I’m a pretty cautious person. I’m not what you’d call a risk-taker. So when tattoos were all the rage, I took all my seventeen years of wisdom and decided I wanted to get a tattoo. Before you ask, yes. Seventeen is, indeed, too young to have a tattoo. Luckily, I have a pretty progressive mother who thought, “Tattoo? Mm… OK.” Weird, I know. Most mothers would cry and gnash their teeth. Maybe even lay their bodies in front of the parlor doors as an act of martyrdom. I am one of those mothers. But progressive means figuring your kid is probably going to do it anyway – with or without you. Why not be there just in case they decide to tattoo their left butt cheek?
(I’ve heard the butt is pretty sensitive, so I didn’t get mine there. Just putting that out there, in case you wondered.)
Until last Saturday, I was the proud owner of two tattoos: one on my arm (see progressive mother assistance), and this one on my shoulder. The one on my arm is a sizable scorpion. It hurt like the dickens, but tattoos are like childbirth – after you get one and it heals, you kind of forget how bad it hurt. That and you’re young and dumb. You get a tattoo and you go WWWWHAAAHHHHOOOOOOO! and have a few drinks.
I was never satisfied with the tattoo on my shoulder. It was… dainty. Small. Girly. I felt like a pansy calling that a tattoo. It was a sham of stick-on variety. For years, I complained about this girly, pansy, itty-bitty tattoo. (Somehow, I belong to Hell’s Angels, or something.) And he won’t admit it, but I’m sure BFam begged for my silence on the subject. All my waa-waa-waa-tattoo-this. Waa-waa-waa-tattoo-that. Last Saturday, I tired of myself. And I’m practicing my fearlessness, so I’m all ready. And, sure, it’s been fourteen years since my last inking. But I’m deep-ending it, people. BALLS TO THE WALL!
Then the needle hit. And I said, WHHUUUUUUTTTT?! because WHO HASN’T HAD A TATTOO IN FOURTEEN YEARS?!
And oh em gee. You can’t see it, but I was crying. On the inside. Because sweet mother mercy, the pain.
I’ve been asked if tattoos hurt, and I always tell people the same thing: HELLS YEAH! But, to elaborate, your body has different nerve points, and those nerve points give different levels of pain. So one minute you’re all, “Yeah, tattoo, suck it! I am AWESOME!”, and the next you’re dying in a corner, wrapped in the fetal position, sucking your thumb while your tattoo is all, “SAY MY NAME, FOOL!”
So, in short, HELLS YEAH!
After my first tattoo, my mother claims my eyes were as big as saucers and I wouldn’t let her breathe on me. I don’t remember since I’m almost positive I’d blacked out and she was talking to my spirit. I didn’t want to freak her out then, but that wasn’t me she was talking to. You have to will yourself to a special place sometimes. I could have been speaking Portuguese after that tattoo. Who knows.
I wish I could find a less painful way to deal with my fear.