I flew to Texas over the weekend for a family crisis. “Man, ” you think. “I’d rather fly AWAY from a crisis.” And that’s a good point. But I moved 700 miles away from the family crisis center about 4 years ago, and now I primarily have crises in the comfort of my own home, and just get text messages about other crises. But this was a doozy, so home I went. It was good to be home. Sometimes the sad and the happy are all mixed together.
The MOG stayed home with all the Clarklings, his first time to have all 4 for more than like 2 or 3 hours. He did well. I mean, they looked homeless when he picked me up from the airport, but they were happy and healthy, even if maybe they didn’t smell so great.
But back to Texas. I was just there for 48 hours, so if you didn’t see me, it’s because I was like Satan falling from heaven and you missed it. But I ate Mexican food 4 times, mid-crisis, and then post-crisis, I went out with my girls in search of a tattoo.
Now I have wanted a tat for many years. My mama is pretty sure that only bikers and loose women have ink, and I suspect she thinks if I got one it would just be a matter of time before I showed up on the local news with a black eye and a pit bull tattoo on my neck, swearing at a reporter who was trying to take pictures of my meth lab. Also the MOG has opposed me, and I have had to wear him down over a period of 5 years. So he gave me the okay to get one in a discreet location, and after all my mommy friends put their kids to bed and then put their kids back to bed and such, out we went.
It was like 10 pm on a Saturday when we hit the first place, young, silly and alive. The purple haired receptionist? looked up from her laptop for a minute before telling us they weren’t doing any more tats, and I’d have to come back tomorrow. We drove on, Crystal calling ahead to parlors in surrounding cities, trying to see if a walk-in could come in and get a small Texas outline on her hip. No, they said, because they were busy tattooing a demon panther onto the entire back of an 18 year old. No, they said, because they were closed. No, they said, because the cashier left, but, how YOU doin? Our last attempt was in a pretty sketchy parking lot, in a place called Ink Injection, which, to me, is an overly literal and unimaginative name. By this point, we were all getting older, and tired, as it was 11 o’clock and the 5 of us have a cumulative 17 children. Speaking of children, teenagers are getting younger these days. The crowd of them waiting looked sullenly at us over their iPhones, wondering who we were snatching out of the jaws of iniquity and taking straight home.
I could have waited. I could have thrown caution to the wind and stayed there until 2 am and paid someone to repeatedly jab a needle into my abdomen, but I gave up. When I told my mom goodbye in the morning, and that I had been unsuccessful, she just said, “Well, thank you Jesus.”
He better not have had anything to do with it…