There are several tattoos I can envision myself getting, but I can't picture a one of them still looking cool when I'm 80 and wrinkled. I see them as passing whimsy, like the neon clothing I once owned, the baseball hat I wore every day in high school or the silly plastic friendship bracelet I will admit to having worn in 6th grade. I'd worry that it would be fun in the moment, but 10 or 20 years later, I feel a little silly for ever having done it. I'm not about to tattoo the Imperial Cog on my arm, because even though I'll probably always love Star Wars....I don't need it inked into my skin with a needle to remind me.
I've dated a few girls with excessive tattooing and it didn't bother me much. I figured it was a choice they made. I don't begrudge all the younglings with their butterflies on the ankle or intricate design right above the old coin slot, but I do feel bad for their future. All I can think about is how there's not going to be one grandmother at the nursing home without some Chinese character, Native American phrase or Ivy wrapped around her arm. When their nurse or the orderlies have to change her diapers, they'll be the last ones to see the wrinkly Celtic design right over her sagging ass. I know there's not a lot of dignity in needing constant care, but I'd like to think the grandma without the "Axl Rose forever" tattoo across her boobs gets some automatic respect points later in life.
Those grandpas you see today with their War Tattoos don't look so terrible, but I think the Grandpa with both arms inked all the way up might not look so "extreme" 50 years from now. People will probably just assume he had a hard life or something.
I've talked with some inked people about this and they all say that everyone gets old and will look equally silly. The thing is, when you're 80, you probably won't be running around with green hair, short skirts, piercings, tank tops and all the stuff you got away with when you were 20, but you'll still be stuck with the ink.
The whole thing comes down to a personal preference. If tattoos don't bother you to look at, you're probably safe to get one. A great barometer (but not safe for work) site to visit is SuicideGirls.com. My friend is a member there and is in love with all the girls at that place. To me, when I visited it, all I saw is some women that would have otherwise been absolutely great looking if they hadn't destroyed their bodies with ink and metal. To me, they look like girls that have been used and abused. To him, it's like...paradise.
My former dip**** co-op student once made a comment that tats on chicks are called "tramp stamps".
That's pretty hilarious and I'm going to have to remember that one.