Sunday, November 14, 2010

Week Forty-Five

Event:  Got a tattoo

A rose.  A butterfly.  Barbed wire.  Sorority letters.  A dolphin.  A ladybug.  A unicorn.  All very good options for tattoos, but none of them have ever inspired me enough to go out and permanently get one tattooed on my body.  Not many of my friends have tattoos so I've never felt much pressure to get one.  Until now.  Motivated by wanting to do something I've never done before, combined with some very encouraging (and mildly inked) co-workers, I decided to go for it.

Given I've had some time to think about it, I knew exactly what I wanted.  I had mapped it out on paper and even used markers to do a practice run trying out different color options, designs and locations on my body.  The design, while complex, was something I knew I would not regret and I was confident with the right expert artist it would be something I will treasure for a lifetime.

Friday night a co-worker of mine won a happy hour at Howl at the Moon, conveniently located across the street from the tattoo parlor.  We decided a drink and some apps would do us some good, but instead of having one drink and snacking, I had two drinks and skipped the food altogether.  No one told me you can't get a tattoo if you've been drinking.  (Actually, everyone told me, but I needed the liquid courage).  Shortly after slamming down my second drink, the five of us were jumping over puddles in the pouring rain, giggling like school girls, nervous and excited about what was in store.  We approached the door and exploded into the tattoo parlor, only to be stopped in our tracks as we looked around the dimly lit room filled with metal sculptures, axes, animal skulls and a stuffed zebra head.  Ozzy Osborn was playing overhead and suddenly I had to tinkle.  We were greeted by a couple of folks tattooed from neck to toe who probably took one look at us and thought, "Oh great.  Here come the valley girls. I bet they're the ones who made an appointment."  Before I could even open my mouth, a third guy shot out from behind a secret door on the wall and suddenly I was frozen.  Not only could I not remember my name, but I couldn't have told you my bra size, where I live or why I was standing there at this very moment.  There was so much ink staring at me I didn't know where to look.  All of the lessons I learned about not pointing and staring went out the window.  I wanted to study every inch of their tattooed sleeves, their necks, their hands...I wanted to ask what hurt the most, I wanted to see if everything was spelled correctly, I wanted to see if they had roses, butterflies or dolphins.  Lucky for all of us, I pulled it together so we didn't make more of a spectacle.  "Hi, we have an appointment for three of us at 7:30."  Welcome valley girls. 

After a brief consultation, we had to fill out a release form confirming, "No Sir, I am not pregnant, I don't have any allergies to ink, I'm not on any prescription drugs and I am NOT under the influence of alcohol.  I promise.  Girl Scouts Honor."  (Long Island Iced Teas, yes.  Alcohol, no.  Oh wait...)  Moments later, I was being escorted back into a different room with my assigned artist.  As I entered through a small hallway, I looked up and saw a sign that said, "Sterile. Electric. Tattooing."  Oh thank God - this place is both sterile AND electric?  I suddenly feel so much better.

Two of my co-workers had already gone in to get prepped for their tattoos and when I arrived there were three chairs right next to each other, so we got to sit together and cheer each other on.  While we giggled, cheered, clapped and took pictures, I feared the other customers weren't feeling the love.  I wanted to shout across the room, "We've got tatt'ed spirit, yes we do, we've got tatt'ed spirit, how 'bout you?"  But that might have resulted in a girl fight and I'll just state for the record I would not have won. 

I digress.  As I sat in my chair, I reviewed the outline of what I wanted with my artist.  I had it mapped out on paper and even had a marker to properly identify the color I wanted.  He looked at me funny, but took my sketch, dipped it in something and transferred my exact drawing onto my ankle.  I confirmed the location and the color and we were off.  It was at that moment I noticed the music had changed to Hall and Oats and suddenly a certain calm came over me.  Oh wait, that was all the blood rushing to my head as I took one look at the tattoo gun, but either way, I was cool, calm and collected.

Two and a half seconds later I had my first tattoo!  Surprisingly, it wasn't painful at all.  In fact, getting a flu shot was more painful.  Admiring the fine work of the artist, he tried to talk me into doing more, but I was pleased with the life-size, perfectly irregular, exact replica of...


I am now officially one Bad Ass Mother F@%$&er.  Sorry, I've always wanted to say that. 

P.S.  I'd like to give a special shout out to the good people at Mercy Seat.  Thanks for the memories!

Only, there's one small problem.  It looks like a mole. 

Oh well, at least it's spelled right.

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