Robbie Rambles

Local Matters


As I was thinking about what to write my column about this week, I started reminiscing about my favorite columns of all times – “Robbie Rambles” by the magnificently funny and talented writer Robbie Denson.

So in honor of that I am publishing a reprint of a “Robbie Rambles” from 2016, the year Robbie won the 1st place trifecta at the Texas Press Association, the South Texas Press Association and the Gulf Coast Press. Association Better Newspaper Contest.

I hope you love it as much as I do. If you do, I want to encourage you to write to Robbie at We will read these pleas for her return to writing when she comes to lend the Pleasanton Express her time and talents on our Tuesday production nights.

Robbie Rambles

A few weeks ago I did something I never thought I would do. In fact, it was something I said I would never do.

Never say never.

Do you remember years back when the everyone started getting tattoos? When there was a shift and tattoos weren’t just for Sailors, ex-convicts and rockers? Do you remember being a little shocked to see the UPS guy with a full sleeve and the tiny checkout girl sporting a neck tattoo?


I know I was unimpressed.

And I was sure that I would never get a tattoo, I mean aside from the possibility of utter damnation, there’s the fact that I can’t even decide what color to paint my bedroom… can you see where this is headed?


About two and a half years ago, I started thinking about getting a tattoo. And thinking about it. And thinking about it. Then I started looking at them on Pinterest. Then I started saving them to my private pin boards.

Then about a year and a half, ago I got invited on a shopping trip with a group of ladies from church. The drive back from Roundtop, Texas was full of conversations and the topic of tattoos came up.

Now, I don’t think one of these ladies actually had a tattoo. The conversation was more, “well so-and-so has a tattoo of scripture” or “I would never get one!” or “IF I got one it would be this.”

I have no recollection of what my dear friend Jenci said but she was chiming in on the conversation.

So about a week later I confessed to her I could not get tattoos off my mind…And surprisingly she said, “Me either,” and it was decided that we would go together to get our tattoos.

Between busy lives, one not-so-sure husband and a canceled appointment, it took us a year and a half to finally get our schedules together and make the trip to San Antonio for our tattoos.

But we finally did it! These two Baptist women got tattoos.

One thing I didn’t expect after getting a tattoo is the attention that it would receive. People want to see it. I know this sounds silly, since I often write about my personal life for all of Atascosa County to see, but too much attention makes me a little uncomfortable.

Getting a tattoo also means you get questions. Did it hurt? No it really didn’t.

I got the word “free” tattooed on my wrist and I was expecting a little pain, but I can’t say it hurt. It’s very small so I would imagine that if I got a larger one it might’ve been a little more uncomfortable.

Next question, what does it mean? It means so much to me, yet it is so simple.

People assume to know, and that’s okay. Maybe it means something to them. But, to me, the main thing it means is that I’m free from condemnation. Mostly my own, but certainly of others. As a woman I’ve spent a lot of years worried about what others think and trying to please them. This is a reminder that I don’t have to, that I never have.

And, here’s where I get a little preachy, I’m free because Jesus died on the cross for my sins. And if He thinks that a 41-year old single mom with a tattoo is doing okay, then I’m doing okay. And that’s all that really matters.

NOEL WILKERSON HOLMES is the Publisher of the Pleasanton Express. You may reach her at

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