How Not To Regret Things!
Tattoos are not a joke!
One year ago today we filmed the music video for Fucking Up What Matters. I can’t believe a year has already passed since then. I cut my hair short - it was near my shoulders, scruffy and unkempt and in need of a cut - a few days before we shot the video. Today my hair is down to my shoulders again. It’s easy to see how much time has passed. I don’t even need a calendar, I just look in the mirror, and my hair tells the whole story.
I wondered if we needed to even bring up this anniversary. Social media has created a feedback loop for me about our projects. I am constantly reflecting back but I also feel like I’m compulsively releasing new things. My life feels like it’s a rope being held by the past and the future in a constant tug-of-war. Tomorrow we might be focused on our new graphic novel, but today we’re reminiscing about a music video we shot a year ago, a few weeks from now someone will remind me it’s the birthday of some album we put out a decade ago, and I’ll be typing up a sentimental post about it and digging around for behind the scenes photos to help tell my story over breakfast.
Some music videos we have made are forgettable. But I’ll always remember making Fucking Up What Matters. For one reason. We got tattooed in the video. Why?
You’re like a tattoo, something I can’t undo, I hope I got under your skin too.
It’s one of my favourite lines from Crybaby. I felt excited when I wrote it. It felt like a lyric someone might tattoo on themselves. Sara is always pushing me to write lyrics worthy of permanence. Over the years we’ve seen a lot of our lyrics of ours tattooed on people’s skin. I think that lyric would make a great tattoo.
So we decided we’d get tattooed in our music video for Fucking Up What Matters. It was a ridiculous thing to do, but making music videos is kind of ridiculous, so we went for it. In the end, I got two tattoos. A tattoo of a zippo lighter that says Fucking Up What Matters (Sara’s idea) that we both got, and Sara hates. And a second tattoo of a dog Sara drew (as a joke) with the words I RUFF GURLS around it that I decided to get because it was so funny. I don’t hate it. I don’t regret it either. I do wish I’d put it somewhere less visible. I had no idea how often my pant leg would ride up exposing my silly tattoo. Turns out it’s a lot. But otherwise, it makes me laugh, and it’s a good story. And that’s what tattoos are all about to me. The story.
When I was young, and first started getting tattooed (I was 18 when I got my first one) adults would often tell me that I was going to regret my tattoos. I used to joke that by the time I was old enough to regret them, there would be technology to remove them. As it turns out, we were both right. I do regret some of my tattoos, but I can also remove them should I choose to go through the painful, expensive and time-consuming process of doing so. But so far I haven’t gotten any removed, though I imagine one day I might. If I do it won’t be either tattoo I got during the filming of Fucking Up What Matters. I’d start with the tribal art I got at eighteen. It’s the only tattoo I have with no meaning or story attached, and that makes it a great candidate for removal. I tried to find a photo of it and realized that I often - unconsciously - cover it up in photos.
In honour of the one-year anniversary of the Fucking Up What Matters video this week and my two silly impulsive tattoos, I rewatched the video this morning. It made me laugh. It took a small team, a bunch of friends, and favours, two dogs and some mezcal to make it, but we made it, and I don’t regret a thing (ish)!