Tattoo you? How? Who? Eh? Speak up!

Remember when Cracker Jack tattoos were the only way to turn yourself into a young Queequeg? Those little slips of paper with food coloring that blended into a mix of two colors? Yes, two whole colors. (Wow!)

This flashback hit me yesterday as I discussed my new ability to apply the newfangled tattoos that, you know, look like the real thing, occasionally. The cashier, who was in her mid-20s, was dumbfounded. You mean, you never put a tattoo on before you had kids? Huh?

It could be that she thought I was about her age and grew up in the era of intricate tattoo designs and not sad, runny blue and green clowns. But no, as self-flattering as that thought is, no.

It’s that she just didn’t even know that the cool tattoos had to be invented at some point; we folk who started dialing when phones still had the round thingy just had to put up with pathetic little pieces of paper for our entire childhoods, and Gen Y just doesn’t care.

So how many eons does that put me from my 2-year-old? “Yes, I come from a distant time, when kids walked to school alone and beloved cats were fed Meow Mix. When toys tied to movies came out months after the film, and when there were no red or blue M&M’s at all. For real.”

This all put me in mind of the New York magazine story that’s been riling people up  this week. Yeah, I’m still quite a bit younger than the 50-something first-time parents profiled, but, dude, my kids are gonna think I’m from another planet, anyway. I might as well be in my 90s.

–Jillian O’Connor