*Disclaimer: no this has NOTHING to do with my current love – he loves me and mine just as we are.
We’ve all done it…asked someone we love to ‘hide’ something about themselves when we take them around to be introduced to our friends or a potential significant other. That or when we are bringing those individuals home to meet the family we ask everyone to temporarily (or permanently) exchange who they are to make sure we are putting forth a good first impression. Examples I have encountered is guys removing earrings, or girls removing their nose rings, either sex removing ear gages or covering up tattoos. Or if two people we love maybe aren’t married and are living together, or maybe are gay, we ask the ‘different one’, to keep their uniqueness unknown or in the shadows so as not to offend the new love interest or their family or our new friends. On the surface this might seem okay, it certainly has to me in years gone by. But after 48 years of circling the sun on this planet I’ve wised up in many ways.
The people that I love are important to me. My parents, my siblings, my children, nieces and nephews, even dear friends. No one I know or love is perfect, everyone of those that are priceless to me have quirks and imperfections. And each is a unique individual. I know them by who they are INSIDE, not just outside. Our exteriors are going to change, some for the better (don’t you just love those that look better as they age?) and others for the worse. I don’t love my future sister-in-law because she has tattoos, I love her because of the strong, amazing, wonderful woman she is INSIDE! I also happen to have ink envy, I very much love her tattoos!
I love my baby brother, not because of his ink down his leg, but for the incredible man he is INSIDE. I love my other brother not because he doesn’t have tattoos, but because of the wonderful man living inside his inkless shell. I don’t judge one for his hair, or the other one for the lack of it, I love these men for who they are and have become. I love my baby sister for the intelligent, caring, giving person she is INSIDE, not the color of her hair this month, which is subject to change frequently. Her worth is on the INSIDE.
There was a time in my life I judged folks by what I saw on the outside, that is until I began to ‘decorate’ my outer package to my own liking. I triple pierced both ears, very radical at the time I did this. Later I had the top of my left ear pierced and then my nose. Just a tiny diamond but still it is ‘different’. Then, when I was 40, I got my first tattoo. I now have 3 of them, and I love each one. My ink and piercings do not define who I am, they are simply part of the wrapping paper of the package that is me. That wrapping happens to have some scars in it, from surgery to enhance parts of me that I was unhappy with, again those changes do not reflect my inside person, my heart, they are simply dressing and bling so to speak. Sometimes, just for kicks, I put pink dye in my hair and make some pretty pink streaks. My hair, my choice, still the same old me underneath.
If you love me, then the people that I love and are important to me, should be important to you too. I’m not saying you have to agree or even condone my choices in self decoration, or those of my loved ones and friends, but if you are going to be a part of my life, I will NOT leave my loved ones in the closet, hiding any part of themselves. The closer you are to me, the more important those persons should become to you. Not only is that love, but that is flat out respect. And you will treat those I love with respect even if you don’t like them.
If your nose is so high in the air that you cannot date my daughter because her mother has tattoos or a nose ring, then you are not worthy of her. If you parents don’t allow your offspring to date someone in my family because of their living arrangements or one of their parental units has some ink, then kiss our asses, you and yours are entirely too shallow to be significant to any one of us. How dare you judge the book by the cover! We won’t judge YOUR parental units or family members based on the color of their hair, if they have hair, if they wear earrings, what car they drive, what part of town they live in or how much money they make. We want to know you and yours for who you are inside, that is the part of you that holds value. IF who any of us are outside isn’t good enough as we are, then you aren’t anyone we care to know and you sure as hell don’t deserve to be in the life of any one of us. And shame on anyone within our ranks for asking another to cover up themselves, exchange themselves or stay in the shadows. We stand together, proud of the people we are on the INSIDE, and to hell with those that only see what is on the outside. We will NOT put anyone in a closet to please someone else.