I’ll never forget that night back in 1989. My late husband and I dated our senior year of high school and one of our friends was having a party that night. I showed up with my friends, and a few hours passed and Mose wasn’t anywhere to be found. This was the day and age before texts and mobile phones and I remember wondering when he was going to show up. Suddenly I hear yelling coming from another room and I walk in and there he is with a crowd around him in awe. He has his right arm out and his t-shirt pulled up and I saw something on his shoulder. It was a tattoo of an eagle. I literally almost fainted. Back then I thought people who got tattoos where either bikers or prisoners. I was absolutely mortified and I couldn’t believe he would do such a stupid thing.
Summer arrived and he started to wear tank tops more and more. I remember when he was driving I looked over at the tattoo of the eagle and thought to myself, “It’s kind of growing on me, and I think it’s kind of sexy!” Of course, I never said that to him because I made such a big deal about it the night he first decided to get inked for the first time.
As the years passed I started to notice that more and more people were starting to get tattoos. It is now considered an art form and I’ve never met a sleeve on a man I didn’t like. I think they’re incredibly sexy if they’re done the right way. I know CEOs and top executives who are inked up and down and it’s not as frowned upon as it used to be. I think it’s a symbol of edginess and self-confidence. I also love how each tattoo tells a story and has meaning behind it enough that someone gets it inked on their body permanently.
I was 34 years old when I decided to get my first tattoo at Jade Dragon Tattoo Parlor on Belmont Street in Chicago. I walked right in and I knew exactly what I wanted: a dreamcatcher on my lower back. I wanted a dreamcatcher because I always used to have night terrors growing up and I thought that if I got one then nothing but good thoughts would run through my head. The only regret I have is that I am not able to look at it every day because of where it’s positioned on my body. When Mose and I reunited as adults the first thing I told him was that I now had a tattoo. He had a huge smile on his face and proceeded to poke fun at how much I despised his first tattoo. He also proceeded to tell me the story behind it which he never told me back then. He decided on the eagle because he told me when he was a child growing up in Venice Beach, he was being chased by a man who he thought may have been trying to kidnap him. He raced into the alley behind his apartment building where he saw some of his mom’s Hell’s Angel’s friends. He frantically told them he was being chased and he remembers the biggest biker get off his bike and proceed to beat up the man who was chasing him. All he remembers was a huge eagle on his arm and how he scooped him up and made sure he got home safe. If I knew that story the night he got it I wouldn’t have said a word about it and made sure he knew how much I loved it (because it meant so much to him).
When he proposed to me in the summer of 2013, I remember we were on a beach in Maui and a couple who saw him propose approached us asking if they wanted them to take our picture. Ironically the man who asked had the same exact tattoo as my late husband. I didn’t realize it was a version of the mascot of the United States Marine Corp (and I don’t think Mose did either!). Below is a picture of his infamous eagle:
He had another tattoo on his left shoulder of Toucan Sam in a fedora. Let’s just say he knew it probably wasn’t the best choice and never liked to talk about it!
The other day I decided to photograph my tattoo against a rugged backdrop. I love the way this photo turned out because it depicts my personality perfectly: under all those layers of complication there’s a soul of a gypsy that likes to come out from time to time and when she does she always shines brightly!
Click on outfit details below:
Necklaces: Stella & Dot
Leather Cuff: Girlfriend’s Boutique