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Maybe you wonder how a Jewish girl from Des Moines got Jesus Christ tattooed on her three times: ascending on one thigh, crucified on the other, and conducting a miniature apocalypse beneath the right shoulder.  It wasn’t religion that put them there, it was Tiny, my husband.”

McCracken’s story centered around the unconventional and unpredictable aspects of love. Lois, this above-average-height woman, fell in love with the short, older tattoo artist.  Her ordinary life became covered in ink as her body was transformed into Tiny’s “love letter.”  Her tattoos had become the shield in her relationship with her mother.  The ink had prevented her from falling back, even after Tiny’s death, into the ordinary and proper way of life that her mother had wished for her.

Although the tattoos were mainly a symbol of love between her and Tiny, they were also a rebellion against her mother.  Lois’s mother had scrutinized her for her height and pressured her, and the tattoos became a symbol of her independence from her mother.

When Tiny passed away, Lois’s tattoos were a part of him that would forever be a part of her.  She could never forget him.  Lois’s father was never brought up in the story.  I find that odd when telling a love story that the father would not be mentioned.


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