Opinion: Please Don’t Tell My Bubbe About My Tattoo

Times are changing, and as we become more progressive, we accept more and more things that used to be taboo – things like divorces, facial piercings, and same-sex marriages. Though we have begun to normalize things like this, those in the older generations still may not be as accepting as us in the younger ones. So with that in mind, please don’t tell my bubbe about my tattoo.

I know tattoos are a big no-no in Jewish culture, but I really wanted one and I can justify how it fits into my own view on Judaism (but that’s a whole other discussion). It was not an impulse decision, I can assure you. It was long thought-out and very much anticipated. I was totally sure that I wanted it before I got it, and have no regrets now – a few years later. This might make sense to you, but bubbe will still not approve. So please, let’s just keep this between us.

It is a very meaningful tattoo to me, and the story behind it makes me very happy. It brings me joy when I look down and see it. I love when people ask about it because I get to explain why I got it. Though it makes me happy, it would break my bubbe’s heart. I know you probably don’t know my bubbe, but if you happen to meet her, please, for the love of god, don’t mention the tattoo.

Ok, so she saw my older sister’s tattoos and didn’t go feral, but that doesn’t mean she won’t if she saw mine. I am the youngest grandchild, afterall. Growing up, she threatened to write us out of her will if we ever got a tattoo. She hasn’t told my sister yet that she’s out, but only time will tell. 

Look, it’s a really easy tattoo to keep hidden, although I did have a close call a couple years back on holiday in Boca Raton. All I’m saying is that if we all agree to not mention it in front of my bubbe, she never has to find out. If you tell her I got a tattoo, I will deny it, and then tell her that you’re dating a goy. So, please, everything will be so much simpler if you just don’t tell her. Thanks.

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