons,  Dani's nephews who come to them when real parental guidance is needed.   At one point the two boys lived with Sally and Dani when their mother couldn't find any other place for the money she was bringing in.  It was Sally and Dani who got the pre teen boys up and off to school, helped them with their lessons, talked to them about the facts of life and became stabalizing influence in their lives.

They have since grown up and on and moved in with others leaving their Mom.  When presents arrived a couple days ago, Sally and Dani got two nice offerings from the boys who always come to visit when they're in town.  Their mom, sadly, got what she deserved.  Nothing this year---maybe being an irresponsible birth mother will merit better treatment as these two boys turn into men...but for now.....


The Best Cure for Anger is Delay - Socrates

Consider the many benefits of writing
all your conversations for a while!
Anger can be addictive, especially late at night when the disappointments of the day magnify the emotions.  A change in medication has left a gap in reason and my family must suffer as I reconnect with them through a 30 day readjustmeting period.

As in the best conversations, as host/patriarch/leader and pioneer I find I generate less friction by listening much more than I do by provoking reaction to change.  My wife's encroaching deafness has provided an accidental solution to a time honed dilemma: NOTES!

Much as the portable white board revolutionized the live radio broadcast before a live audience,  I have learned to carry a pad of paper and a wide tipped marker to make comments, reaction and the odd personal request.

Like he man with larangitis, I am more welcome in my own home because I temper my mercurial fits of frustration and short tempered outbursts through the filter of a brief, often complimentary note.  It takes massive discipline, but it's the 21st century version of think before you speak..

Like the cooling saucer of the Senate into which the Founding Fathers hoped would cure the excesses of a hot blooded House, I am welcome back into my own home----with wise words---and the unexpected result is that I have a written record to take to a blog session that would otherwise go untouched!

BECOMING JANE -- The Singles Ward of its day

The nubile Jane (Anne) Sizes up her future in two men
Anne Hathaway is the quintissential Jane Austin--the Pride and Predjudice author who parlayed pain and suffering into a comedy of manners as a young writer.  Tonight as a 2011 Boxing Day treat we capped a day of family and food with a little light DVD fare--and a chick flick with a timeless message.

As I wacthed it appeared to me a Victorian dating ritual that is as old as the fifth grade school yard of any age. Though the long term appeal of enough money to sustain a fine family has been replaced with the spark of courtship and what passes for true love on campus or afterward--flirting with the eyebrows and impossible pot stirring previals in both time frames.  

Even the Little League mom in Maggie Smith comes to the fore in the Victorian Age as an elderly woman fights with every weapon at her command to achieve a great companion for her dullard son.