By: Mary Fran Bontempo
For an audio version of this column, click the play arrow below.

“Oh. My. God.”

My daughter, just walking into the house, stared, horrified, at a bandage on my left ankle. “What did you do?!” she hissed.

“What, this?” I asked innocently, holding up my foot for inspection. “Um…that’s a dog bite. Yeah, that’s right. I got bitten by a little dog when I was riding my bike.”

“That’s not a dog bite. That’s a tattoo! You got a tattoo!” she yelped.

“Hmmm,” I mused, studying the fresh bandage. “How about that? Looks like I did get a tattoo.”

“Are you kidding me? What in the world were you thinking?” Laura asked.

“I was thinking that it might be fun. Everyone’s getting tattoos these days. What’s the big deal?” I asked.

“The big deal is that you’re not everyone! You’re my mom!” Laura continued, unable to tear her eyes away from my new “ink.”

“Uh-oh. Did we get caught?” Friend, fellow blogger and new co-conspirator Chrysa Smith entered from the kitchen with a bottle of water.

“Oh, god. Did you get one, too?” Laura asked, looking stunned.

“Why, yes I did. Right here,” Chrysa answered, turning out her right leg to display a small swirling sun under a bandage on the inside of her right ankle.

“You two have lost your minds,” Laura declared, shaking her head and marching upstairs. “Wait ‘til Dad sees that,” she warned, pointing a finger at me.

Once she was out of sight, Chrysa and I dissolved into giggles. “Well, that was certainly worth it,” I said, snickering.

“Should we tell her they’re just henna and they’ll be gone in a few weeks?” Chrysa asked.

“No, she’ll figure it out soon enough,” I said. “Right now, I’m kind of enjoying being bad. I still can’t believe you talked me into this, though.”

It was earlier in the day, during a ride to the boardwalk after an innocent and lovely day at the beach, that two “good girls” crossed over to the dark side.

“I think we should get tattoos,” Chrysa said as we searched for a parking spot.

“Hahahaha!” I laughed. When Chrysa didn’t join in, I looked over. “Wait. Are you serious?”

“Yeah. Why not? It would be fun. And can you imagine what our husbands and kids would say?” she asked.

“No, I can’t. But I kind of do want to break out a little. I’m tired of being so predictable. Let’s do this,” I said.

So we marched ourselves into the Henna Shop on the Ocean City boardwalk and picked out our tattoos. “Hi,” I said to the young girls behind the counter. “Yes, we’re way too old for this and we’re really just trying to mortify our kids, but we want tattoos.” They exchanged looks and then gamely indulged us, probably thanking God that we weren’t their mothers.

Twenty minutes later, we were walking down the boardwalk, swaggering a bit as we were now living on the edge…for us, that is.

A few days later, I called Chrysa. “What did Mark (husband) and Dane (son) say about your tattoo?” I asked.

“Well, Dane said I was crazy. But then he told me it looked kind of cool. And at first Mark said I’d lost my mind, but then he said it was kind of sexy!” she reported happily.

“Yeah, I had the same reaction from my group,” I said. “Maybe we should be bad more often.”

“Maybe we should think about making the tattoos permanent,” Chrysa added.

Suddenly, an image of my two grandmothers, both of whom lived past the age of 95, flashed into my mind. On each of their ankles, I pictured our tattoos. Gulp. “I think I’ll stick with henna,” I said. “But I have been thinking about one of those little studs the girls wear in their noses. Can you come down next week?”

I know we’ll never do it, but it is fun being bad, even if it’s all in our minds.

Have you taken a walk on the wild side? Click comments, below, and share!