I’m out on a first date with a nice Jewish boy. Works at a bank, speaks fondly of his parents, and is dressed in the standard crisp long-sleeved-button-down jewniform, just like our ancestors in the land of Egypt envisioned. Clean shaven, polite, no red flags waving wildly in the wind.
About 10 minutes into the date, he asks me if I’m religious. I laugh and reply no. Yes, I am Jewish and yes I appreciate and respect the cultural and historical aspects of Judaism, but I do not consider myself to be a religious person at all.
“Ok, good,” he replies. And then he rolls up the cuff of the shirt his Bubbe clearly picked out for him to revel an entire wrist-to-shoulder tattoo sleeve. Not just a tattoo, guys. Not a sweet tiny tribute to his overbearing but well-meaning mom, deceased Holocaust-surviving Zayde, or beloved childhood pet. A tattoo sleeve.
This thing was HUGE. And intricate. And wildly colorful. I’m talking enormous, bright red koi fish. So many koi fish. There is no circumstance in which this many koi fish should ever share this small a space. It’s just too much. I prefer my koi fish to be sparse and unobtrusive– you know, where you really have to search and be patient if you want to catch them swimming by in that indoor mall fountain.
The design had not one gap. It was a thorough sleeve of glaring, bright ink. Like this (but, you know– ON AN ARM):
My eyes grew wide. I don’t have the best game face.
Me: “Umm…oh! That’s…oh.”
Him: “I thought you said you weren’t religious.”
Him: “I knew it. You ARE religious.”
Me: “No no no…not religious.”