I felt completely out of place at the tattoo shop. I shouldn’t be here. The artist we came to see is a jerk. He says he cannot give me the tattoo I want in the size I want (no larger than two inches). No, he stretches open the forefinger and thumb on his man-sized hand as far as they will open (probably an exaggeration) and says it would have to be this big. By my estimates that was four or five inches. Sorry, I don’t think so. I knew this may be a bad idea.
I decided to get another opinion. As the time passed, I read about tattoos and their care. I couldn’t do it in the summer, because it was bad to expose them to much sunlight while they are fresh. I forgot about it (sort of) during the winter, only find myself thinking about it once again during the summer months.
Moving Onward – October 2011
Well now it’s Fall, and some time has passed, actually a year and three months has passed, and I think I still want this tattoo. I’m getting older (I’ll be 40 next month), and I think it’s time to act. I mentioned it several times this month to Tina. I opened my mouth once again today, and I was totally caught off guard when she excitedly responded, “We’ll go tonight!” Tonight?!! I wasn’t prepared for that! Yes, I keep bringing it up, but I really thought I would “set a date” and have time to mentally prepare myself. Nope. Tonight it is.
So I called my dear hubby and announced we were going to have a little fun tonight. When I told him exactly what it was, he sounded disappointed. But, when I mentioned I wanted him to come to, he was actually surprised. He even sounded excited. So apparently he was only disappointed that he thought I was going to do this without him. How sweet.
As planned, Tina, Chris and I headed to the tattoo parlor just a little after 8 pm. I won’t lie, I was nervous as hell. I had laser surgery on my foot a few years back (see the Medical Miracle of Duct Tape), and I anticipated that this was going to feel just like that. Would I cry? Would I throw up? I hoped neither. We walked into a small-town branch of the #1 tattoo parlor around the city. Given the location, it wasn’t busy in the least. I showed the guy what I wanted done and stressed the importance of keeping the size I wanted. He said it was no problem. That was one affirmation. He quoted me a price cheaper than the other place. That was a second affirmation. Then Tina pulled out a picture of a tattoo she wanted and was going to get it done (her sixth). That was my third affirmation (because we were staying a while….I might as well). So my tattoo was drawn up on transfer paper and an outline placed on my shoulder so I could see exactly what it would look like. Perfect. I sat in one booth. Tina sat in the other. We could see each other and share each other’s pain.
The first needle touched my back. Ok, little sting, but not so bad. Within a few seconds, the little sting felt more like an electrical shock and burn. I was told I could stop the artist (Daniel) anytime I needed to. Much to my pleasant surprise, every time I was just about to say stop, Daniel stopped to get more ink. His timing couldn’t have been better. I looked over at Tina. She was getting a tattoo in a more sensitive spot – the ankle. She lay there with her eyes closed. I thought I would try that. Nope. The second my eyes closed, all I could see was red (not black), and the pain was more intense. Instead I sat scrutinizing the posters on the wall in front of me. That helped. Tingle, electrical shock, burning, pain, stop. Tingle, electrical shock, burning, pain, stop. This process went on for 45 minutes. Really it didn’t feel like that long. I was thankful for that. I was thrilled when Daniel asked me if I wanted to take a look at it. He was finished! I made it! I didn’t cry. I didn’t get sick. I did it. It was perfect. Exactly what I had wanted, Life, Love and Loyalty, and exactly the size I wanted.
I’m still in a little pain, sort of like the lingering effects of being burned, but it’s ok. Now I have to concentrate on the after-care for the next couple weeks to preserve it. But on a more positive note, I can cross one more item off my bucket list. 🙂