I keep looking, expecting to find, "USDA Certified Prime Tramp," and though the color is usually the right blue, all I see is designs, flowers, butterflies, and occasional obscenities or inanities.
A friend of mine, Raymond if you know him, recently scolded me for calling them "tramp stamps." We were poolside at the hotel where we were both staying, when an attractive blond in a bikini started into the water. When she turned, there it was on her back only half-hidden by the bikini bottom. "Nice tramp stamp," I commented.
"You don't know her from Adam. She may be a very nice girl." Ray said.
"I doubt it. There's no rational reason to have a tattoo anywhere, but why one there? What's the point? Who's supposed to see it? Why would she get one? Because everyone else in her crowd does? Well then, I expect she does everything else her crowd does as well. Sorry, it's a tramp stamp, and it has only one purpose, to advertise she's a tramp." I grinned.
Ray sort of glowered at me.
"Besides, she doesn't need it," I added.
"What do you mean?" He asked.
"Ray, as mistaken as they are, a girl does not have a tat because she thinks it makes her less attractive. They're decorations like the intentional scaring of some primitive African women meant to make them more beautiful, however distorted their notions of beauty are. I don't think these girls believe their tats are beautiful, but they do think they're attractive? For whom would they wish to make themselves more attractive? There parents? Prospective employers? Other women? Or men? Pick one."
"Why men, of course," he answered impatiently.
"Well you saw that girl? Perhaps you were too busy noticing her tramp stamp to notice what it was stamped on. She has all the right bumps and curves, and she displays it all like an advertisement, which is unnecessary. Nature gave her all she needs. Her embellishments only detract from what her mother's and father's genes gave her."
"She is gorgeous, isn't she?" Ray mused.
"She might have been," I replied.
"What do you mean, 'she might have been?' She has a perfect little figure, a very pretty face, stunning blue eyes, and lovely blond hair. Don't you recognize beauty when you see it?"
"Did you catch her eye?" I asked.
"I don't know. I think she knew I was looking at her."
"She'd have to be blind not too." I said. "What made you think she noticed?"
"She kind of stuck her chin in the air, and began talking to that guy she's with. It seemed rather deliberate," he complained.
"Well, you are at least observant enough to have noticed that," I commented.
"So what's wrong with that. Maybe she just values her privacy?"
"Her privacy?" I asked, astonished. "In that bikini? What's left to keep private?"
"You know what I mean?" he said indignantly.
"Well, yes I do, but you are mistaken. It's not her privacy she's protecting, it's her over-rated opinion of her own importance, and her need to feel she's maintaining her market value. It's an odd attitude all tramps seem to have. She's exchanged the real source of her beauty for something she thinks exists in the opinion of others. She thinks she's beautiful, and she is, the way a statue of a beautiful nude girl might be, but it's not the beauty of a living woman, especially since she's marred it."
"What do you mean, not the beauty of a living woman? She's a woman, isn't she? She's alive, isn't she? Sometimes you don't make any sense, Regi."
"I'm sure I don't seem to make sense to you, but here's what I mean. Did you happen to see that dark haired lady that left just before the blond and her gigolo came in?"
"Yes, I think so," he said. "She had two little boys with her, didn't she?"
"Yes, that's the one. You didn't notice that she was a truly beautiful woman did you?" I stated it as a fact, not a question.
"Well, I'd say she was an attractive woman for her age. Certainly kept her figure well, and had a pretty face. She looked Greek or Italian to me," Ray said.
"You mean because of her nose, I suppose. She obviously does not have what is usually regarded as beautiful features, though her dark eyes are stunning. Still, she was a thousand times more beautiful than the blond tramp."
"How can you say that?" Ray demanded. "She may have been beautiful in a way, but the blond is absolutely stunning. And do you have to keep calling her a tramp?"
"I'm sure you think the blond is stunning, Ray, but I'll tell you why I found the dark haired woman so much more beautiful than the blond. When she was getting ready to leave, she noticed me watching her. I was quite frankly admiring her, and I did not try in the least to hide it. She smiled, looking directly at me. It was a smile of understanding that my admiration was for her as a woman, a woman worth knowing, and she was acknowledging my recognition of what she is, and expressing her pleasure at the recognition. It was a very warm smile. There was nothing more to it than that, but in that simple smile there was more beauty than that blond tramp will ever dream of having." I emphasized "tramp" just because I knew it would annoy him.
He looked annoyed too, but only asked, "Is she married?" I thought it was an odd question, but I answered it.
"I have no idea, but I'd be surprised if she isn't. The boys behaved like boys with a father around. They were rambunctious, like boys, but were still well behaved."
"You know all that just from seeing her with her boys and from a single smile?" he asked, incredulously.
"Oh, yes. Especially the smile. If some other woman had smiled like that, if the blond had smiled at me, I would have thought, "flirtation," or perhaps, "an invitation." It was not like that at all. It was a greeting, a payment and a receipt, a moment's pleasure we shared in recognizing each other. There could not be anything more than that, but it was more than that blond will ever be capable of. Yes, all of that from a frank warm smile."
—Reginald Firehammer (07/17/12)