I got my first one waaaaaay back in 1993.
A bunch of girls from my dorm decided to go downtown and get tattoos, so we all paired up to be safer. (Getting a tattoo was not as commonplace as it is today.)
I watched as sets of girls came back from the place we'd researched and selected with their fresh tattoos. One girl who was on crew got two oars crossed, another got a star and moon, I think someone got a palm tree.
|Yup. We're totally connected.|
Because that was the most awesome thing about getting a tattoo for me- everyone was shocked that I did it. I thought that was kind of hysterical because I knew six other smart, motivated, nice girls also had just done the same thing. But apparently it totally went against everyone's expectations of me. My family in particular were shocked. I remember coming home the weekend after I'd had it done and showing my dad. He laughed, spit on his finger and tried to rub it off, thinking it was a fake temporary. It was still kind of puffy and sore, so that hurt like a sonofabitch. He knew it wasn't a fake when I jumped back and yelled and it bled a little.
The guy with the goofy grin in the waiting area was right- it was addicting and I already wanted another. I don't know if it was a burst of adrenaline or just the exhilaration of changing people's ideas of who you are but when I left the shop that afternoon, I felt like I was walking on clouds all the way back to the bus stop. I had an evening class that night and all throughout it, I kept thinking to myself, "I have a tattoo" and feeling the slight soreness on my hip. It was a kind of secret badge of honor, my superhero costume disguised under my street clothes. It was proof that I could be whatever kind of person I wanted to be, and more than just the quiet, shy, smart kid everyone thought I was.
Seven years later, I got my second one, Kermit the Frog, on my right shoulder. The guy who did it told me about how he had Elmer Fudd tattooed on his lower back, on tiptoe with his hunting rifle, along with accompanying rabbit tracks that went all the way down into his butt crack. He kept going on and on about how much those last few rabbit tracks hurt.
|This is pretty. But smaller. |
And somewhere else.
I've toyed with the idea of getting Picasso's Owl drawing ('owl' was my first word, so I think that's nicely symbolic to commemorate finishing my first novel) but since the drawing is all one continuous line, you'd have to have a damn fine tattoo artist to pull it off. And there's nothing worse than a poorly done (or misspelled) tattoo.