A couple of weeks ago, my younger sister-in-law announced that she had got a tattoo. It was her second. My husband and I were furious. How could she do that after complaining so much about her boyfriend's tattoo and the tattoos of other people she knew? And how could she spend so much money on herself when she is always complaining she has no money and owes us some money as well? I had a good rant and decided that enough was enough. No longer would I feel compassion when she said she didn't have any money or when she felt lonely.
A few days later I watched the film Stardust. In case you haven't seen it, one of the storylines is that a boy called Dunstan goes to find a star to give to the girl he loves, Victoria. When he finds the star, the star says that she thought love was supposed to be unconditional, and questions why he has to take her to Victoria at all. Surely if Victoria loves him, he doesn't need to travel all that way to find a star and bring it back to win her over!
This concept really made me think. Not having tattoos shouldn't be a condition for whether I love someone or not. If I start saying, "I'll love you if..." then I'm putting a condition on whether that person is loved. If we are to love unconditionally, it shouldn't matter whether the person has tattoos or not, it shouldn't matter what they've done before, it shouldn't matter if they love you back or not.
It was hard. After my rant, I wanted to tell her exactly what I thought. And I didn't want to be hypocritical by backing down and going soft. We've spoken on the phone a few times and neither of us has brought it up. I hope I can still be as loving when she comes to stay next week.