Thumbing through an old Sherlock Holmes tale last night, I came across a rather antique word. I think this one’s at least vaguely known to most people but rarely used anymore.
Dr Watson reproves Sherlock for his sarcastic reply to Watson’s comment, but Holmes is absorbed by his own thoughts and pays no attention to Watson’s REMONSTRANCE.
Remonstrance, or Remonstration — the noun — according to M-W, is a plea in protest, objection, or disapproval. In other words, Reasons Why Not.
Remonstrate — the verb from which it comes — Lexico defines as: to say or plead in protest, objection, or disapproval. to present reasons in complaint; plead in protest.
Today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt word, TATTOO, gives me a good chance to use this almost abandoned word. In my opinion, here are some reasons why not.
When I think of tattoos, another word comes to mind: FORESIGHT – or the lack of it. Hindsight may be 20/20 but our ability to look into the future and see how we will feel, or what our life will be like, twenty or thirty years hence is extremely limited. Tattoos are a permanent body decoration, often done on the spur of the moment, often done while intoxicated or high. No room for FORESIGHT there.
This is one of my main remonstrances when it comes to tattoos – or any other permanent disfigurement. Does anyone really want to look at the same wallpaper design 24/7 for 60-70 years? Will a super-hero on a teen’s arm still be cool when he’s 55, chairman of some corporation, the father of teenagers, or a seventy-year-old grandparent? Or will it someday be an embarrassment he needs to cover up?
It’s a fad, and fads pass – or circle. In the 50s tattoos were popular; my cousin has his own name discreetly tattooed on his forearm. By the time I was a teen they were passé; none of the kids in my class got inked up. Now tats are all the rage for a time. What if the next generation says, “Yuck, Grandma! That looks awful.”
If adults get tattoos, I think at least they’ve seen some of life and are making their own choices, but teens come under such pressure from their peers. When I see young people sporting multiple tattoos I feel sorry for them because I think someday they’ll mature and move on. Then they’ll realize what they’ve done to their body is permanent. I’ve heard of people who later regret their tats and spend big bucks to have them removed. We have a friend who’s trying bit by bit to remove his many tats with a laser — and the process is quite painful.
My last remonstrance: relationship changes are unforeseeable. Some years back another blogger wrote about how her boyfriend, madly in love with her at the time, insisted they get each other’s names tattooed on their arm. He went whole hog and had her name blazed across his biceps. She was more cautious and had his name tattooed in smaller letters on her arm. Good thing, too, because they broke up and her new spouse, a few years later, didn’t appreciate seeing the old boyfriend’s name on her arm every day.