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Little Bites 3

We ordered in Chinese food this weekend.  At the end of the meal, we cracked open our fortune cookies.  Even adding “in bed” didn’t help them.  They were the two most dour statements about human rights and caring.  Which I think is saying a lot.  Even I found them annoying and my joints practically creak “Kumbaya” every time I move.

Josh asked an excellent question: when did fortune cookies cease to tell us our fortune?  When did they stop telling us that we’d meet a mysterious stranger or come into a lot of money or that I love Chinese food?  Josh asked if it was a liability issue; in this litigation-happy world, are fortune cookie makers unwilling to make predictions and risk being sued when they don’t come true?  Because you know that lawsuit is right around the corner.


I am a super-not-a-fan of cruises.  Whatever someone who loves cruises would be, I am the opposite of that.  I have no problem with boats — I like to spend the day on the water.  But the idea of putting what amounts to a traveling hotel on the water doesn’t appeal to me.  At all.

But if there was ever a theme that proved somewhat tempting, it would be the Bruise Cruise.

First and foremost, Ian Svenonius.  We always sing the twins his advice: “One kid who tells on another kid’s a dead kid who tells on another kid’s a dead kid who tells on another kid.”  Nation of Ulysses.  I even have a Cupid Car Club tape somewhere in the basement storage room.

Secondly, “they conga like a bar mitzvah crowd, too.”  Thirdly… well, there wasn’t a thirdly.  By the time I got to the end of the article, I had already decided that once again, nothing sounded worse than a cruise.


I am considering getting a tattoo on my leg.  What is holding me back is not the permanence of it, but my fear over the possible crappiness of the tattoo artist.  What if he messes up my drawing?  I have something very specific in mind, and then I would have that permanently on my leg.  I’d rather have no tattoo than a bad tattoo.

As Josh and I debated this out — my lack of trust in all people who are doing things either permanent or temporary to my body — a new question arose.  If it were on my leg, would it affect the tattoo if I was constantly shaving over it?  And if I didn’t shave, would the picture look as if it were suddenly sprouting a beard?

I’d just like to reassure my mother that getting this tattoo is completely hypothetical at the moment since there is that aforementioned lack of trust in anyone doing anything to my body.


Back in high school, I made a deal with the boy I showed my underpants to at camp that if we both weren’t married by 30, we’d get married.  I assumed it would be my safety net — he would obvious never find someone before that, but I assumed I would, and then I wouldn’t have to use the deal.  But, if on the off-chance I didn’t find someone by 30, I could live with the idea of being married to him.  At least, that is what I thought (and yes, I was that insufferable).

One day during college, he called and during this casual conversation, he dropped that he had started seeing someone very seriously.  He threw it in there, as if he DIDN’T REMEMBER THE DEAL WE MADE AT ALL.  And I was beyond livid.  How dare he find a serious girlfriend when I might possibly need him in the future?

Because it was all about meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

They broke up after a year or so.  I dated people.  He dated people.  I married Josh.  He married his wife.  We’re still in touch.  We never mention the deal.  I don’t even know if he remembers it at this point considering it has been sixteen years since we last discussed it.  It would be sort of awkward to bring it up right now.

I was on the phone with a friend, talking about the underpants story and how I’m obviously still scarred from that, and I mused that making that deal was really insane.  I had no concept in high school what marriage was actually like.  That it isn’t just an extension of dating.  That it’s hardcore, melding two lives.  It takes work.  And you need to be over-the-moon in love with the person in order to make that work not feel like work.

I lucked out that I never needed to put that deal to the test.  I mean, I really lucked out.  In a world of almost 6 billion people, it feels like miracle for any two people to come together much less ones that are so well-suited to one another.  I know how lucky I am every single day and I don’t take it for granted.  I have enough friends in difficult marriages to know what the otherwise looks like and my heart goes out to them.

Did you ever make a deal like that with a friend?  Did you use it?


1 Tigger { 03.27.11 at 8:00 am }

First, tattoo: Most places will have pictures up in a book or on the wall of their artwork. Look through them and see – make sure you ask about original artwork as well, not just the standard stuff you’d see. Ask around, research the artist. If there’s bad reviews, you’ll find ’em. People seem to LOVE warning people about other people!

Second: It won’t be affected by shaving. The ink sinks into your skin, deeply.

Third: I never made one of those pacts, at least not that I remember. I was scared of boys for a very long time!

2 N { 03.27.11 at 8:16 am }

I never did make a deal like that with a friend. Our housemate did, though, apparently. XD

If you’re serious about the tattoo, I go to a place in Baltimore that I’ve trusted twice over with myself, and countless times with my friends. My favorite guy is no longer there (he quit and is traveling the world with peace corps or something) but they are all really fantastic.

3 Jennifer { 03.27.11 at 8:36 am }

re: your tattoo dilemma. Any reputable tattoo places these days will and should have websites featuring their artists’ portfolios of work (and not just drawings, but photos of the actual tattooed skin!) I didn’t know the gal who did my tat nor did I know anyone who she had tattooed, but after visiting about 10 tattoo place websites, I kept coming back to her portfolio. When I finally met her and told her of my search ending in selecting her, she was really flattered. Turns out she is a graduate of the RI School of Design who majored in illustration! No wonder her portfolio of work was so good. Result: GORGEOUS tattoo on my inside left ankle.

Re: the deal. Nope. Never made a deal like that ever. (But if I had I would have had to use it because I didn’t actually get married until I was 32!)

4 Mic @ IF Crossroads { 03.27.11 at 8:47 am }

I have always wanted a tattoo. I’ve never gotten the courage to do it, but I’ve thought about it a lot.

5 JC { 03.27.11 at 9:00 am }

I think you should find a really good tatoo artist and get it! (Like Kat Von D =))

I DID make a deal like that too!!! I grew up with this guy, he was my first b/f in high school. Naturally it only lasted a month, but we remained friends. We went to the same college on sports scholarships so we kind of ran in the same croud. We always stayed friends but he always wanted sometime more. We made the deal in h/s and he brought it up in college and I was like “yea when we’re 30” (God please let me be married by then!). Luckily I found my hubby at 24 and I think he is still single. lol

6 JC { 03.27.11 at 9:01 am }

sorry for all the misspellings, lol

7 jodifur { 03.27.11 at 9:14 am }

I want a tattoo too, but am to chicken, my worry being my mother would kill me, even though I’m 35, and then pain. Maybe we should go together?

8 HereWeGoAJen { 03.27.11 at 9:16 am }

Elizabeth’s fortune cookie on Friday told her to invest in bonds.

9 Circus Princess { 03.27.11 at 9:17 am }

I made the deal with my best friend in high school. Fortunately I got married when I was 29, he married the year after 🙂

10 BigP's Heather { 03.27.11 at 9:29 am }

Just wanted to reiterate what everyone else said about tattoo – look at portfolios. In college I got a tattoo on my back and I let the guy freehand some of it and color what was going to be black and white. It turned out to be the best decision I ever made. I got lots of compliments on it. Years later, it isn’t as vivid but still very pretty. But, I didn’t make that decision without seeing his work and choosing him for that reason…

11 Chickenpig { 03.27.11 at 10:30 am }

You can have a friend or artist you know, even Josh, give you a ‘tattoo’ in marker. If you like it, and artist can tattoo over it. You can also have a tattoo artist give you a temporary tattoo, and if it works for you, make it permanent later. That way you’ll know exactly what you’re getting. I know a few people who have done tattoos this way.

I did have an agreement with my best friend in college, that if we didn’t have someone by the time we were both 40 we would marry each other so we wouldn’t become crazy cat ladies. Neither one of us is gay, and we never felt ‘that way’ about each other, but we certainly complement each other. We both turned 40 last year, and we did promise that if something happened to our men and we were old widows that we could still hook up. It is great knowing she has my back 🙂

12 serenity { 03.27.11 at 10:37 am }

I actually made that deal with my best friend from high school. We said that if we were both single at our 10 year reunion, we’d get married.

We got together about 7 years after graduation, in 2001, and he even took a road trip with me to pick up my Jetta from Houston TX (eBay, YEAH!). Was a great trip, but it proved to us (well, maybe me anyway) that we weren’t good as a married couple. We just had different things we wanted from life.

Plus, he snored. 🙂

Also – with the tattoo – best thing you can do is ask around to find the best in the area. Ask anyone that has a visible tattoo where they go. I guarantee you they have someone who they LOVE.


13 Meghan { 03.27.11 at 10:42 am }

I love these little bites of yours. It’s like having a conversation over coffee or something.

I’m way too chicken to ever get a tattoo but I think everyone else had good ideas.

And I agree completely about the fortune cookies. They don’t tell fortunes anymore, they’re just stupid proverbs.

14 ebc { 03.27.11 at 11:01 am }

made that deal…neither of us didn’t need it thankfully, but we are still in touch and he brought it up the other day. it was weird and awkward and I totally don’t recommend talking about those deals 15 years later.

15 Queenie { 03.27.11 at 11:27 am }

I thought I would be single and fabulous.
Never would have made that kind of deal, because why settle?

Tattoo? Really? I have commitment issues. I just couldn’t do a tattoo.

16 RenovationGirl { 03.27.11 at 1:14 pm }

Totally made that deal with a guy in high school…we never dated, but always had feelings for each other. We would reconnect every year or so and each time, either I was seeing someone or he is. He got married first and I was completely taken aback that he would do that to me! 😉 Luckily, it worked out for both of us, but it was nice to know he was out there for a little while in case I needed him. Thanks for taking me down memory lane on this post!!

17 loribeth { 03.27.11 at 3:03 pm }

The closest to a pact/deal I can remember is when I was about 4 & my best pal from across the street, B., said to me one day, “I’m going to marry you when I grow up,” and I said, “OK.” We moved away when I was 5, & then they moved out to Alberta a few years after that. I haven’t seen him since we were both about 14, on a family trip out west, but our mothers keep in intermittent touch. Apparently he has lived with a few girls over the years, but has never married!

18 Kristin { 03.27.11 at 3:48 pm }

Shaving over a tattoo does not affect it. Also, unless you tell them to freehand the tattoo, there is a sort of transfer paper that puts the design on your body and then they tattoo it to make it permanent. Finally, ask around. Any time you see someone with a tat you think looks nice (or well done if you don’t like the picture) , ask them where they got it done.

19 Jennifer { 03.27.11 at 4:09 pm }

P.S. For everyone who commented that they were too chicken to get a tattoo…it really doesn’t hurt. Mostly it’s sort of annoying, but it’s not painful.

20 jjiraffe { 03.27.11 at 4:23 pm }

I hate cruise ships too because the only time I went on one, I got what’s called Mal de debarquement, which meant my body didn’t adjust to being back on land, and I had really bad vertigo. It was awful and lasted a year.

Loved the David Foster Wallace article linked to the “Bruise Cruise” story. It’s the first time I’ve read him, but it won’t be the last.

21 Carrie { 03.27.11 at 4:28 pm }

I am not a fan of cruise ships, flying, or anything that requires me to let go of control with my life. I know the chances of everything, but it doesn’t make it any better.

I just recently got my first and probably only tattoo and put it on the top of my foot. Scope out a couple of tattoo artists and have them sketch out your drawing and whichever you like the best and feel the most comfortable with, have them do it. They literally take their sketch blow it up or shrink it and put it on before they even ink it.

22 Esperanza { 03.27.11 at 6:20 pm }

When did fortune cookies stop telling you your fortune. Now they just feed you vague statements about yourself. It’s not fun. As for the tattoo, I have absolutely no advice to give you, but I’m pretty sure that they put a temporary tattoo on the spot and then paint over it, so you’d know if it was good enough. Also lots of women have tattoos on their legs/ankles so I’m assuming it doesn’t come off faster with shaving but I had NEVER thought about what hair might look like sticking out of it. Weird.

23 Vee { 03.27.11 at 7:12 pm }

Get it, get it, get the tattoo! I LOVE mine and have no regrets. Like most people have said do your research on the artist and the parlor make sure they are reputable and can handle doing the style that you want. ooooh I am excited for you! It doesn’t hurt, its a little uncomfortable but not painful especially on the leg. Re: shaving, surprisingly not much hair has grown back over my tattoo so I usually only run the shaver over it occasionally. It hasn’t affected it at all.

I made a deal with my school girlfriends, we said we would all be in the same nursing home together when we are older and hang out together like the old days 🙂

24 Kacey { 03.27.11 at 10:50 pm }

Check portfolios and get recommendations from people you know. Also? Hair doesn’t grow over/through tattoos so you wouldn’t really need to shave over it at all, but if you do it shouldn’t affect it as the ink is below the skin. Good luck!

25 Gail { 03.28.11 at 8:30 am }

A friend and I made a similar deal in college. I had a crush on him, but it never went anywhere and we ended up being best friends. We even lived together in an apartment (in separate bedrooms) during our senior year of college. Anyway, we made a deal that if either of us hadn’t had kids by the time we were 32, we would have kids together. Mind you, I was engaged to another man at the time. Well, I got married a month after graduation and had been married for 9 years by the time he tied the knot. He and his wife had a baby within a year of their wedding and my husband and I are still trying. And, we are now 33 years old, so I guess the deal has expired. He got a baby, I didn’t.

26 April { 03.28.11 at 9:58 am }

I totally had someone who was my safety net. It wasn’t because I could see myself being intimate with him, but because he was my best friend and I thought it would be like one big party all the time. He and I are still friends and he came to my wedding and I went to his.

As an adult, I now know that my vision of marriage as a kid was so very, very off in so many ways. I can’t imagine being married to my friend because he is only my friend, not the person with whom I share my life. And I know that he would never have been the person for this as well, but the things we do as kids, right?

27 Dora { 03.29.11 at 4:21 pm }

Are they kidding? These commenters who say getting a tattoo doesn’t hurt? Hell, yes, it hurts! But it’s tolerable. IF hurts MUCH more. It hurts more or less depending on the spot. A bony area will hurt more. Like the ankle or top of the foot. Fleshy areas hurt considerably less. I adore my tattoo artist her in NY, but I’m sure there are great ones near you. Go for it!

28 grace { 03.29.11 at 11:53 pm }

The best fortune I’ve ever found in a cookie: You think it is a secret, but everybody knows. I’m pretty sure that it is also the truest fortune I’ve ever found.

The reason that I do not have three tattoos is because I can’t trust an artist with the work. Incidentally, I’m currently only considering one of those three tattoos but I don’t think I would regret the others if they had been rendered the way I hoped.

Nope. Never made a pact like that!

29 elisa { 03.30.11 at 1:53 am }

Bethesda Tatoo is the best in the area, if you’re serious about a tatoo. A friend of mine got a vintage china pattern tatood on her arm (a half sleeve!). It’s so pretty, they did an outstanding job.

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