Today, I was rattled. Like shake, rattle and roll. About 4 years ago, I got a large tattoo on my back. I was so proud of it, having spent about a year in research and design. Note, that I got this tattoo fully prepared for my career as a physical therapist. Not a lawyer. Where we have to attend balls. Wearing gowns. DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO FIND A GOWN WITH A BACK?!
It’s got to be like Ponce de Leon’s search for the fountain of youth, or the quest for the Holy Grail.
Anyway, despite the move of society toward acceptance of tattoos, there are still those who would judge those with tattoos negatively, even if they are otherwise tolerant and accepting people. (There are also those who, for no reason that they have yet been able to express, find tattoos disgusting, pointless, and so far as using them to label women in particular “sluts” who have them). Now. I am not one to conform to the construct and confines of society. Mostly. I don’t give much weight to certain out-dated societal “norms”…like “women have no place in the legal field”, or “anyone with a tattoo is a thug, gang-member, or circus freak”. I do, however, tend to second-guess myself. A lot. Which I know is a dangerous habit, especially walking into the professional field that I am. Confidence in oneself is a good thing if well-balanced, and essential to keeping one’s proverbial “cool”.
After a conversation with my parents (both of whom seasoned lawyers…seasoned…I find it funny that that is a food term…used to describe otherwise experienced, wisened elders. Now I’ll not be able to look at them without thinking “steak”) regarding their aversion to tattoos, I brought forth a stirring argument, defending my decisions and that tattoo culture overall. But the seed was planted. Like a tomato.
I went upstairs to look, for the first time since I’d gotten it, at my back tattoo. And grimaced. And then the one thing I promised myself wouldn’t happen…happened. I regreted it. With a passion. Then I looked down at the tattoo on my foot: a japanese-style wave in the vague shape of a dolphin. And grimaced again. What was I thinking? (My mother’s sentiments echoed menacingly in my head).
Why did this come up now? I had gotten the tattoo fever and was looking to get another one. So ready was I to do so, that I applied for another part-time position in addition to the one I had. Along with volunteering. And, oh yeah. Law school.
Now, I’m looking at tattoo removal. Just as much as the tattoo itself. But do I hesitate? Absolutely not. Is it painful the money I’ll waste? Nope. Worth every penny. Do I regret ever having gotten the tattoo? Not really. I’m not fond of the design anymore, but I respect that it came from a time in my life that I was expressing who I was: a fiercely independent woman, clawing to get her own identity, and out from sheltering parents and life situations. The experience itself was a battle. I was brave enough both to decide to do it, and to actually go through with it. And that will never fade. Was I stupid to do it to begin with? Many would say yes. But I think it was an expression that needed manifestation before it exploded.
Money is temporal. It comes and goes. You work hard for it, yes…but then you get to choose what to do with it, and there’s no point in hoarding it. It will be spent sometime. And when my happiness and comfort with both myself and my employers depends on it? Well. I can’t think of a more justified use.
Except maybe prime USDA filet mingon.
2 8 oz. Filets
Salt and pepper, to taste (1)
1 bag Spinach
2 rings Red onion
1 clove Garlic, minced
2-3 tablespoons Marsala wine
salt and pepper, to taste (2)
1 cup Brussels Sprouts, leaved and halved
1 cup Broccoli florets
2-3 spritzes of Roasted garlic juice
1 tablespoon Butter, melted
salt and pepper to taste (3)
2 Tastee-lee tomatoes (or vine-ripe), sliced
1 teaspoon Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste (4)
A peach. Mmmm. Peach.
1. Preheat oven to 450 and set to convection broil. Now, preheat an oven-safe pan on high with a bit of vegetable oil.
2. Season the steaks…heh…season…like old lawyers…and set in the preheated pan (oil should be shimmery…like vampires).
3. Sear for about 2 minutes on one side, or until a nice substantial crust has formed. Flip, then place immediately in the oven.
4. Meanwhile, set the Brussels sprouts and broccoli in a shallow baking dish, season, spritz and drizzle with melted butter. Set in the lower rack of the oven along with the steaks. (Steak will take anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes, depending-reasonably…there is no such thing as “well done”-on how you want them cooked. The sprouts and broccoli will take about 10-12 minutes.
4. Preheat a saute pan to high, with a but of oil, and throw in the minced garlic and red onions. Saute for about 2 minutes, or until translucent and fragrant. Add the spinach (half at a time) and Marsala (a tablespoon at a time). Season to taste and saute until just wilted.
5. Arrange sliced tomatoes on a plate, season, drizzle with oil, and sprinkle (optional) with parmesan cheese.
6. Slice the peach for your eating pleasure.
7. When the steaks are done to your liking, allow about 5-7 minutes of rest time, for the juices to redistribute. This will give your sprouts more time to properly caramelize if they haven’t already.
8. Enjoy everything with a hunk of creamy Gorganzola and a glass of scotch (wine is gross.)