In 2005 aged 23, I had just returned home from travelling in post-tsunami Indonesia. I was chatting with my Mam one day and out of nowhere she asked, ‘Have you ever considered getting a tattoo?’. Eh hello! Is a bear a catholic!?! I’d been into piercings early on and it was a slim line keeping me from the ink, but why did Mammy care? She, like most parents, had been vehemently anti-tattoo up to this point.
So it turns out while I was off gallivanting, poor Mam watched a documentary about the tsunami and was really horrified to learn that some people had to be buried without identities as they couldn’t be identified before burial. It had gotten her thinking that, should the unthinkable happen to me while away, how could she identify my body, and a tattoo seemed to be the obvious answer. I didn’t argue too strenuously, odd and all as the reasoning seemed.