A first-time father and the tattoo

by Regis Boff

It has been two years since the struggle of resistance to my daughter’s tattoo ended. It was a contest between me and her self-determination.
I caved to her in roughly the same measure of time that it took France to capitulate to the onslaught of Hitler’s blitzkrieg in the Battle of France in 1940.
Both France and I left the war scarred and a little bewildered by how we could have lost so utterly.
In my defense, France lost its entire army and its sovereignty while I suffered only minor self-esteem chaffing. Also in my defense was the fact that I was a first-time father and the French had been surrendering to loud noises since the writing of the Magna Carta.
My daughter’s feverish crusade for the scarring pigment may have had everything to do with her and my age and little more.
For all I knew, she may have quietly wanted a petite, barely noticeable “Dad” somewhere on herself which would have been tough, ( although not improbable) for me to contest.
Nevertheless, from the first mention, I cast her as Queequeg, the prophetically tattooed South Sea Islander from “Moby Dick.”
She settled for ear piercings, a triumph for her and a lesson in female”baiting and switching” for me.
There are more storm clouds on the horizon, however. My wife is threatening to get one now, of a gold nugget and a shovel.