“That’s not a piece — that’s a billboard!”

The office was sweltering. Normally, I would wear a cardigan over a sleeveless dress for the entire day, but I was on the verge of melting. Since everyone was out to lunch, no one could be scandalized by my bare arms. I walked to the supplies room and reached for the paperclips on the top shelf.

“Did ya forget to wash or somethin’?” Old Jim asked from the doorway.

I jumped, dropping a box of paperclips that scattered on the floor.  “Geez, Jim — you scared me!”

“Am I gonna hafta talk with HR about your bathing habits?”

“I bathe daily! Do I smell or something?”

“Nah, you’ve got some stuff on your shoulders.”

“Oh!” I laughed as he helped me gather the paperclips. “I have tattoos on my back.”



“How many?”

“Three pieces — one on each shoulder blade and got a new one in between.”

“Of what?”

I pulled up a photo on my phone. I had the middle piece done the day before, so it was still sore. Amanda took a photo of my back after I got it done.

“Holy shit, Sam! That’s not a piece — that’s a billboard!” Old Jim’s eyes widened. “What’s your mama got to say?”

“She knows about the other two, not about this new one.”

“You kids ‘n’ your tattoos ‘n’ rebelliousness.”

“If I was being rebellious, I would’ve gotten some that would be in plain view all the time.”

“Then why’d ya get ’em done?”

“Each of them is for someone awesome in my life. The puzzle pieces heart is for my sister who is autistic (puzzle pieces are the symbol for autism). My best friend from college and I have matching ones of the bear and the tiger, which we got senior year. The one I got yesterday is for my boyfriend and me.”

“What’s the quote say? Is that French?”

“It’s a quote from The Little Prince that says, It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.”

“At least you got meaningful ones, not some dumb shit.”

“Maybe that should be my next one — Not some dumb shit in plain typewriter font.”

“Your mama would be thrilled about that one.”

“She’s always pissed at me. I might as well do what I want.”

“Are you seriously gonna get more?”

“I’m going to fill up my whole back.”

“You’ll be a mural on the side of a building!”



10 thoughts on ““That’s not a piece — that’s a billboard!”

  1. Wow! I’m really impressed. I don’t have a tattoo, but my older brother does & like you, he has a story behind every little one on his body. My favourite was when he and his wife got inked by Whang Od, a 90+ year-old woman (a Kalinga artist)… You can read about it on my sister-in-law’s blog:http://pinaytraveller.com/archives/8085 I’m sharing this because if you’re really interested in tattoos, this one you should know about 🙂 Shared it with Kate too 🙂


  2. I love this, and can definitely relate to it. I have six tattoos, but they’re on my back and upper arms and can’t be seen unless I wear something sleeveless. I was a bridesmaid in a wedding and wore a sleeveless dress, but I used a shawl to cover my tattoos during the ceremony and subsequent photos. When I was finally able to remove the shawl, I received a lot of stares from the wedding attendees! I love your tattoos, by the way!


    • Thank you, Miranda! Ooh, that’s awesome! Have you posted any photos of them? Ames is getting married in May, so I’ll have to do something similar. Or I’ll get the super intense makeup/cover-up. She doesn’t care (obviously, since she has two herself), but I don’t want to cause extra stress if her mom is going to say something. Lol.


      • I’ve never actually posted any pictures of them. Honestly, I’ve had them for 11 years now, and they’re so much a part of me that I don’t think of them all that much. I was in another wedding a few years ago, but the bride was very laid back and let me choose my own dress, so I chose one with sleeves to hide everything. If you do try the cover-up, let me know how that goes. I’ve never used it, but there’s always a chance I might need to. 🙂


  3. That is nice! Sadly, I don’t have any tattoos. I always wanted one, just never got around to it. But if I could, I would definitely get “not some dumb shit.” That would make my wife proud (not really).


  4. Pingback: “Can you answer a question about The Facebook?” | sometimes, Samantha writes

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