Monday, April 2, 2012

Tattoo--Number Five and I'm Done.

For those of you that know me, know I have a few tattoos.  The first one I ever got was when I was on the brink of divorce in 1997.  It was a way for me to demonstrate my independence--do something permanent.  Perhaps it was because my relationship wasn't, perhaps it was like a teenager in defiance of what was not deemed acceptable, perhaps because I just wanted one.  Regardless of the answer, I decided to venture out and get myself a tattoo.

My choice of tattoo is not one that most can understand--especially if they truly know me, and know my fears.  Number one fear is mice--any rodent really.  It's not the typical "Oh my god, it's a mouse!" type of fear either.  It's heart-stopping, blood-curdling screaming, sweating, breaking into tears type of fear.  I've been terrified of mice since I was little.  Hate them.  Absolutely detest them.  First tattoo--Mickey Mouse.  On my ankle.  You figure it out.

My second and third tattoos happened together--two Chinese symbols that I got at the same time as two of my friends (one a good friend, the other my Best Friend!).  The symbols mean true, loyal, sincere friend.  It meant something to all of us.  Lower back--got this in my early 30s and yes, before everyone else decided to get tattoos on their lower back.

My fourth tattoo I didn't get until two Decembers ago.  I love the word BELIEVE.  From the way the word looks, to the way it makes me feel.  Love the word.  Keeps me going.  Resonates hope in every sense of the word.  I had this word tattooed on my left foot, along with a little cross.  Second favorite tattoo, which I got when I was 39.

Now up to this point, I have had zero issues with getting tattoos.  While they do hurt, especially the lower back (BIG OUCH!), I never experienced any real discomfort--just the constant stabbing of needles for a little while.  Before each tattoo, I do get nervous--for me it's the usual sweaty palms, anxiously looking at the clock, just wishing for the pain to be over.  Not a big fan of pain, but I DO love tattoos!

I've been planning my fifth tattoo for quite sometime.  I wanted something to honor my love for my children.  Kids names are the only ones I personally believe you should get permanently put on your body.  I found this awesome symbolic tribal thingy that I loved--but I couldn't get my kids' names around it the way I really wanted it.  I stayed focused on this tat for over a year.  For our anniversary, we decided to get tattoos for one another.  My honey would take Wednesday off of work, and I'd plan out the entire day.  And yes, it included our tattoos.  Well, come Tuesday night, I completely changed my mind about my tattoo.  Instead I found this eucalyptus tree, intertwined with ivy.  The symbolism behind it was exactly how I wanted my tattoo to represent my children.  I also decided to just write out their names in my handwriting--after all, it was me who gave them their names, plus the imperfection of my handwriting was another symbol of me.

We showed up to the shop, and my sweating of the palms began.  What I thought was going to be the size of my tattoo was simply too small because of all the little intricacies in the design.  After a little deliberation, and size down from what the artist had in mind, I settled on the size that is now on my left shoulder.  He put the imprint on, I checked it out in the mirror, and straddled the chair that I'd be sitting in for quite awhile.  And then he began.

I don't know if it was my nerves, if I built up getting this tattoo, or if it was the way I was sitting.  Whatever the case, I could not stop sweating.  On top of this, my right foot couldn't stop tapping the floor.  I asked how long it would take, and he told me about 30 minutes.  Unfortunately there was no visible clock, so time became a bigger issue.  It was taking him forever.

About half-way in, I began to feel extremely lightheaded.  Then woozy.  Then my hands started to numb.  Ummm, not good.  I was about to pass out.  I was so embarrassed as I asked the artist to stop.  He took one look at me and started to worry.  "Hey, I never had anyone pass out on me before," he began as I swayed back and forth.  He ran to get me some water and a cool clothe for my head.  Seriously, ridiculous.  So I sat there, in a pool of sweat, waiting for the feeling to pass--and yes, with my head bent forward toward the floor.  And I was SO excited that I was in the tattoo chair right next to the receptionist desk, who kept asking if I was okay.  Okay, yes.  Embarrassed, hell yes.

After a few minutes of these two people looking at me as those I were a circus freak (and let me add that the artist is completely tatted out with the receptionist donning not only tats but a gazillion holes all over her face and body), I got a friggin' grip and he was able to continue.  When he finally finished, the chair needed a good wipe down.  I continued to sweat throughout the entire process, all down the back of the chair, which my head had to lean on.  Every man's dream, I know.

So while I had already planned on this being my last tattoo, this is really going to be my last tattoo.  Unless, I just happen to get one more that's really, really, really little.  Maybe.  Damn, tats--they are SO addictive!

1 comment:

  1. I wondered about pain when I saw the first picture. It looked so red and sore. I thought it might have really hurt after the fact.... never thought about the pain of getting it.