Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Tattoos

Bloggrandpa Harvey liked Blogmom Boudicca's thought "To live in America can be such a wonderful thing" that he thought it would be a great tattoo. This got me to thinking of my mom's tattoo which comes along with an interesting story. I had been wanting a tattoo but wasn't sure if I could take the pain nor did I know what to get. Plus, I HATE needles. I will not give blood because of how much I hate needles (but I do other good deeds) and I have to sit down and turn my head when getting shots or blood drawn. I did lots of thinking. I wanted it somewhere that I didn't have to see all the time if I didn't like it in the future, something that was easy to hide, and something that would stand the test of time - no characters, names, etc. I was dating a guy who had some tattoos that I looked at all the time. I was fascinated by the ink in his skin - these pictures. While he was out on float, I decided I was ready to get mine on my lower back. My best friend and I were going to go, but I wanted to go to somewhere I trusted. A year prior, I had lived in 29 Palms, CA and gotten a couple of piercings. One in my tragus and one in my rook. (I no longer have these due to having an allergy to anything not gold)
Parts of the Ear - I had the Rook and the Tragus Pierced
I insisted that we drive 3 hours from Yuma, AZ to 29 Palms, CA for us to get our tattoos. We left at about 7pm that night and drove through the desert talking about what we might get. We got there, did plenty of looking around. I wanted something kind of Celtic. Maybe something that resembled my Irish Claddagh ring that I wore.
The Irish Claddagh
She was debating getting her husbands name (something I was voting against). We watched some Marines getting tattoos and then I decided to just go for it and get mine. I bargained with the tattoo artist on the price. The tattoo, to get it on the lower back (which tends to be a little more expensive) was going to be $180. I just didn't see paying that much. I gave my sob story of our 3 hour drive out there and our 3 hour drive back. Talked to him about sending him referrals. And we finally got down to $80. I signed my paperwork and the tattoo artist had me roll down the waist of my pants (I planned ahead and wore sweats) straddle a reclined chair and lean forward on the back of the chair. He cleaned my lower back with alcohol wipes and shaved the area. He "pasted" the outline on my lower back, had me check it in the mirror. Here was my last chance to back out....but I didn't. I leaned forward and he started the outline. I just kept telling myself to control my breathing. I made tons of jokes as I do when I'm nervous and kept trying to hold a conversation with my friend as she watched. The outline hurt more that the coloring in. Overall, it actually wasn't that bad. The whole thing took about 40 minutes. When it was done though, I did feel a little weak, hot and felt like I might pass out. I sat down, sipped some water and was fine. Too much adrenaline at once!
My first tattoo
Now it was my friends turn...except, she chickened out!! I wanted to give her a hard time, but then I thought that wasn't something to push someone into, so I shut up. (especially since she was wanting a name!) We started driving home around 12 that night. I reclined my drivers seat all the way back so it wasn't touching my back, sat up straight, and drove the whole way home! A couple days later, I went to my moms house, on her birthday and the day my grandfather was buried, and showed her the tattoo. She tried to play it cool but it broke her heart. I felt awful! I don't know why I insisted on showing her then. Very stupid on my part. My dad found out later and was more mad that I "wasted money" rather than the permanent art on my body. A couple years later, around my mom's 40th birthday, I get a phone call from sis #1 (16 years old) and she said, "You'll never guess what mom did." She got her belly button pierced and a tattoo on her lower back. She said it was a heart with the American flag in the middle of it that said "All American Girl". Interesting choice....but it made me feel better about mine :-) After a while, I wanted another. Same thoughts though...I wanted it where I could hide it, something that I wouldn't hate later, etc. There aren't many places on the body like that. None that appealing anyway. I didn't want one on the ankle like most women get a tattoo. I liked the idea, but thought it wasn't so cute. I wanted it lower. I played around with the idea of getting it on the inside of the ankle, about an inch above the bottom of my foot. It's covered up by regular shoes, but looks cute with sandals. One day, two girls from work and I were walking around downtown in Wilmington. One of them saw a tattoo parlor and wanted to go check it out. You know I was game! We checked it out and looked at tattoo ideas for at least an hour. I found a couple, but then finally decided on one. This time, I wanted something in color. But I was still playing with the idea of where. I was scared of that place on my ankle as there is a lot of bone there and I didn't know if I could take the pain. When I told the tattoo guy where I wanted it, he said he would do it, but that I had to be sure I wanted it and wouldn't squirm. He didn't want to do it if I was going to take forever and be a pain. I told him I was a champ and I could do it. One of the other girls had found a dragonfly she wanted and wanted to get it near her pelvic bone/hip area where her panties just barely covered. It was her first and she did great. Meanwhile, I am pinching, poking and abusing my ankle to see if I could take the pain. Then it comes to my turn. He re-drew the tattoo to my liking as I wanted some of the stuff on there gone, sized it to what I wanted and we picked colors. He "pasted" the stencil on there, I stood up, looked in the mirror to see how it looked, and went with it. This one hurt A LOT more than the lower back. Again, the outline is a BITCH! However, he was good and didn't take too long. I kept trying to talk to my friends and make jokes. I started to get light headed and the shakes, but was trying to play it off as I didn't want the tattoo guy to see and wanted to be brave. I hadn't eaten which I'm sure helped in that. Finally my friend saw my face starting to turn white and flush and the tattoo guy told me to reach over and get some water (while he was still doing my tattoo) and he gave me a chewable sugar pill to get my blood sugar back up. After that I was fine! He did the color inside which was quite interesting to see. The whole thing took about 20-25 minutes. Not too bad.
My second tattoo
Afterward, we walked over to a restaurant, had dinner and some drinks and showed off my tattoo to anyone that walked by that saw my leg propped up on a stool. I still get the urge to get another one sometimes. I don't know what it is. I won't get one that's completely visible to everyone so I'm running out of places. But I still think about it every now and then. So I fully support Harvey's choice of tattoo; along with the Bondage Bear and a llama! Posted by Hello