It’s moments like this that make life what it is. Every now & then when I talk about tattoos with other people, I get asked what the Hebrew tattoo along my side means. I usually skip over the intricate details and briefly explain that it means “forever and ever” or “eternity”, leaving out the fact that I’m Jewish, and that it’s a tattoo my best friend & I share. I guess I frequently leave that detail out because I don’t want to get into the debate over whether or not I’m in fact of Jewish decent, and if I am, if I’m aware that tattoos are extremely frowned upon within the Jewish community and that I am no longer allowed to be buried in a Jewish cemetery. I usually don’t like to defend myself, or defend the fact that my best friend & I got the cliche “BFF” tattoos that people often get whether or not they’ll actually be best friends forever. The fact of the matter is, that my best friend & I got the tattoo completely sober many winters ago at three in the morning in a small tattoo shop in Hollywood after spending hours debating what significant tattoo we would get to symbolize our friendship. Our other close friend Gabby, who we’d been friends with since the 6th grade (who also happened to be Jewish) was also part of this little tattoo trio we were trying to cook up that night. Although Lamat (my best friend) was not Jewish, she’s always been like family to both of us & had often celebrated the Jewish holidays together, so we settled on a Hebrew prayer containing the words “L’olam Va’ed”. I got mine on my side, Lamat at the nape of her neck, and Gabby, being the good little Jewish girl that she is, chickened out-as she was still a practicing Jew attending temple as often as she could. 


Ever since when people see our tattoos who are either Jewish or can read Hebrew are more in awe and inspired than judgmental or disappointed, regardless of its shoddy artwork [beggars can’t be choosers when settling on a tattoo after two in the morning just hours before I leave to go back to school 750 miles away from my best friends and sisters]. It’s an extremely powerful prayer that means so much more than words can explain; it’s a feeling. Anyway, I have no regrets in regards to any of my tattoos, but I wish I had gotten it on a different/more visible part of my body, and that it didn’t fade as badly as it did. Hebrew tattoos aren’t completely uncommon, but we’ve never seen anyone to bare the words “L’olam Va’ed”. 


Today while working at the map store I get into a funny conversation with a couple visiting from out of town, we laugh and continue to make jokes about Rick Steves and other famous travel “experts”, and the man makes a joke about being a more interesting bald and Jewish food-travel expert than Andrew Zimmern, and then I notice the man’s tattoo on his upper arm. I interrupt our conversation to ask him if it said “L’olam Va’ed”, extremely shocked to see anyone with the same tattoo as Lamat & I. He says it is and I jump to turn to my side and lift my shirt to show him mine. He got really excited and then the young woman with him says something along the lines of, “get out!” and turns around to lift up her hair to show her matching tattoo that just so happens to be in the same exact place as Lamat’s. I explain that and we all come to the conclusion that we MUST get a picture together. They explain that they’re a Jewish couple from Brooklyn and he’s actually the creative director of Inked in New York, centered around the obvious; tattoos representing culture, style, and art. He gives me his business card and encouraged me to stay in contact with them. The two weren’t married but thought it better to get that matching tattoo because they, like myself, firmly believe that a tattoo is more permanent these days than the legal act of marriage. Love it. Although he has a few relatives that are rabbis in their area, he loves the puzzled looks he gets when people catch a glance at his tattoo while riding the subway to and from Brooklyn. 


Ahhhhh, life. I just can’t get over the beauty of human interaction and the small random moments we share that just put a smile on your face and make you think. 


I want to add that not more than an hour after that I got a call from a woman looking for a map of Seattle from the 1980’s. I regretfully inform her that the most recent historical map we carried was Seattle 1940 but she should called down to our sister store in Belltown because they could possibly make one up for her, as they are the company that creates our historical reproductions. She thanks me profusely, explaining that she’s trying to get a tattoo of just that: Seattle in the 1980’s representing the most important time of her life while growing up, having only just recently moved back after being gone for over a decade. 

It’s moments like this that make life what it is. Every now & then when I talk about tattoos with other people, I get asked what the Hebrew tattoo along my side means. I usually skip over the intricate details and briefly explain that it means “forever and ever” or “eternity”, leaving out the fact that I’m Jewish, and that it’s a tattoo my best friend & I share. I guess I frequently leave that detail out because I don’t want to get into the debate over whether or not I’m in fact of Jewish decent, and if I am, if I’m aware that tattoos are extremely frowned upon within the Jewish community and that I am no longer allowed to be buried in a Jewish cemetery. I usually don’t like to defend myself, or defend the fact that my best friend & I got the cliche “BFF” tattoos that people often get whether or not they’ll actually be best friends forever. The fact of the matter is, that my best friend & I got the tattoo completely sober many winters ago at three in the morning in a small tattoo shop in Hollywood after spending hours debating what significant tattoo we would get to symbolize our friendship. Our other close friend Gabby, who we’d been friends with since the 6th grade (who also happened to be Jewish) was also part of this little tattoo trio we were trying to cook up that night. Although Lamat (my best friend) was not Jewish, she’s always been like family to both of us & had often celebrated the Jewish holidays together, so we settled on a Hebrew prayer containing the words “L’olam Va’ed”. I got mine on my side, Lamat at the nape of her neck, and Gabby, being the good little Jewish girl that she is, chickened out-as she was still a practicing Jew attending temple as often as she could. 

Ever since when people see our tattoos who are either Jewish or can read Hebrew are more in awe and inspired than judgmental or disappointed, regardless of its shoddy artwork [beggars can’t be choosers when settling on a tattoo after two in the morning just hours before I leave to go back to school 750 miles away from my best friends and sisters]. It’s an extremely powerful prayer that means so much more than words can explain; it’s a feeling. Anyway, I have no regrets in regards to any of my tattoos, but I wish I had gotten it on a different/more visible part of my body, and that it didn’t fade as badly as it did. Hebrew tattoos aren’t completely uncommon, but we’ve never seen anyone to bare the words “L’olam Va’ed”. 
Today while working at the map store I get into a funny conversation with a couple visiting from out of town, we laugh and continue to make jokes about Rick Steves and other famous travel “experts”, and the man makes a joke about being a more interesting bald and Jewish food-travel expert than Andrew Zimmern, and then I notice the man’s tattoo on his upper arm. I interrupt our conversation to ask him if it said “L’olam Va’ed”, extremely shocked to see anyone with the same tattoo as Lamat & I. He says it is and I jump to turn to my side and lift my shirt to show him mine. He got really excited and then the young woman with him says something along the lines of, “get out!” and turns around to lift up her hair to show her matching tattoo that just so happens to be in the same exact place as Lamat’s. I explain that and we all come to the conclusion that we MUST get a picture together. They explain that they’re a Jewish couple from Brooklyn and he’s actually the creative director of Inked in New York, centered around the obvious; tattoos representing culture, style, and art. He gives me his business card and encouraged me to stay in contact with them. The two weren’t married but thought it better to get that matching tattoo because they, like myself, firmly believe that a tattoo is more permanent these days than the legal act of marriage. Love it. Although he has a few relatives that are rabbis in their area, he loves the puzzled looks he gets when people catch a glance at his tattoo while riding the subway to and from Brooklyn. 
Ahhhhh, life. I just can’t get over the beauty of human interaction and the small random moments we share that just put a smile on your face and make you think. 
I want to add that not more than an hour after that I got a call from a woman looking for a map of Seattle from the 1980’s. I regretfully inform her that the most recent historical map we carried was Seattle 1940 but she should called down to our sister store in Belltown because they could possibly make one up for her, as they are the company that creates our historical reproductions. She thanks me profusely, explaining that she’s trying to get a tattoo of just that: Seattle in the 1980’s representing the most important time of her life while growing up, having only just recently moved back after being gone for over a decade. 
  1. vogueandroll reblogged this from telephonetelephone
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  5. 1941otherworldly reblogged this from telephonetelephone and added:
    this is an amazing story. please. take your time. and. read on. I firmly believe and agree with the point this woman...
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  7. abbykastella reblogged this from telephonetelephone and added:
    And this was the tattoo i wanted to get for my very first !! >.
  8. telephonetelephone posted this