In high school, my friends as I liked to have tattoos on the back of our hands. Not real tatts, just ones inked with a cheap blue pen, or maybe multicolours if you happened to have a red and a blue pen in your pencil case.

Here is how tattoos worked then:

The top ranking tatt was the one with that said I ❤ SB. You could only write this if you were going out OR if was your crush and he didn’t go to your school.

The next one was I ❤SOFS. This one was pretty hardcore, and seeing as I wasn’t a swear bear in high school, I only wrote it in my diary. SOFS is ‘someone fucking sexy’, which is totally classy when you’re 14.

Slightly less offensive was I ❤ _ _. This meant you loved someone but you weren’t telling anyone who it was. Or, if you liked someone and you didn’t want them to know, but it was okay if everyone else did.

The bottom of the rung was I ❤ SOS. SOS meant someone special, or someone sexy. Either or, this one was kind of less cool than everything else.

The only probably with pen tattoos is that it’s easy for other people it ink you. Often they’d write I ❤ JC DAT (IDAT=if destroyed, always true). I chose JC for my friend Jon, but usually they’d write your crush’s initials on you, or worse, a guy you would never have a crush on in a million years.

Luckily, halfway through year nine or so, we grew out of writing stupid things on the backs of our hands. I kind of missed it, though, and resigned to writing it in my journals instead.

I like books, rubber ducks, 90s pop music and putting words on paper. Wrote a thesis on romance. Tea and learning tarot.

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