Unequivocally Ambiguous

Humorous Stories on Parenting, Culture and Life

Tattoos to Commemorate the Important People in our Lives

by | Feb 29, 2024 | Relationships | 0 comments

Ink Life Commitment PART II (26/40)
Photo by stephen momot on Unsplash

We were in Puerto Aventuras, Mexico. Rich, my father-in-law, had arranged the trip to go trolling for ‘Dorados’ (or Mahi Mahi).

We sat at the grocery store, waiting for the others to get snacks and water.
I was sitting on a step outside the little store with Samu, my brother-in-law, who was lying down on his back next to me.

Samu is a successful commercial loan broker nearly six feet tall. He is equally gifted at soccer and basketball, but what he is first class at is being a ball buster. He is one of those people who is really hard to play with, not because they are really good but because they talk like they are really good and they won’t shut up about it while they are playing.

I don’t mind it.

I actually think it is very endearing; it is part of his charm.

One of his first bosses didn’t.

At the beginning of his career, he was working as a loan officer for a large national bank. His boss organized an overnight trip to Palm Springs to reward his employees. They were all drinking and playing basketball at the boss’ house. Samu kept telling his boss, a 6’4” man proud of his basketball skill, that he wasn’t as good as he was and that he was kicking his ass.

His boss, who had been drinking, did not like it, grabbed Samu by the neck and slammed him against the floor of the court. The boss’ wife had to come to the rescue and ask him to let him go.

My sister and Samu stayed for dinner. Unable to decide the appropriate response, which is common in the first job, you can’t just figure out, “Did that just happen?” “What should I do?” “I do like my paycheck.”

So, they pretended everything was okay. They had dinner. They went to bed, and in the middle of the night, they took their bags out of the window and drove from Palm Springs to San Diego.

I saw Samu’s tattoo for the first time. He had it on his ankle. I think that was the first time I noticed it. The tattoo said, “On loving memory of Penny” inside of a very ornamental wreath.

Samu did not grow up in the projects of LA, and Penny wasn’t his best friend who was killed by a rival gang for wearing red or blue. Which I think is the only time someone is justified to tattoo someone else’s name on their skin.

Oh, No.

Penny was their Chihuahua designer dog.

Penny’s head was huge compared to her little body. If I had to describe it, I would have to say that she looked like a tennis ball carried away by ants. She looked like she was always about to topple, which she did — often.

Once, she toppled from the top of a couch to the ground, and she had to be run into the ER. She had one surgery and made it.

But the surgery revealed plastic lodged in her intestines. Then, another surgery was needed, and she didn’t make that one. Apparently, even though it seemed she had a big brain in that big head of hers, she couldn’t differentiate between kibble and the plastic on her Chinese chew toys.

My sister and Samu were distraught. Somewhere in their grievance period, Samu must have decided the best way to honor his pet was with a tattoo.

He told me when I asked him about the tattoo, “I should have a tattoo on my other ankle ‘In Loving Memory of the $13,000 I spent in Surgeries.”

Penny died before their first kid, my nephew, was born.

The kids never got to meet her.

I wonder if they are already asking their dad about this ‘Penny’ lady and if Samu would actually own up to the fact that he has a tattoo on his ankle commemorating a 7-pound big-headed Chihuahua or if at that point, he would have to lie to save face, “Penny is the name of my true love. The woman I loved more than your mother.”

Say what you will about Samu’s love for his really girly Chihuahua, but it was this love that made sure that Penny’s spirit was with us on that trip. We caught five female dorados and one male.

Actually, it was Penny and my best man, Ray, who got seasick and gave us plenty of chum.


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