Friday, September 21, 2012

Tattoo Nation

Today I’m talking about a topic very near to my heart – but not too near cause that shit hurts on your chest!

I got my first tattoo the very day I turned eighteen, which I’ve recently decided should be illegal. My best friend at the time brought me and paid for it – I think she was more excited than I was. I picked a random picture off the wall and since I was always a good kid, this was my own form of teenage rebellion. Ha! An ugly stain on my skin for eternity. Take that parents! Sidenote: I’ve since covered that one.

The pain didn’t scare me much – still doesn’t. I don’t go looking for needles to jab myself with, but I know the pain is temporary and I have a pretty high tolerance for it. As evidenced by, not one tattoo on my foot, but one original then one cover-up. So technically, I’ve been tattooed on my foot twice. I don’t recommend it, by the way. There are far easier spots that are just as nice.

Since my very first tattoo was on my upper back, I rarely saw it and mostly forgot about it. In the next several years, I marked my body with four more tattoos. Some brilliant, some not so brilliant. I’ve covered or modified my tattoos almost as often as I’ve put new ones on my body. At the time – this was about ten years ago – tattoos were just starting to spread from mostly bikers and prisoners to the general population. But I was still one of few in my circle of friends and considered pretty damned cool for getting one.

I took a tattoo break when I had my kids – did the whole mom thing. Or what I thought was the mom thing that didn’t really fit who I am inside. Why does being a mom mean you have to wear cardigans and take out most of your piercings?

When I turned thirty I said, to hell with it. I’m getting another tattoo.

And my, how the world has changed in the last decade!

I live in the city – a small city but still a city. There are two colleges nearby. One, right in my city, and the state university is in the town next door. I sit at Starbucks a lot to write. Or the little privately owned hipster coffee shop downtown. And eighty percent of the young adults that walk into both places are tattooed. I don’t mean they have a little heart on their hip where no one will ever see it. I mean women – no, girls – have entire sleeves tattooed on one or both arms. Several down their legs, back, necks, everywhere! Nothing is off limits anymore.

And it’s not just college kids either. Grandmothers are getting their grandkids names tattooed. Professional career men are covered beneath their formal wear. Now that I’ve grown up – kinda sorta – I worried for a fleeting moment that getting more tattoos was a bad idea. What will my body look like when I’m old and wrinkly? Well, I’ll tell you. It’ll look just like every other American’s old, wrinkled up, tattooed body because most people in my generation have them now anyway. It’ll look normal.

So after I turned 30, I got my 6th tattoo. Then I went a little tattoo crazy. I blame an early mid-life crisis. Or maybe I’ve always been a freak and just repressed it through my late twenties. I’m not really sure. Anyway, I got a brand new tattoo, covered two, then got my nose pierced (which I’d always wanted to do but never did because I thought since I was a mom I should look like, I don’t know, June Cleaver? Stepford wife? Whatever.).

I have an appointment next month for my seventh tattoo (I’ll post pics on facebook) and in the summer I plan to extend one on my leg to connect to the one on my foot. I’m a Johnny fan (if you didn’t already know) and this sums up my philosophy on tattoos:

So…how about you? Do you have tattoos? Do you like them but never got one? Are you afraid of them, fascinated, considering getting one? I wanna hear all about it. Leave me a comment and I’ll be replying on and off all day.


  1. I have three tattoos and am trying to decide what to do for my fourth. I had my first two re-inked because they were over twenty years old and really faded. I had one done on my side and it felt weird when he tattooed over my ribs, but the pain doesn't last and the tattoo looked awesome! My husband was able to get his first tattoo last fall and now has five! I love tattoos if you hadn't already guessed!

  2. I don't have any tattoos. Sure, I've wanted to get one, just never have. I think that if I seriously sat down to think about what kind of tattoo I'd want, I'd never be able to make up my mind. And if I did, I'd probably wish that I'd have chosen something different later on. LOL

    I love watching shows like L.A. Ink or Miami Ink because some of those tattoos are just amazing.


  3. I love tattoos. I love looking at them. I loved getting mine. Although I only have the one. I went all out and it is pretty large especially for someones first! What can I say - its all or nothing with me. I am just over 30 and I have been feigning for another one since I turned 30. Bad. My issue is - there are not many GREAT artists in the Dallas area. They are good, but certainly not great. Or they are ass holes. Whatever. I have been on the hunt for the right artist and that seems to always be the biggest issue with me.

  4. I love tattoos but don't have any. I could never decide what to get, plus I have to take blood thinners so I don't know if the extra bleeding would ruin the tat or make it look crappy. I have no fear of needles (actually have to have blood drawn at least once a month b/c of the medication). My 18 year old niece already has two...I did try to talk her into waiting a while especially b/c her first one goes pretty much across her back, between her shoulders. Cute but large, especially for her first and at 18.

  5. LOVE THEM!! I have 4 and will be getting at least 2 more soon. My favorite is my garter and Derringer that goes around my thigh. I will be getting my first "rebel" tattoo covered and made larger and will be starting my sleave. I just can't get enough.