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Woman Asks If She’d Be Wrong To Get Tattoo Honoring Late Friend Despite His Girlfriend’s Objections

Allef Vinicius/Unsplash

While our personal response to tragedy is our own decision and, in most cases, shouldn’t be criticized, it doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

That was on one Redditor’s mind when she posted on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.

The Original Poster (OP), known as Royal_Cry_4365 on the site, noted in her title that she didn’t wonder if she had been an a**hole, but if she would be the a**hole (WIBTA). 

“WIBTA if i got a tattoo against my friend her wishes?”

OP led with some tragic exposition. 

“Me (25-year-old female) and Jill (24-year-old female) have been friends since we were 6 years old. Around 12 years ago we formed a friend group through a mutual sport we shared. One of those friends was Paul (30-year-old male).”

“He passed away very unexpectedly in late last year. So unexpectedly that the hospital had to do an autopsy and we’re still waiting for results.”

“Jill and Paul have been in a relationship for the past 6 years and got engaged in 2021.”

OP had a somewhat unique way of coping with all of that. 

“The way I deal with loss or memorable life moments is by getting a tattoo. I got my grandfathers favorite bird tattooed on me after he passed away.”

“I got other big life event related tattoo’s.”

But OP wondered how to remain sensitive. 

“At Paul’s funeral I received a specific type of flower to throw into his grave.”

“I want to get this specific flower tattooed on my body with potentially his birth and death year as a way to keep him with me and keep remembering him. I want this on the inside of my upper arm.”

“I talked to Jill about this and asked if she would be okay with me getting a tattoo in his memory. She said she would be okay with it as long as it’s not on my arms, because she’s scared it would hurt her if she saw it.”

OP then offerred some additional info about her calculations.

“Please note that she wouldn’t even know the tattoo was for him if I hadn’t asked her opinion and didn’t check with her first because it’s a flower. I have more floral tattoo’s with different meanings.”

“I just thought it was the good thing to do to ask her beforehand than just do it and then have her ask what the tattoo means after I already got it.”

“I also see Jill about once every 3 months due to us all having different schedules. I also hide my arms in the summer due to wanting to cover scars.”

Nonetheless, OP wondered about the right move. 

“So chances she would get confronted with it ‘constantly’’ are small. I personally just want the tattoo in a space that’s visual for myself because that’s important to me.”

“I hardly see the tattoo’s on my ankles so those also have no to less meaning.”

“Would I be the a**hole if I were to get it tattooed on my arm either way? Or should I give her say over what I do with my body?”

As the initial Reddit responses flowed in, OP added a couple edits.

One added specifics. 

“I never said I would ignore her wishes. I am valueing her opinion and I do personally think she’s more likely to see it more often on my leg than my arm because my arms are the last thing I will show in the summer.”

“The tattoo would be on the inside of my bicep close to my body (not on my low arm or the outside of my arm where she might indeed see it).”

Another edit included OP’s initial plans.

“I think I’m going to wait a bit and talk to Jill about it at some point instead of making my own conclusions about the fact that she won’t see my arm as much as my legs and doing it on my arm instead.”

“I’ll ask her if she’s sure about my legs and will explain to her that I mostly cover my arms anyway while I don’t cover up my legs in the summer, and that I can always accomodate her wishes by hiding or covering it when I hang out with her.”

And yet another clarified some communication. 

“Okay I went back through our texts and she NEVER even gave a placement suggestion. She literally said: ‘where would you want it then? Because it’s totally up to you what you get tattooed, but I would find it hard if I were to see it often’’ i genuinely remembered her saying not to get it on my arm.”

Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

Most Redditors told OP she would indeed be the a**hole if she got the tattoo on her arm. 

“YTA because you made a point in asking if she would be ok with it and when she said that she would only be ok with it if you got it someplace less visible, you just want to ignore it. Don’t bother asking if you’re not going to respect the answer.” — GlassSandwich9315

“YTA You asked her and she told you what she thought about it and now because it wasn’t what you wanted to hear, you want to discard what she said.”

“I am very sorry for the loss of your friend.” — hotironskillet24

“YTA Why even tell her then? Asking someone for their blessing with the intend to ignore it anyways is shi**y.”

“Especially now she knows, so it will definitely trigger her.”

“Since your friend was engaged to him and asked you not to, it would be kinda weird if you do it still.”

“Soft YWBTA (because you lost someone) You asked and she answered and added her comfort level. If you’re making up excuses, ‘oh I don’t see her often” and “oh I cover up my arms’ then you already knew what you were going to do.” — InvestmentNo1060

With plenty of responses just like these, OP will likely have to think long and hard about where to put this tattoo.

Written by Eric Spring

Eric Spring lives in New York City. He has poor vision and cooks a good egg. Most of his money is spent on live music and produce. He usually wears plain, solid color sweatshirts without hoods because he assumes loud patterns make people expect something big. Typically, he'll bypass a handshake and go straight for the hug.