Like so many contemporary relationships, our friendship with Heather began on Facebook. She posted a comment to a link in which we were tagged, we responded, and after that there was no avoiding Heather’s funny cyberspace comments. Then we met her in person and she was even more fun. Now we also share ink and poetry with Heather. Here is the story of her tattoo, written with editorial help from Valerie Madsen:
“Why did I select ‘The Errant Nipple Hair’ as my first choice? Maybe it was because I was the runt of the family and was constantly muscled out of the good pieces of meat, the big baked potato, and the prime scoop of veggies with the huge slab of butter, and ended up with the less desirable food. My mom would use pity and guilt in combination with personification of food in order to get me to eat: ‘Look, it’s crying little potato tears because you don’t want it!’ I guess it worked on her as a child and she passed the same guilt treatment onto another generation. OK, I won’t blame it all on the childhood.
I find the words ‘errant’ and ‘nipple’ intriguing. Used together, they’re amusingly funny and can stop a conversation nearby and begin a new and better conversation about nipple or hair or nipple hair. If you’ve seen my legs in the winter, you know that they’re radically hairy. I’m sure I’ve alarmed many Lexingtonians at the gym. But after living in the Pacific Northwest for a few years, I got used to not wasting precious resources, such as additional water, disposable razors, or shaving cream. The environment trumps aesthetics or fashion. For three years straight, I was unanimously chosen by my college swimming teammates for the Hairiest Legs Award between important meets. So, needless to say, my body is full of errant nipple hair.
Lexington has really grown on me. When I moved here in 2005, I was not sure whether it would be a good fit. Yet now, it’s the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere and I feel invigorated and grateful to be immersed in so many local communities, including the Hash House Harriers (the drinking club with the running problem) and the March Madness Marching Band (where many of us sport ‘of The Universe’ ink). It’s been eight years and Lexington feels like home. Despite my never-ending search for adventure, I wouldn’t dream of moving. Being part of the Lexington Tattoo Project makes me feel closer to Lexington. My tattoo is an anchor to my own errant nature and a perfectly appropriate homage to hair, bizarre conversations, community, creativity, and, of course, good poetry.”