Friday, September 26, 2008

Tramp Stamps

Sheri says:

Anyone who knows me is aware of my serious aversion to needles. I try to be a responsible adult so I get my blood drawn as part of a yearly physical and I get my flu shot. If my doctor tells me a need a booster shot, I get it.

Other than that, get those needles away from me! Needless to say, I do not have a tattoo.

Lots of the younger generation considers this a rite of passage, kind of like miscellaneous piercings. Go ahead young people! Mutilate your body. Don’t cry to me when you need to make a business presentation or attend a black tie event and you can’t quite hide your youthful escapade.

The tattoo along a woman’s lower back has been referred to as the “tramp stamp.” I did not coin this term, nor do I use it about anyone I know. But, I’m familiar with it.

Abby thought I might possibly be making it up. She doesn’t trust my wisdom very much.

I’m so glad tattoos weren’t popular in my day. I would’ve been the nerd who refused to participate. And I’m glad I’m not this middle-age woman with a tramp stamp running across my lower back.

Abby says:

When Sheri told me of this term I felt out of touch. I guess I am not in the loop. I even looked on Wikipedia, and there it was – an entire section dedicated to the tramp stamp. Amazingly, I know many professional women my age who have a tattoo – some larger and more visible than others, especially in the summertime. They have them for a myriad of reasons: sentiment, girl power, love – the full gamut.

I have nothing against them. I just never ventured into the painful, prickling waters of tattoo land, as I, too, have an aversion to needles. Flu shots and blood draws make me queasy. I also have an aversion to contracting hepatitis or other diseases. I know people who have – many years after getting their decorative marks.

Besides, I’d want to change the design like I change my shoes (and that is often!). Maybe a temporary tattoo is the answer. You can purchase them at drug store make-up counters. Just rub on and wipe off when you’re done (in case you change your mind).

Monday, September 22, 2008


Abby says:
Last weekend I was sifting through old photos. Upon digging through dusty boxes and discolored envelopes I also came across ancient-looking handwritten papers with beautiful penmanship. I thought to myself, "Who wrote these? The handwriting is so pretty". Unbeknownst to me, they were mine – mostly from grade school and high school days. My dad saves everything and I inherit these “treasures” as my parents clean out their house.

Today I have sloppy penmanship -- something between a writing and printing combo – depending on how hurried I am. It's barely legible to me. It looks like doctor scrawling. Go figure. I work with many doctors and must have unconsciously picked up that trait. I wonder why my writing has changed. Maybe it's because I don't have the nuns to slap me on the wrist with a ruler when my writing gets sloppy -- like they did in grade school. Or, maybe I am just lazy. Perhaps I need to work on this.

What does our penmanship say about us? Sheri's is the prettiest I have ever seen.

Sheri says:
I do have legible handwriting. Many people comment on it and it always makes me think of the years my parents made me rewrite things, like homework or thank you notes. They were sticklers.

Most of us do that combo between printing and cursive. Is it a signature style?

Every once in a while my husband or my son will leave me a note. It is not unusual for me to track them down and say, “I can’t read this.” My parents would have never tolerated this so here’s another area where I have failed.

Penmanship is personal. It’s your stamp. For those of us who still write and receive handwritten notes, it’s a badge.

I’m so glad the generation behind me knows how to type and text. I also want them to write/print in a coherent fashion. This will be my new cause!

FYI, I can always read Abby’s handwriting. I’ve been doing it for over 20 years.

Abby says:
Here are samples of our penmanship. Not too tough to figure out which one is Sheri’s.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Abby says:

This has been the week of happy reunions. Thursday night the girls from Sheri's Gym (our defunct workout training group of 10 years) got together for a small reunion to celebrate birthdays and drink margaritas. A fun night of laughs and catch-up.

This past week I was contacted out of the blue by an old friend from my past. He has started a Facebook page for the many of us who swam together competitively for the Riviera Swim Club in Indianapolis. Those were truly the best days of my life. As of today I have connected with several people via Facebook, MySpace and Classmates dot com from that era of my life and relived many great memories. I also spent the weekend pilfering through scads of old photos. Swimming is a weird sport. We spent hours, days, months and years together slogging in the pool at all hours of the day and night, smelling like chlorine and constantly slathering lotion on our forever snake-dry skin. The people I swam with shaped my life in many ways. Check out our newly-formed Facebook page (Riviera Swimming Alumni).

The best reunion of all is that my sister, Mindy, is moving home to Indy. I think she has been gone almost 20 years. Maybe more. Minnesota. Colorado. She must have acquired the artistic gene in the family as she is multi-talented and an artist. She makes beautiful one-of-a-kind hand-dyed garments and wall hangings and does other cool stuff too. I have lost track. Over the past few years I’ve seen her only a handful of times. It will be great to have her back and be her friend. Check out this photo above – one of her cool items.

Sheri says:

Reunions can be fun although I avoid some of them. I have never been to a high school reunion. We’ve had some unofficial reunions of college friends but I’ve never attended the official ones. It’s rare for me to attend a family reunion and I suspect those days are over.

Ab and I go to an annual conference. In many ways, it feels like a reunion.

Thursday night with the workout girls was fun but I don’t consider it a reunion since I see or talk to each of them every week.

Next month, there’s a gathering in my childhood neighborhood and I am going. I still see or talk to lots of these people but it is a reunion of sorts.

I’m excited for Ab’s reunion with her sister. Since I don’t have a sister, my closest comparison is two childhood girlfriends who try to meet at least once a year. One I see a lot; the other I only see every 12 to 18 months. I get giddy with anticipation of the three of us spending the weekend together. I suspect that’s what Ab is feeling with her sister moving to town.

Some of the people I miss have left this earth. Maybe that’s the lesson for me: Reunite with friends and loved ones while you can.