Last weekend Liz went to Arkansas to visit family, leaving me alone and unsupervised. Anytime she leaves town, she reminds me to behave myself. I’m pretty sure she does this just to be nice, because she certainly doesn’t need to – she knows as well as I do that I don’t have the energy to misbehave anymore.
This time of year I like to spend as much time as possible at the pool. It’s a great place to catch some rays and chill out, but it’s also the perfect place to people-watch. I am a keen-eyed observer of people and their ways, and the pool is a perfect opportunity to catch the latest trends and fashions.
This is particularly true in the case of tattoos. After hours of field research, I have some observations and some suggestions.
Guys, if you want to look tough, all the ink in the world isn’t going to help if you’re out of shape. It’s nearly impossible to be bad-ass when you look like you recently gave birth to twins. So, before you hit the tattoo parlor, hit the gym. Remember: the only place muffin tops look good is on muffins.
If you’re going to get a tatt, the right image is imperative. Like diamonds, tattoos are forever, so think carefully before going under the needle. Always a bad idea for a tattoo is your favorite band’s logo. Sure, you dig ’em now, but in 20 years your ardor for Insane Clown Posse will have cooled and you’ll spend the rest of your life explaining why you have an image of a dreadlocked, cleaver-wielding midget on your calf.
A very popular image, especially amongst men who think they’re hard, is barbed wire wrapped around the biceps. Guys, if you’re considering this tattoo, I have two words for you: Pamela Anderson.
Here’s another tip: “ironic” images of any sort are a really bad idea. A good rule of thumb is, if an image is too stupid for your dad to wear on a t-shirt, it’s probably too stupid to have engraved into your skin.
Deciding where on your body you’ll get your tatt is also an important consideration. It’s hard to go wrong with the classic placement on the biceps or deltoid. But unless you plan to spend your life pulling espresso shots or working at the Jiffy Lube, tatts above the collarbone are a very bad idea.
Especially bad in this category are facial tattoos. Back in the day, criminals would often be tattooed on their faces as a permanent and public record of their crimes. Today, facial tatts are a permanent and public record of your stupidity and/or substance abuse issues.
Women also need to give careful consideration to what they’re getting tattooed and where those images are placed. For a while it was common to see girls sporting ink on the back of the upper arm, directly above the elbow. Today, however, a fashionable location for lady tatts on the lower belly, with just a hint of ink peeking coyly over the waistband of the bikini bottom. While this is not inherently a bad location, the right image is key. For instance, this is not the best place for a tattoo of a fish. Trust me on this one.
Taking a much-needed break, my wife spent the weekend in a cabin near Rock Springs with her posse. We don’t spend a lot of time apart and when we do, it really underlines the differences between the two of us; while she and her girlfriends were going for leisurely hikes and cooking gourmet meals I was back in Austin, doing as little as possible by day and grubbing for stray Crunch ‘n Munch in the sofa cushions at night.
I’m not left to my own devices very often or for very long, and it’s probably a good thing. Every time I am left unattended, I am amazed at how quickly I devolve from a fairly high-functioning humanoid to a sort of Gollum with a Roku box. Going feral so quickly makes me wonder if other married guys are similar. Accordingly, I devised a brief survey for my fellow married men. Have fun!
1) When your wife is away, the first thing you reach for when you wake up is:
- The framed wedding photo from your nightstand
- Two aspirin and a big glass of water
- Very quietly, your pants and car keys
- Pistol and one bullet
If you answered 1, you’re a sap. Deduct five points and grow a pair. If you answered 4, deduct 10 points, grow a pair, and quit watching the Oxygen Channel. If you answered 3, you’re a very naughty boy; deduct 15 points and behave yourself if you plan to keep your pair. The only acceptable answer here is 2 – add 10 points.
2) Which of the following best describes your typical breakfast when your wife is away:
- Coffee and toast
- Yogurt and fresh fruit, garnished with a sprig of mint
- Sushi that spent night on kitchen counter
- Double espresso and bong hit
If you answered 1, you’re a sensible guy – and by sensible I mean boring. Deduct five points. If you answered 2, you should not be taking this quiz, because you are clearly gay – but add five points for being fabulous. The correct answers here are 4, followed by 3 — because the bong rip gave you the munchies. Add 10 points (and well done).
3) Which of the following best describes your typical dinner when your wife is away:
- A healthy balance of all the recommended food groups
- Requires a microwave and a spork
- Comes out of a keg
- Fuck dinner
If you answered 1, you are boring beyond belief and might as well be married, since you have no reason to be single; deduct 5 points. If you answered 2, nicely done, and add 5 points. If you answered 3, very well played indeed, sir, and please add 10 points. If you answered 4 because of 3, your bachelor kung fu is still strong, Grasshopper; give yourself 15 points and take a well-earned nap.
4) Which of the following best describes your television viewing habits when your wife is away:
- The Godfather
- The Godfather Part II
- The Godfather Part III
- All of the above (and porn – duh)
Do I really need to tell you how to score this one?
5) In your wife’s absence, how often do you:
- Make bed
- I thought you said my wife was out of town
Please see 4.
6) How many of the following do you typically need to get done before your wife returns? Please list them in order of their impact on your long-term happiness and / or your continuing to breathe in and out.
- Mow lawn
- Clean house
- Buy flowers, card
- Clear browser history
- Repair drywall
- Make bond
- Retain attorney
- Establish credible alibi
- Join witness protection plan
No scoring here – these are just a few reminders.
7) Here’s the final part of the survey. Your score here can make or break you, so please answer honestly. Deduct five points if you have taken the hand lotion from the bathroom to any other location in the house. Deduct another 10 if you actually left it right next to the computer. Take off a further 15 points if you’ve ever had to make a trip the store solely to replace a depleted bottle of hand lotion; however, add 50 points if your wife was only gone overnight.