"I Love You" or "Love You"?
June 17, 2013 3:24 PM   Subscribe

I'm getting a tattoo in memorial for my grandmother who passed away. It will be in her handwriting but I need help deciding how to phrase it. Photo and details inside.

The handwriting samples I have found are in cards to me. She always signed the cards with a "We Love You" because they were from her and my step-grandfather (who I don't particularly care for). The sample I would like to use looks like this.

The decision I am trying to make is between getting "I Love You" or "Love You". As you can see, I have the sample I need for "Love You". I do not have a sample with an "I" in it. My family isn't really "tattoo friendly" so the idea of calling them up asking for handwriting samples is a little daunting. I also would prefer that the sample be written to me if that makes any sense. I could probably find a capital "I" in a handwritten recipe somewhere or her address book but I'm not sure if I even want the "I" in it.

Basically I'm just wanting to see what the hive mind thinks in regards to aesthetics. Either phrasing would have the same meaning to me.
posted by sarahgrace to Writing & Language (19 answers total)
For me, it would hold more meaning to have a smaller snippet from something my grandmother really wrote to me (the "love you") than to have the whole phrase cobbled together from multiple sources. I'd go with "love you."
posted by christinetheslp at 3:27 PM on June 17, 2013 [8 favorites]

I think I would choose "Love You" for it's simplicity and casual feel.
posted by michellenoel at 3:27 PM on June 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

I meant to add that I am sorry for your loss.
posted by michellenoel at 3:28 PM on June 17, 2013

I would go with Love You, and maybe add "Grandma" or however else she might have signed her card.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:30 PM on June 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

I totally agree with christinetheslp and I might even include the dash after "Love You" for reasons I can't quite articulate.
posted by lalex at 3:31 PM on June 17, 2013 [7 favorites]

Ditto to everyone above. Plus, "Love you" has the double meaning as a reminder to love yourself.
posted by barnone at 3:34 PM on June 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

I like "love you", and I love the script and the story and everything. What a beautiful remembrance.
posted by rosa at 3:42 PM on June 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

I would transcribe "We love you." She always wrote it, and if she were able to reach across the divide, she would still be transmitting messages from step-grandpop. I also understand that, because you don't care much for him, this is probably not a good choice for you. But I'm just tossing it in. :-)
posted by janey47 at 3:50 PM on June 17, 2013

Thank you everyone - and thank you for the condolences. She passed away in 2010 and I have had a hard time dealing with my grief. It's just now starting to settle and this is something I hope can help me remember how much she loved me and how incredibly strong she was. I was leaning towards "Love You" with the dash as well. I didn't even think of the double meaning, barnone, but thank you for pointing that out.

The reason I'm excluding my step-grandfather is because he was previously an alcoholic and physically abused my grandmother. :/
posted by sarahgrace at 3:57 PM on June 17, 2013

Love the idea of using Love You with the dash. Very sorry for your loss.
posted by sweetkid at 4:07 PM on June 17, 2013

Beautiful idea. I would go with "love you" with the dash.
I also lost my beloved grandmother in 2010 and wish I had such a good sample of her handwriting for a memorial tattoo. This is something you'll treasure forever.
posted by third word on a random page at 4:34 PM on June 17, 2013

I'd go with "Love," but I like my tatoos as simple as possible.
posted by snickerdoodle at 4:45 PM on June 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

Seconding just "love." That's the feeling between you, in her hand on your body. Then its less about what you left off (which becomes part of that tattoo's story) and simply about what's there.
posted by headnsouth at 5:25 PM on June 17, 2013

I'm not personally a fan of tattoos, but I Love This Idea. The "I" in this case is implicit, as it's your grandmother's writing, and you most definitely know that. Therefore just "Love You" will be more than sufficient. Damn, I'm getting misty just thinking about the power of this piece. Are you sure you want something this potent?
One additional idea that just occurred: If you have a collection of birthday cards and letters with that sign off, why not take an array of them, stack them up:
Love you,
Love you,
Love you,
Love you,
Love you,
so you'll have it in multiple instances from throughout the years.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 5:30 PM on June 17, 2013

Cold Lurkey - Thank you so much, and I love that idea but I'm having a hard time finding cards. :( I have the last one she wrote me the Christmas before she passed in February and one from 2006. I know I have more it's just a matter of finding them, but the placement is also an issue. I would really like to have the tattoo on my foot because everyone I talk to about her always tell me she "thought I walked on water" (my Dad actually just used that phrase when I mentioned the tattoo to him) and because it would be like a part of her would be "walking with me" through life.

Another question for everyone - do you think that my foot would be a good placement because of the anecdote previously or should I consider another placement?
posted by sarahgrace at 5:34 PM on June 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Depends on the placement on the foot and how much uh, cushioning you have there. I know that some foot tats are known to hurt like hell and bleed more.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:40 PM on June 17, 2013

I think the foot placement is a great idea!! It's going to hurt, but having the tat in a place that represents your grandmother will have been worth the pain every time you see it. A word of advice... get your tat done while the weather is warm so you can wear sandals or flip flops while it heals.
posted by chaiwawa at 6:55 PM on June 17, 2013

One thing - I'm not a tattoo artist, but I have (several) tattoos, and I've always heard that you should be careful about choosing the foot as a tattoo locale because the skin is so thin there. Not because the tat will hurt more - which it definitely will - but because the period of time it takes for the finished tattoo to rub and blur is much shorter, and you'll have to get the piece retouched a lot throughout your lifetime to keep it looking decent. All tattoos blur and rub with time, but the foot is a particularly blur-prone area. Please talk to your artist about this.

I'm sorry for your loss, and I really love this tattoo idea. Good luck!
posted by sevensnowflakes at 10:50 PM on June 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

On idea on placement, which may sound really, really weird, but okay:
On your under-upper arm, but in mirror writing... Such that you can only see it correctly when looking at yourself too in the mirror.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 8:50 PM on June 18, 2013

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