This is not the typical story involving conflict between parents and children over tattoos. In almost all instances, if there is conflict, it's parents yelling at their kids for getting a tattoo. Or, even worse, pulling out the old chestnut, "We're not angry, just disappointed with you." No, the story you're about to hear is about parents who were upset that their son didn't get a tattoo along with them.
The man at the heart of the story—he used the name "Notattoo12345" in order to preserve his anonymity—first shared his tale on the Reddit community "Am I the Asshole."
After his nephew died at only 3 weeks old, Notattoo12345's parents decided to get tattoos of the child's name on their wrist. The child's mother was neutral on the idea, but when they asked their son he refused.
Notattoo12345 explains that he has many tattoos already, including the names of his own children on his heart, but he did not want to get this one. His parents did not take this well.
"They stopped talking to me but my sister and I are still as close as we were before," he explains in the post. "My own parents stopped talking to me because I wouldn't get a tattoo, that's what is making me question my decisions."
We highly recommend you read his entire post to get the full story. It is such an unusual story that we need to know more, so we reached out to Notattoo12345 with some follow-up questions.
On the forum, users overwhelmingly voted that he was Not The Asshole. Personal liberty towards one's own body is one of the most sacred ideals that we have, so we wanted to know if he was surprised by his parents' actions. "I was surprised," he says, "but at the same time not. My parents have a tendency to be entitled, but I would have never expected them to act entitled when it comes to my own body."
Having a frayed relationship with one's parents is the sort of thing that can really weigh on a person, especially over time. We wanted to know that if his parents kept pushing, would he eventually relent and get the tattoo.
"No, if there's one thing I will not do," he says, "it's give in to my parents and permanently tattoo something on my body that I do not want simply because they cannot handle being told 'no.'"
The last thing that we were interested in was whether or not posting his story had changed the way he felt. Did it give him more confidence that he had made the right decision? Or did the opinions of strangers make him reconsider his actions?
"For the most part, I didn't know what to expect," he says. "People have a tendency to use this sub for validation, I didn't push for validation and, to be honest, whatever boat I got wasn't going to affect my way of thinking. I was dead set in not tattooing any names on my body, but I wanted to see what people thought."
The situation that Notattoo12345 is an incredibly difficult one, but we stand by him. The way we see it, telling someone they have to get a tattoo is just as wrongheaded as telling someone they shouldn't be tattooed. More importantly, everyone grieves in their own way. It might not be a different process than you are currently going through, but that doesn't give you the right to push your method on them.
We applaud Notattoo12345 for sticking to his guns in a very difficult situation, and thank him for sharing his unique story with us.