Inked - the old fashioned rebellion

We spent most of Sunday discussing tattoos. Not in any academic way you understand. But in the context of our third daughter's wish to get inked.

She is in her early twenties and so is grown up enough to make her own decision; at least this is what we told ourselves as we looked at the proposed design.

Mrs M and I were married when we were twenty and back then we felt that we were old enough to make such a life-changing decision. Now, however, twenty-one seems still so very youthful.

And so it is that we gaze at the intricate autumn leaf pattern that will soon adorn our daughter's back and want to be both supportive and cautious at the same time.

We reminisced about our journey towards being married. The fact that we made our decision less than twelve months after beginning to court, (yes it once was called courting), amazed our girls and seemed to put the tattoo choice in some perspective.

Even so Mrs M couldn't resist suggesting that it might be better to have one that was a little smaller to start with but daughter number three was fully committed to the cause and was not for turning.

I was tempted to try a bit of reverse psychology and suggested that my bride had the same design done on her back in order to make a matching pair. I felt sure that this would put her off; after all they don't like to wear the same clothes as their mother never mind the same permanent body art. She saw through my test and so we moved on to discuss other matters.

Its not that I am against such things, in fact when done tastefully they can look rather good. It is just the sense of permanence that they suggest.

If you dye your hair bright pink then you can make a change with relative ease. If you grow a beard you are only one shave away from seeing you chin again.

Ink is for life; ask Robert Nesbitt. He is the Newcastle fan who had the image of footballer Andy Cole reproduced on his thigh only two days before his hero signed to join Manchester United.

There must be nothing worse than having an out-of-date design permanently placed on your epidermis. I suppose the only issue my daughter will face is that her autumn leaves might clash with summer.

A little later I suggested to my wife that I might get inked before my fiftieth birthday next year; joining in with the moment she asked me what I might have done. I thought for a while and then, in the light of my growing bald patch, my aching limbs, and my middle-aged spread, it occurred to me.

I will get a Tattoo of a Best Before Date on my forehead. If you are going to be out-of-date you might as well be upfront about it.