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Friday, September 23, 2011

196

The Best Time a Waiter Convinced Me to Not Get a Tattoo

When I was 17 I knew exactly the tattoo I was going to get when I turned 18. It was the best tattoo: delicate yet totally punk rock. It was going to be a red-and-black (or blue-and-black, that was still up in the air) nautical star on the inside of my wrist, with tiny red stars and black music notes going around the rest of my wrist like a bracelet. It was going to be so hot, and I could cover it with a thick cuff. Oh man, this tattoo was going to make me so cool. And then Tom DeLonge of Blink-182 would finally want to make out with me. What do you mean, "What does the tattoo mean?" It means I like music and I think nautical stars look cool. Do tattoos have to mean more than that? Whatever, I was convinced this tattoo was going to make me the coolest. But first I had to go to lunch with my mom.

My mom and I, living in the East Village, saw our fair share of tattoos. I developed a hopeless fascination with the art, chatting up the tattoo artists in my neighborhood about what they did and what they had on their bodies. My mom didn't have the same relationship with them. As a WASP she is polite and neat and compassionate and accepting, but also pretty squeamish when it comes to body modifications. As curious as she would get, most of the time she was just freaked out.  Every once in a while one of the tattoos had to come up in conversation. This happened during our lunch at the Life Cafe:

"So the other day, I saw this woman with a tattoo of a black line down her eye. Just...how sad do you have to be to do that?"

[Turn on most petulant teenage voice here] "Whatever, maybe she liked it. People should be able to do what they want. I want a tattoo."

"Really? Why? Jaya, that's going to be on you forever. How do you know you even want it on you forever?"

"I designed it myself and it's going to be really pretty! And I drew it on my wrist in Sharpie and it looks awesome."

At this point the Waiter-With-Deep-Brown-Eyes-I-Could-Gaze-At-Forever comes to take our order.

"Hi ladies, how are you doing today?"

"Would you please tell my daughter she doesn't need a tattoo?"

"MOOOOOOM."

"You want to get a tattoo?" asks WWDBEICGAF. "Let me tell you a story. So these three friends of mine met up a while back. Hadn't seen each other in years, and were finally all in New York at the same time so they decided to go out. And they get wasted. I mean, falling down sloppy drunk. They're going to all sorts of bars and restaurants and just having the time of their lives. And they all start saying to themselves, 'Man, this is the best night ever! We need to remember this! Oh shit, did you realize March is the third month of the year? And it's 2003? And there are three of us? THREE, MAN! It's the magic number!' And they decide they need to get tattoos so they can all remember this magical night they had. So they walked into a tattoo parlor [Ed Note: What tattoo parlor is tattooing visibly drunk people? A bad one, probably!] and all got these..."

At this point WWDBEICGAF rolls up the t-shirt sleeve over his abnormally muscular arms to reveal a thick, black '3' tattooed eight inches tall on his bicep.

"That night is there forever."

My mom and I stared in disbelief for a moment, and then helplessly started cracking up. "Oh my god!" my mom squealed. "It's so big!"

"Here's the thing," said WWDBEICGAF. "I have other tattoos I love, but I thought long and hard about those. So if you have an idea, wait a year. If you'd still get the same tattoo, you're probably safe. Now, can I get you ladies some drinks?"

My wrists are currently tattoo-free.

Previously: The Qream Qookbook Qollection.

Jaya Saxena would like WWDBEICGAF to know that she has no tattoos, and that she still thinks about his biceps sometimes.



196 Comments / Post A Comment

fareby_galore

I was also hopelessly convinced that the nautical star tattoo would grant me eternal coolness.

melis

It sounds like he didn't really 'get' you.

REBECCARGH@twitter

This is my issue, I've wanted a tattoo on my inner wrist for years but the idea for what I want actually changes every few months. So I figure I should probably just never get one.

Also: I kind of hate tattoos with meaning attached to them. Unless it's like for someone who died or something, I'm much less irritated by someone having a butterfly on their shoulder because they think it's pretty, as opposed to someone who has a butterfly because "ohh, this represents the beauty of new life and change, I got it because I was going through a really DARK TIME, y'know, so it's like I'm coming out of the chrysalis of low self esteem and now I can fly on wings of self-actualization" or whatever.

ReginaSavage

@REBECCARGH@twitter: OMG! YES! THIS!

I'm also currently tattoo-less. Mostly because I've either got a kick-ass idea and no money, or money and no kick-ass ideas.

misskaz

@REBECCARGH@twitter Yes! I love you! I have a large flowers-and-butterflies tattoo on my arm/shoulder/back done in the style of a botanical print. I got it because it was pretty. No other reason. People always ask me what it symbolizes, and I say, "It symbolizes that I like pretty things on me."

I'm currently thinking about my next one but having a hard time deciding what it should be.

Courteney Nielsen

@REBECCARGH@twitter Mine has meaning - I got it to mark the end of my uni degree. Or do you just not like ones with ridiculous poncy made-up meanings?

REBECCARGH@twitter

@Courteney Nielsen Yeah, I mean, I guess I'm being a little harsh and it obviously makes sense to get something that has some kind of anchor to it. I'm probably just thinking of the other day when I saw a photo on Tumblr of a girl who had a large tattoo covering most of the side of her abdomen depicting like a cyborg ribcage and I was like THAT'S FUCKING BADASS, and then in the caption she had written something like "I got this because I feel we as a society are merging with and depending on technology more and more and we're losing our connection to nature and sacrificing our humanity..." and I was like OH SHUT UP I NOW LIKE THIS TATTOO ABOUT 80% LESS

kariface

I have a very large tramp stamp (eek), of lyrics (eek) of my "favorite" band (eek!) ... I've taken to lying about it when asked about it ... "Yeah, it's a Black Flag b-side". Worst tattoo ever. Good thing I never have to see it.

melis

When I was 16, I dragged my dad downtown Chicago to the Jade Dragon where, if memory serves, we were given a free coffee mug after I received my eyebrow piercing. I was the coolest sophomore I knew.

melis

@melis Thanks for being so cool about that, Dad!

yeah-elle

@melis My dad was cool about me dragging him to get my nose pierced at 14. I think he was just relieved that I wasn't announcing a pregnancy/drug addiction/other things parents are scared of.

bonnbee

@melis My dad took me to get my nose pierced for a birthday gift at age 16! It was so funny. Me laying down on piercing table, in front of a wall covered with stickers that say "EAT ME" and other creepy things, with a tattooed man hovering over my face, whitest white ever Dad in suit and tie looking nervously around trying to be cool.

beanie

@bonnbee aw I took my mom who wears Holiday sweaters for everything (did you know they make Easter ones?) to get my belly button pierced at a tattoo/piercing place while on vacation in Florida. Parents are nice.

collier

@kariface : Okay, now you HAVE to tell what the lyrics actually ARE.

BuffyBot

The tattoo of a penguin on my hip has an intense representation and meaning... It means that 17 year olds should not be allowed to get tattoos (in sketchy parlors in the village that sell fake id's and ask you halfway through "you're 18 right?")
It does crack me up though 7 years later, and if my biggest regret is a dumb tattoo in a silly place I think I'm doing ok, but ask me again in 10-15 years...

Also I got my penguin before penguins blew up (March of the Penguins, Happy Feet) - so serious hipster cred, right?

amuselouche

@BuffyBot My best friend in high school went to the mall with her fake ID and got tattooed at a kiosk (!). Thanks to that, and generally being an 16 year old idiot, she now has a giant tattoo of Kermit the frog on her outer hip/stomach area. She's currently pregnant and has taken to joking that Kermit has now permanently growed up into a big ole bull frog.

Lumpy Space Princess

I have a tomato tattoo on the back of my arm.
When we were kids, my mom would fly me & my brother out to Ohio to see my grandparents every summer. We'd bring an empty suitcase because my beloved grandpa would 1)take us to a million yard sales and buy us whatever we wanted (as long as it was a good price!) 2) buy us a bunch of maid-rites, the local loose meat sandwich delicacy, and 3) would grow the tomatoes in his garden, but leave most of them until we got there. We'd eat delicious tomatoes that actually tasted like tomatoes the whole time, and then he'd fill up our suitcase with tomatoes, maid-rites and yard sale treasures.
I miss my grandpa, and I've never not loved this tattoo - and I'm glad I didn't get a maid-rite tattoo.

phlox

@Lumpy Space Princess That is a wonderful story. What a cool grandpa.

editrickster

@Lumpy Space Princess TELL ME that this was in Greenville!

leonstj

@editrickster I have been thinking of getting a tattoo because of my grandfather forever! He pretty much raised me, so I've always wanted to get one of his tattoos. Right now I'm the only person in my family without any ink (we are all classy motherfuckers).

The problem is, two of his are military, so a no on them. The final is a cartoonesque skunk (just black line drawing, no color or anything) with a word bubble saying "Nobody loves me" on the upper right forearm near the elbow. He got it when he was 17 and in the army "to get broads". He claimed it worked well for him, but he was also super handsome.

So, I really want it but. a skunk. Saying "nobody loves me". Dilemma.

melis

I really can't imagine what kind of broad would see a self-pitying skunk on your forearm and think, 'There's the gent for me!'

Jolie Kerr

@melis I probably would :(

melis

@Jolie Kerr OUR RELATIONSHIP IS OVER

Jolie Kerr

@melis Oh look at you, being all tall and bossy. Stop getting me all worked up, lady!

Lumpy Space Princess

@editrickster It IS Greenville!! Are you from there/have family there/have driven through there/other options?

Lumpy Space Princess

@leon.saintjean I think you should totally get the skunk. Or mashup that imagery with something more meaningful between you and your grandpa! Is it way too schmaltzy to suggest in the bubble it says, instead, 'grandpa loves me' ? ?

stinapag

@Lumpy Space Princess My sister got a potato tattooed to her right bicep because potatoes make her happy. It is awesome.

Katie Boyer@twitter

@stinapag Are you sure she isn't just really into Wayside School? Because that would be my assumption. (And if that is the case, have her call me, because she is my best friend who I never met.)

ach_so

@Lumpy Space Princess I know someone who has a Wayside School potato tattoo! It's a fun idea, and I thought he was just dreamy last summer, so I was super-impressed by how clever he was in his tattoo choice.

Eden

My mom and I got our (first) tattoos together. It was her idea. True story.

Both the tattoos I have I probably wouldn't get now, but that's not to say I regret them. Not at all. They're reminders of who I was, where I was at that point in my life. So I still love them.

I want to get another one (I'm pretty sure I know what it's going to be and where) but I'm sadly no longer 22 with expendable cash for things like tattoos.

Seriously? Seriously.

@Eden That's exactly how I feel about my tattoo.

I also feel kind of badass that I have a tattoo sometimes (which negates any actual badassery I would have accumulated from it).

apb
apb

I have a bunch of tattoos but have never danced the "maybe I shouldn't have done that" tattoo-regret dance until I got my knuckles tattooed (at age 31, and I am a reasonable person). I am absolutely in love with them and get a huge crush on myself everytime I look at them but sometimes I'm like "oh yeah, you did that, and you are a person who is real, not a fictional character," you know? I think that might have been one of the underlying motives for why I did it in the first place, even! I know tattoos are the worst, or whatever, but I love them and how ridiculous we will all look when we are old!

LabRat

@apb I want knuckle tatts so bad, and I love my other tattoos, and I've picked out an artist for the next one, but knuckle tatts, man. I want them, I've planned them, and I just know I can't have them. You hit the nail on the head with the "a person who is real" thing. Can I ask what yours say?
(edited for typo)

thundertheft

@apb "oh yeah, you did that, and you are a person who is real, not a fictional character"

This is something I have to remind myself of regularly. Or, well, I should remind myself.

hearththr

@apb I'm secretly in love with knuckle tats, I've always wanted mine to say "FIST CITY" (gotta love Loretta) but I'm a sissy and scared of it hurting.

collier

@hearththr : Oh my GAAAHD at "FIST CITY."

I'd like to get K E C L on my left knuckles and E P A M on my right, but have the letters rotated 90 degrees with the tops toward my thumbs so that in threatening situations I can be all prim and lace my fingers together and...

Lola P.

just remember, kids: when you get a matching tattoo with someone, you get a matching tattoo with every person that person has gotten a matching tattoo with, too

kayjay

@lola p. Wino Forever.

yeah-elle

I have a tattoo of Ferdinand the bull as a calf sitting in a field of flowers, on my upper arm.

I took it to the other extreme. I wanted it for 7 years before I finally got it at 22. I've only had it for about a year but I still love it and I figure if I want the same thing now that I did when I was 15 (when I liked some really dumb shit) then it better last at least another 7 years. On one hand, I'm glad I waited for lots of reasons (I found a nice parlor, I could afford it, my parents didn't freak). On the other hand, I feel a little silly for waiting so long, like WHAT IF I CHANGE MY MIND IN THE 5th YEAR?

oxla?

@yeah-elle excellent work. i named my cat after ferdinand the bull. he is a large destructive orange cat so its perfect.

Yahtzii

I was determined to get a tattoo on my 18th birthday, DETERMINED. The fact that I had no idea what I actually wanted wasn't going to stop me, either. I remember chatting about it with some of my coworkers at my shitty restaurant job, and I told the bartender that I was going to get something (probably a Chinese character) (I am the whitest girl to ever white) on my lower back. I will never forget the look of horror on his face.

In the end, I wound up with a tattoo of Picasso's The Dream as my tramp stamp, which would be cool except it was just a random painting I thought was ~*~artsy~*~ and 90% of the time I forget its there. The bartender and I ended up dating and then we got married, so that worked out.

dracula's ghost

@Yahtzii AMAZING STORY!!!!!

tea tray in the sky.

@Yahtzii The Best Time I Didn't Not Sleep With A Bartender Who Convinced Me To Not Get A Tattoo

Marzipan

I don't want a tattoo, and I never have. But if I DID get a tattoo, I know exactly what it would be. And where.

Where is the right/front side of my pelvis, right where the bone narrows in, and where if you kind of pulled at the edge of your jeans or had slung a towel around your hips kind of low, it would be right there? This is because I've never been able to accept that what I find totallllly hot on a guy is not necessarily what guys might find hot on me.

fareby_galore

@Marzipan That's a good spot. I have a leeetle tattoo there, and most guys find it incredibly hot. Though (discouraging a contradiction as it may be), I think it helps that it is a nerd tattoo.
But, on the level, it's hot as long as you think it's hot.

Ellie

@Marzipan I have a friend who has a tattoo there (or where I think you are describing). It's so perfectly placed because you can't see it unless she shows it to you - you can't even see it when she is wearing a tiny bikini or underwear. So it seems like this really cool sneaky secret.

angelinha

@fareby_galore Aren't you going to tell us about your nerd tattoo??

collier

@klibberfish : I have the Imperial insignia from Star Wars on my right ankle. An ex BF has the Rebel one. Still love it. I keep thinking about getting MORE MORE MORE (I have two others), but I only have headspace for one rabbit-hole obsession at a time, and right now that is nail polish, because OH MY GOD NAIL POLISH.

bonnbee

Ugh I'm so ashamed to admit this, but thanks to Jolie's stern admonishment yesterday in "ask a clean person", there's no judgment on The Hairpin, right?
So... I kind of.... um.... want a foot tattoo of a peacock feather? Like, going along the tops of my toes so it would still be visible when I wear ballet flats but I could hide it when I want to be a professional business lady?
I'm in law school, so do lawyers want to talk me out of this and be like "You will never get a job in a law firm, you fool!" Or anyone else want to be like, "Ugh, I too wanted a foot tattoo at age 22 but now I am 29 and regret it!"

I also secretly want my fiance to get a tattoo on the back of his shoulder because I can imagine it being very sexy during sexytimes but he refuses. I sometimes joke to him that for a wedding gift I want him to get a portrait tattoo of my face like this: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1339894/Teen-Moms-Amber-Portwood-tattoos-daughter-Leahs-lifesize-face-waist.html and he runs out of the room screaming.

insouciantlover

@bonnbee That sounds beautiful! But as I mentioned in my comment below, getting my index finger tattooed was the most excruciating thing I've ever voluntarily had done (and I get laser hair removal on my buttcrack).

So when you do it, bring so much vicodin. SO much. Or elephant tranquilizers.

BuffyBot

@bonnbee I love foot tattoos. I really want to get "This is the powerful pulsing of love in the veins" across the side of my foot, it's a Paul Simon lyric though, and I want to get it in his handwriting - so plan's on hold until I [godwilling] meet him. I think you can hide a foot tattoo easily thought (and I love peacock feathers!) I have a dumb tattoo of a sun on my ankle and I work in a business environment and can't wear skirts without covering it with bandaids... I would think a foot would be easier.

Tuna Surprise

@bonnbee - I don't think it's a career killer but at the same time, it might limit your wardrobe. I work in a white-shoe lawfirm and ballet flats (without hose or tights in the summer) are basically my uniform. You may end up wanting to keep it under wraps in client meetings, interviews, court appearances, etc. Do you really have enough shoes to cover it or dark tights?

That said, having a tattoo is no longer a sign of being an ex-con or in a bike gang so most people just don't care anymore.

Lily Rowan

@BuffyBot Do people really still care about that kind of thing? I think a lot of respectable people have a lot of visible tattoos, now.

iceberg

@bonnbee don't know about the job-related part but that sounds pretty! But also the foot may be hard/painful b/c not so much fat etc on top of foot, it's pretty much skin over bones/tendons?

lil_bobbytables

@bonnbee In my opinion - if you really want it, get it. Tattoos are really pretty easily coverable unless you hate socks or tights. The only reason I would not get a foot tattoo is the fact that it sounds very painful and swelly, but if you have something you love for life, it seems like a fairly small price to pay.

Lola

@bonnbee I'm at a white shoe firm, as well, and visible tattoos are one of the few things expressly banned by the dress code. I think you could hide it, but, like tuna said, it will limit your clothing options.

maevemealone

@lil_bobbytables I have a tattoo on my inner ankle and I work in finance and nobody cares. It's not a big tattoo, but I don't make any effort to cover it. There is a guy here who clearly has tribal tats down to his wrists and it peeks out of his sleeves, but NBD! Coworkers do notice and ask me about mine over drinks but no judgement. You can get away with a lot more than you think depending on the field. Law, I'm not sure, but finance is becoming more flexible than you'd think.

thebestjasmine

@bonnbee I know plenty of lawyers who have tattoos, but they are all in places that are covered by a suit. Or even, let's face it, business casual. I would say that arm/hand/foot/lower leg tattoos are a no go, or you should wait to get one until you're a big shot.

The Lady of Shalott

@iceberg OK, I actually have a tattoo on top of my foot!

It's across the top of my left foot, about an inch above my toes. Yes, it hurt like a motherfucker to get. It really, really did. There is no fat or anything there and oghghghghggh IT HURT, it felt like scraping a piece of buzzing broken glass across the top of my foot. But that was it! It didn't swell or anything, and it was actually really convenient for healing because I did it in the winter and I kept socks on so I wasn't tempted to scratch it.

Mine is the Russian word for persistence, written in my own Russian script, about 2 1/2 inches long. (I speak Russian.) It is very easy to hide! Ballet flats don't hide it, but I actually hate them so I rarely wear them. It is actually super easy to find a pair of sandals that covers my particular tattoo, so it is very doable! But because I live in a cold climate, I wear real shoes most of the year. Most people I know don't even know that I have one.

So, foot tattoos: depending on where they are on your foot, they are very easy to hide: I am living proof! Also the only reason I would not get a tattoo of a peacock feather is because they are bad luck and I am wicked superstitious.

Lemonnier

@bonnbee Once you make partner, you can get whatever the hell you want.

amateur hour

@bonnbee I got a foot tattoo the day I turned 18. Of a turquoise star. It's fine. I have had it for over 10 years now...gotten it re-colored once and I should get it done again probably. Your foot doesn't hold ink as well as other spots, and many reputable tattoo artists won't tattoo below your wrists or ankles for that reason. This is why I got my tattoo at a place called "Freaky's".

Anyways, it was suuuper painful, and it did swell up. And I have to repeat the experience every five years-ish. I sometimes wish I could dress up in fancy shoes w/o my dumb star showing, but mostly I'm ok with it. I have other tattoos on my wrist, chest, and back of my neck but the foot was the most painful for sure. But, it's bearable if that's what you want! Honestly, I think it would have been a better idea to stick with places that are more easily covered by clothes. If I could do it all over again, I would probably just keep the chest tattoo.

The Lady of Shalott

@whyhellothere My (very reputable!) tattoo artists would only do my foot after cautioning me that the feet and hands tend to fade more quickly than other spots. Because mine is only black, it won't be quite as bad as it would be if it was coloured, but touch-ups are good. My place does free lifetime touchups!

dk
dk

@bonnbee OH MY GOD THE PAIN

I have a tattoo of a teeny tiny little star on my big toe (BEFORE STARS WERE COOL. I SWEAR.) It took, maybe, 20 seconds? Just the outline? I lost my fucking shit, kicked the tattooist, dropped the lit cigarette (that was supposed to calm me down) and burned a hole in my shirt. THAT'S HOW BAD A FOOT TATTOO HURTS. IT MAKES YOU KICK KIND ARTISTS AND RUIN SHINY MIDRIFF-BARING 90's CLUB SHIRTS.

Although, I do love my tattoo to this day, 16 years later. Especially when people look closely and say "uh...it's not complete?" and I can yell IT HURT TOO MUCH TO FINISH and they point out that it only needs about an eighth of an inch to finish and them I kick THEM.

I have 2 other tattoos (one is a japanese maple leaf that makes every single person ask "is that a pot leaf on your ass?!"), and neither of them were even close to hurting so bad. Although I did puke immediately after getting my first one. Probably because I had just gotten said leaf despite having wanted to get Tinkerbell (on my ass. this is why 15-year-olds should not have unlimited access to tattoo parlors in Bangkok), but my boyfriend talked me out of it. And that is the one thing he did for me in our 3 year relationship that was actually kind. Thanks, Mike!

Anyway, the point is: foot tattoo = ouch.

(oh also, I'm an attorney, so my opinion is Very Important. but I work for the feds where we all wear jeans anyway.)

Xanthophyllippa

@dk How did you get a tattoo in Bangkok and not get some free hepatitis along with it?

dk
dk

@Xanthophyllippa
That's a special secret that all ex-pat kids know, just like how we can drink the tap water without getting the shits. We are sworn to secrecy.

parla

@bonnbee/everyone I have a LOT of tattoos for somebody in my field (working on a PhD in cell biology/genetics), but pretty much none of my associates know about them because of where they're placed. I have an octopus that takes up my entire thigh, and a side piece that is almost up to my armpit of different cephalopods/marine invertebrates/echinoderms, and some small Friday the 13th $13 pieces here and there. Since I wear pants (...and shirts) all of the time, no one knows I have anything other than a small wrist tattoo that says "Survivor." It's fun to see people's reactions when I wear shorts or skirts, because they are downright shocked. It feels amazing every time. They have no significant, long, drawn out meaning to them (aside from the survivor one because I was very ill when I was younger, but I usually tell people that I found Destiny's Child VERY inspiring)- I just think cephalopods are amazing creatures.

Sean_P

@Tuna Surprise: I'm in a pretty conservative industry (I'm a defense contractor), and visible tattoos are getting to be not such a big deal. I've got a couple and the one on my right arm hangs out pretty clearly when I wear a polo shirt, and I haven't had any negative reactions. I don't know if anyone thinks differently of me since I got them, but they make me feel like a badass.

Advice for potential tattoo-obtainers: 1) what the article said. I didn't get myself inked up until I was like 45. Best to wait until you know what you want, and are sure you won't change your mind. Sure, tattoos can be removed, but it's (even more) painful and expensive than having them put on. 2) Consider the location for your artwork. Sure, getting "Nazi Punks Fuck Off" tattooed on your forehead SOUNDS like a great idea, but you might want to get a job someday. Pick a spot where you can decide whether to show it, or not.

That being said, I love tattoos, I specifically love my tattoos, and I recommend people get them. I've got artwork built right into me.

Jaya

I actually have an idea for a tattoo that I've been kicking around. I have a birthmark on the inside of my upper thigh that's shaped like an exclamation point, so I'd want to get a question mark on the inside of the opposite thigh so it's an interrobang across my lady bits.

iceberg

@Jaya would people be able to see it at the beach?

Jaya

@iceberg Only if I sat rather unladylike...so maybe.

micalala

@Jaya Whoa, creepy, I have a similar birthmark!! Are we long lost twins?

And it's not a punctuation, but I have a type-related, though not inner thigh-related, tattoo (an ampersand on the inside of my index finger).

Lady Mondegreen

@Jaya omg, I have a circle birthmark kind of on my hipbone, and now I kind of want to make it into a question mark or exclamation point. That is awesome.

Melissa Murray Dunning@facebook

I know everyone says that you should wait a year, and I even used to say it myself... But I'm an impulsive person, so I think the longest I waited for any of my tattoos was about a month. One of them, I decided that morning to get a tattoo. I know this is potentially a recipe for disaster, but I really love all three of my tattoos, because I spent the majority of my wait time choosing really talented artists to work with. For my first tattoo, I had a vague idea what I wanted, and I talked to an artist who designed art for me and advised on things like color and composition.
BTW, yes, I admit that one of my tattoos is quite possibly the silliest tattoo in the universe, but I LOVE it: http://www.flickr.com/photos/soul_toast/528497433/in/set-72157600305318239

iceberg

@Melissa Murray Dunning@facebook That tattoo is wonderful and perfect.

annveal

The best time I got a tattoo on a dare: My roommates and I had been joking about stick-and-pokes for a while (gross, I know) daring each other. Once I even brought home a bottle of tattoo ink to up the ante. It was all fun and games until one night (tequila, you know) someone else brought out the sterilizing wipes, saline solution, IV needles (brand new), gloves, and wound treating kit. Our little matching hearts look great and I don't regret it, one bit.

cherrispryte

Gah there's a tattoo I've wanted for literally 6 years .... but I think, based on the professional field I'm in, inner wrist tattoos are not acceptable? I could put it somewhere else, but I want it there.....

Ophelia

@cherrispryte Would it be small enough to hide under a watch while you're at the office?

melis

@Ophelia A what?

Ophelia

@melis A witch!

Xanthophyllippa

@Ophelia Does it quack?

collier

@Xanthophyllippa : Then it's made of wood.

teaandcakeordeath

Now I'm nostalgic for the years of <3ing Tom DeLonge. Ahhh ...

insouciantlover

I made an appointment for my first tattoo 4 months before I got it, and obsessed over every detail of what it would be and nuances and significance and all that. And the damn thing is on my hip so people hardly ever see it.

Then, about five years later, I suddenly had this brilliant idea one day to get a tattoo on my hand... like a henna tattoo on an Indian bride, you know? And I went to see my friend the tattoo artist the very next day and just told him my basic idea let him go wild and yeah, let's have it trail down my index finger, right on! I guess this would be the part where I'm like "and I've regretted it ever since" but it's actually really beautiful. However, I cannot stress enough how incredibly painful it is to get one's index finger tattooed. So there's that.

M'fly

I have a stupid tattoo that I love: it's a pair of tits perched on a branch that runs along my collarbone.

Similar to these little guys:
http://cuteoverload.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/wxrne-560.jpg

It totally doesn't mean anything, but it's cute, pretty, funny, and totally me. The "nice tits" jokes got old about a month after I got it, but I still love telling people what my tattoo is, I get a kick out of people's confused/shocked/horrified responses before they figure it out.

iceberg

@J Keems@twitter awesome, so even when you're super old your tits will still be up at your collarbone ; )

BenIsAGirl

It's a slippery slope with tattoos. I got my first one one my wrist (just wear a watch to work- you'll be fine. Plus, makes you feel fancy) but that had a memory of a dude attached to it, so I had to get another one, so I got a dollar sign (serious) on my back, but that was ridiculous (i swear it means something but it takes forever to explain), so then I had to get one on my foot because my friends and I got drunk at brunch, so then I got one that I wanted because I deserved to get one that just reflected me at that moment, which I love and is on my side (tennessee williams quote), and then I got drunk again and got one on my ass with my best friend. Two parts of a broken heart. Which I also sort of love.

Moral of the story: one tattoo will often = more than one, and plenty of tattoo shops (at least in Orange County) will happily maim you if you are wasted and even encourage you to go grab a shot or 12 while they draw it up.

joie

@BenIsAGirl ohhhh! which Tennessee Williams quote??

tea tray in the sky.

@BenIsAGirl So true. Tattoos really are their own gateway drug.

Peanut

@BenIsAGirl Yes, which TW quote?!

Sean_P

@BenIsAGirl yep. I got my first one, totally loved it, soon signed up for the second. I've got at least one more planned but I'm not exactly sure when.

merritt@twitter

I waited a year... possibly two years before I got a sparrow tattoo on my shoulder. The artist was like "you sure you don't want it any bigger? You sure you don't want any color?" but I was too nervous. THAT'S what I regret... it looks so pitifully tiny now.

I have so many ideas for tattoos now, but it's hard spending the money on them. Plus I moved to NYC, and I think $40 good-quality tattoos are an impossibility (that's how much my bird cost in 2004).

Sean_P

@merritt@twitter That's another piece of advice I like to give people: make it bigger than you think you want it. Tiny tattoos are no fun.

iceberg

I've wanted a tattoo for a long time but never had the huevos/money to get it done right, also chickening out b/c of pain...

I want to get a tattoo of a group of three swallows (probably just in silhouette), but not sure where to get it. I want it somewhere discreet, but somewhere I can show it if I want to, and somewhere I can see it easily myself (so, not on my back).

Hairpin Hivemind, please advise!

melis

hahaha 'swallows'

iceberg

@melis hahahaha #FELLAS.

Sean_P

@iceberg On the pain factor: well, it's gonna hurt some no matter where you put it. But some places are more painful than others. In general, spots with muscle or fat under them hurt less than those directly over bones, and the outer parts of your limbs hurt less than the inner parts. Shoulders, biceps: not very painful at all. Inner thighs, instep, sternum: quite painful (supposedly, I've never had one in these spots).

Maybe you'd be happy with the shoulder or chest? Visible, but can be covered in business situations.

breccia

Is copying someone else's tattoo that you saw online cheesy? I know parlors have books of common tats, but ... I saw a smoking hot picture of a chick at a beach with an open quotation mark on one shoulder blade and a closed quotation on the other. I want that so bad, but I could never claim to be original, which sort of sucks!

angelinha

@breccia The first two times I read this I thought the tattoo was on someone's back and it was OF a chick at the beach, and the quotation marks were on either side of said bikini-clad chick...so, like, the tattoo was of a girl, but it was really of a "girl," you know? I didn't get it. This makes more sense. But if you want to be original, maybe you should get the quotes with the girl (and the girl could have quote tattoos!)...I won't be mad that you took my idea.

Sean_P

@breccia Some people get up in arms about copying tattoos, but really - there's nothing new under the sun. If you like the quotation marks (and you're pretty sure you won't run into said chick), then by all means, go for it.

melis

REALLY. 46 COMMENTS AND NO ONE HAS MENTIONED GETTING A POTATO ON THEIR ANKLE

The Hairpin is just over, man. It's just so over.

M'fly

@melis DUDE! I read and loved that in the 8th grade and I still want a tattoo of a potato on my ankle! How did I not think of that, holy crap.

/is ashamed

Wookiee Hole

@melis Fuck yes! I tell that story to anyone whenever I discuss tattoos. I'm actually quite tempted to get a small potato somewhere, maybe not the ankle. I don't think I ever will, though, because it'd be all brown and probably just look like a mole.

paisami

@melis thankyousomuchformentioningthis. *undying love*

Gnatalby

@melis I always say that's the tattoo I would get! I love the hairpin!

angelinha

@Wookiee Hole As soon as I get up the courage/find a tattoo artist who doesn't accuse me of "mocking [his] art" (true), I'm going to get a freckle tattoo on my arm. Just a little fake freckle that blends in with all my real freckles. And no one will know...but I will.

stinapag

@melis My sister has a potato tattooed to her right bicep because of this story. She took a russet potato into the shop and he did an awesome black and gray potato. It looks great. It takes her forever to explain it so she shorthands to "I like potatoes.". She has a drumstick next to it for her dog, who is a corgi named Chicken.

adminslave

I have a large pendant of my late mother's with a carved tree in a circle (tree of knowledge, tree of life?) and I really want to one day get it tattooed on the back on my neck. That way, she will always be with me, and I wont get sick of it because I will rarely see it. Also, I have always been obsessed with drawing trees. But does it automatically have bibical associations? I don't want to go there.

Yatima

@adminslave The Tree of Life pre-dates Christianity by, like, a lot.

I love the idea and it's meaningful to me because this one time when my daughters were little, I was on a bus and we passed a bar that had a wrought-iron Tree of Life as its sign. And it hit me at this deep level that my grandmother's and my mother's blood ran in my veins, and that mine ran in my daughters' and would run in their childrens'. That we were all connected through the tree of life.

Sappy much? AHAHAHA I see what I did there. But I think that would make a great tattoo. (I got a necklace of it instead, because my pain tolerance is nil.)

ThundaCunt

ooo...i have 10 tatts...love em all...some have meaning, others dont....my "when i get really old i will regret because the jamaican ladies at the nursing home will all be laughing at me behind my back" tattoo is a pretty big "Fat Rabbit" tattoo...its pretty big, on my left calf, a nickname for sexy time parts and what my BF of 14 years used to call me, a pretty awesome song by Timbaland and Ludacris! i drew it myself and i absolutely LOVE IT!! its a mean faced lil girl rabbit with the words around it. i dont regret it a 30, lets hope i dont regret it at 50!!

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

For years I've been thinking of getting the Jabberwock on my left arm, you know, the Teniel one with the vest? This would be for my general love of Alice and also because it's a dragon, so fierce, but also whimsical, so ironic?

...and I have now talked myself out of it.

frigwiggin

@josiah Aw, the Jabberwock is a good idea. I was toying with the idea of something like that because the poem was a thing my best friend (who passed away in January) and I had, but...it just isn't quite right somehow.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@figwiggin (Thanks, I was secretly hoping someone would encourage me!)

tea tray in the sky.

@josiah: I just got a tattoo on my collarbone of a teacup from David Hall's Alice illustrations! I LOVE it.

Melissa M@twitter

I'm so cool I have two Harry Potter related tattoos. I'm going in for more ink in a couple of weeks - starting on a leg sleeve. :) (pant leg?)

thatredheadedgirl

@Melissa M@twitter Tease! Aren't you going to tell us what you got? Please say a picture of Dobby the house-elf.

kayjay

Yes, I have a tramp stamp. Yes, I've seen that SNL commercial about Turlington's Lower Back Tattoo Remover. Yes, I wish it was real. It's a Celtic knotwork design, and it's kind of embarrassing at the age of 36.

And yes, I have another one on my left shoulder blade, which I got at age 21, and I absolutely love it still, even though I forget it's there.

oxla?

@kayjay i have a tribal armband of vaguely celtic origin. i blame being in montreal for the weekend at 17 and deciding on the spot to get a tattoo when my friends went (i chose it from a book!). it could be worse, but its never not a least a bit embarrassing.

my dad was mostly upset because it meant "i could never be buried in a jewish cemetery" hahahaha.

kayjay

@oxla? It's not so much the Celticness of it that's embarrassing, it's mostly the location. And the fact that I also picked mine out of a book. And that it was the lateish 90s and everyone seemed to be doing stuff with Celtic knotwork. The one I have on my shoulder blade is also Celtic, but it's one of those swirly roundy Celtic designs I found in an art text book from college. It's sweet and I love it forever.

frigwiggin

So this is the place where we talk about tattoos we want, right?

I really want a literary quote someday because reading is basically my life, but it has to be short so it doesn't blur too badly over time. The problem is, most of the quotes I love are crazy depressing so I have to hold out until something at least semi-uplifting gets me.

For my first tattoo, though, I know I want a semicolon, maybe two inches high or so, probably on my shoulder. My favorite punctuation mark!

hahahaha, ja.

@figwiggin Literary tattoos! I just got "so it goes," in an imitation of Vonnegut's handwriting, tattooed on my back a couple of weeks ago. What are the quotes you're thinking of?

redheaded&crazy

@figwiggin literary tattoos! everybody i know thinks my future tattoo is super corny and ridiculous but I DONT CARE! Someday i'm going to get "how starved we are for ordinary kindness" on my back. rohinton mistry. a fine balance. LITERARY TATTOOS!

tortietabbie

@figwiggin Literary tattoos are the best! I want one. I have a tattoo that I got because I loved it as a metaphor for creativity (god, I sound pretentious) but it's not, like, explicitly literary. I swear now every book I read I'm like, oh I like that phrase...HMMM...

thefingersofgod

@figwiggin I want this quote: "The city's a heart, and in that a heart and a city are sutured into a third thing, a heartish city, and cities are heart-stained, and hearts are city-stained too." It's from China Miéville's novel Embassytown and I loooove it. But it's so long it would wrap around me twice over.

trillian

@figwiggin
I might just win the book dork award. I have "starlight" written on my lower back in elvish (that I translated myself. using the elvish/english dictionary. which I own.)
My mom read The Hobbit to me and my brothers when I was 6, so I honestly can't remember a time when Tolkien wasn't a part of my life.

angelinha

@thefingersofgod GET IT WRAPPING AROUND YOU TWICE OVER. How cool would that look, all twisty and wrapped around your waist?

Probably all the pinners should get that tattoo. After the next pin-up?

bloodorange

Literary tattoos! I want "Chaos is the score upon which reality is written." (Tropic of Cancer) in some kinda fancy Copperplate-y flourished script.

phenylalanine

Literary tattoos are my favorite! Just something about the aesthetics of text on the body, I love it. I've been thinking about getting a tattoo of part of a Rilke poem for about 9 months. The only thing stopping me is the worry about it being kind of (super?) pretentious. ("to have been on earth just once - that's irrevocable")

ditriana

@figwiggin OH GOD I LOVE THAT. now i have to read that book.

Elsajeni

@figwiggin Lit nerd tattoos! I want one that says "hwaet," because I am a dork who loves Beowulf.

parla

@ietapi I've been planning a 'so it goes' tattoo for a while, I just don't know where to put it (I have a lot of other tattoos). I also want to get the asshole Kurt Vonnegut drew in "Breakfast of Champions," because, come on, it's amazing.

(see here: http://www.google.com/imgres?q=kurt+vonegut+asshole&um=1&hl=en&client=safari&sa=N&rls=en&tbm=isch&tbnid=DvD3e5N6gDjryM:&imgrefurl=http://www.ftkconstruction.com/category/uncategorized/&docid=7ZVB12GK9_I7OM&w=640&h=384&ei=uP1_Ttm_NMvpgQe_ytlc&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=409&page=1&tbnh=106&tbnw=176&start=0&ndsp=18&ved=1t:429,r:4,s:0&tx=20&ty=72&biw=1095&bih=679gory/uncategorized/)

simone eastbro

@phenylalanine i have 3 literary tattoos! one says "when you wake, it will be spring" in my handwriting; another is a wendell berry line, "and this is hard," and a salinger line, "is he never wrong."

joie

I got a hummingbird behind my left ear at the tender age of 22 and I don't regret it one bit. I just paid a deposit for my next tattoo. Tats are fun!

frigwiggin

@heyits HUMMINGBIRDS. I want a hummingbird tattoo pretty badly, but most of the ones I see look kind of, uh, dumb. Maybe they just do not capture the majesty of a hummingbird in flight? Can...can I ask what yours looks like?

joie

@figwiggin yeah! I don't have a picture of it, unfortunately, but it's a ruby-throated hummingbird in flight. Its head is green and its wings are high in the air. I'm not sure how to describe it, other than that really. But I think it looks really fluid and natural, and I get a ton of compliments on it. I'd say it looks more like an Audobon style drawing than a tattoo. Hummingbirds are amazing, so you should definitely get one! Find a decent artist and I'm sure they'll come up with something that fits your vision. Also, behind the ear is great because it's easy to cover.

frigwiggin

@heyits Behind the ear is less easy to cover when you have extremely short hair like I do, but I get what you're saying. I would love one that looks more like a naturalist drawing, so I'm gonna have to start checking around. Thanks for making me feel more excited about this!

angelinha

@figwiggin Is shaving your head, tattooing your scalp, then growing your hair back to cover it a thing? Would that work? Is this not an original idea? Because right now it really feels like one.

Sean_P

@klibberfish People do it (I mean, get their scalp tattooed) - I've seen a few. If your hair is dark the tattoo becomes invisible pretty quickly.

Wish

I have three tattoos and I am all about the "wait for a year and think about it" especially because I waited like 4 years for the HUGE one on my chest and I still, a year later, sometimes go "oh god what did I do"

Highly visible tattoos do not make your life easier, but it's been less controversial than I thought. Probably because it's related to my field. Doesn't mean I don't have to hide it at times though.

I also have one on my inner wrist and no one notices it. It's bright purple. And then I've got a semicolon on my left forearm.

No regrets so far, but getting one isn't a light decision either. All of mine have meanings, but I feel like just as each tattoo is individual, so too are each person's reasons for getting tattoos. It's all good. I love hearing people's stories, but also just enjoy beautiful artwork.

But thank god for that waiter, Jaya. Hi-larious.

frigwiggin

@Wish Semicolon! I feel like I'm meeting my tattoo soulmates through this thread, except soulmates is a creepy way to put it so I guess tattoo-buddies-for-tattoos-I-haven't-gotten-yet is going to have to do. How big is your semicolon? I think I will get one as my first since I'm not sure how sensitive I'm going to be to, you know, the needle thing.

Wish

@figwiggin yay grammar geekery! My semicolon is about an inch high. It's actually the one I thought least about, has the shortest story and might be my favorite (as much as I love the others)

I will say, solid black sucks. The needles for black are larger than for color, so hurt a bit more. However! Remember that your body treats tattoos like abrasions. So it's not like you're getting stabbed really. And the amount it hurts depends on where on your body you get it, so if you're thinking your back you should be A-OK.

maevemealone

I will say, I kinda wince when I see really young people with entire sleeves or *shudder* neck tattoos. I kinda think start slow and go big as you get older? I saw a really young, probably 22 yr old guy this summer with a horrible messy tattoo that covered the entire side to middle of his neck and I just cried inside for his mother... But maybe he loved it and maybe I'm old. Yes, I'm old.

Wish

@maevemealone Oh, I agree. I saw this kid, couldn't be more than 20, with full sleeves and chest. Save some of that valuable real estate for later!

ru_ri

I got several tattoos in my late teens / early 20s (the first was almost 25 years ago, so yeah, I am an Old). One is the Marvel Mystery Oil logo, on my upper arm (I used to work on old cars so...). Maybe after years of living in Japan where tattoos are still pretty socially unacceptable I am oversensitive, but I always wear sleeves long enough to cover it up. Major tattoo regret there. I don't mind keeping the others, but I'd get rid of that one today if I could.

YMMV, but even if you think long and hard about a tattoo design you may regret it 20 years later. Or you may show it off to your grandkids with glee. I guess there really isn't a point to my cautionary tale except, sometimes tattoos aren't so great in hindsight but even so, better to regret something that you have done than something you haven't.

dracula's ghost

I don't have any tattoos but I figure, we're all going to regret so many things by the time we're old, why not throw another possible thing on the pile? Tattoo seems pretty small, relative to the vast wake of regrettable things in one's past at the end of one's life. I mean, I'm probably not going to have children. If I regret THAT when I'm 80, a tattoo of a shark smoking a cigarette is going to seem pretty tame.

GET TATTOOS, FUCK IT

Wookiee Hole

@dracula's ghost I support a shark smoking a cigarette, tattoo or real life.

dracula's ghost

@Wookiee Hole yeah as soon as I wrote it I realized it's not a great example, because who could possibly regret such a tattoo? I'm getting it on Saturday

just kidding

or am I

micalala

I just got my first pretty-visible tattoo ( this on my inner arm) two weeks ago, and even though I still kinda freak out about it sometimes, I regret it waaaaaay less than the tramp stamp I got on my 18th birthday. No matter how much I remind myself it's a good tattoo that has a sweet, special, family meaning, at the end of the day, it's still a fucking tramp stamp.

Jolie Kerr

I got my first tattoo on a whim, shitfaced on pink panty pulldown punch during a scavenger hunt in Newport RI. Haven't regretted it for a single second.

Sometimes things work out okay, ya know?

nomorecheese

I personally would never get a tattoo. But, I find them to be sexy on other people? lol

atipofthehat

I once saw a tattoo that I liked.

bb
bb

@atipofthehat I can also think of one I saw that I liked.

likethestore

I like my tattoos but if I could go back in time I don't think I would do it again. They're just...always there. I didn't really get the concept of "forever" at the time.

Remedios_Varo

I spent two months this summer working on a farm in rural Michigan. One of my coworkers there has a tattoo and it's the barcode from a can of Spam. He said he got it when he graduated from college to symbolize that he was thenceforth a Product of the System. Painfully hipster or something else?

bb
bb

@Remedios_Varo just painfully cliche.

angiephone

I have ten tattoos, I'm 35,and I don't regret a single one. I will probably get more, as funds permit, but I agree with the idea of taking it slowly and gradually.
Of course, little 18 year-old me wasn't thinking that when I got both nipples pierced on fall break freshman year...sigh...but that was another time. Not planning on breeding, so they're still in place, no regrets there either.
Personally, I agree with whoever said it's obnoxious after a certain point to hear those "self-actualization" up the ho-ha hot air stories people tell about the meanings of their tattoos. I think that's something people do in the beginning to somehow justify the inking, but later on the simplicity of "I like it, it fits my aesthetics." is enough.

tortietabbie

@angiephone I got my nips done when I was 18 too! And had to take them out when I was 20. :( I miss them. They were so beautiful.

DMcK

I have an awesome friend, she's sort of a big ol' urban hippie lady, who asked Davy Jones to autograph her ass with a Sharpie at a recent book signing; he was quite happy to accommodate her. She went to a tattoo artist friend the very next day to make it permanent. So now a lovely big framed portrait of her left buttcheek with a tattoo of Davy Jones' autograph hangs prominently in the bar she owns.

@serenityfound

My little sister got her first tattoo literally two months before she could've gotten it done legally, but she was moving out of state for college and wanted to get it done before she left. SO she went to a friend of a friend, who gave her the shittiest little shamrock tattoo on her outer ankle. You know, because we're part Irish. *headdesk* She later realized how bad it looked and got an ankle wrap done....of more (larger) shamrocks. With purple stars and swirlies. Honestly, it looks like something airbrushed onto an Irish stoner's van.

...she's gone on to get several more tattoos in the 5 years since then. Some are cool (like this tree of life with a rainbow over it that kind of forms a peace sign between her shoulder blades, and a pink lesbian/lady power one on her upper arm) and others....well, she let her girlfriend at the time (who later ended up being a crazy stalker) design a tattoo for her upper arm. She also got ID tattooed in big block letters under her collarbone, which probably seems like a good idea right now as a 22yo hedonist/psych major.

Tess Sharpe@twitter

I have Babar the Elephant doing yoga in between my shoulder blades. It makes me absurdly happy, every time I see it. But people have the absurd urge to touch Babar every time I wear a shirt where you can see him. I have perfect strangers come up to me in the grocery store, TOUCH MY BACK, and say "You have an elephant on your back!" So weird.

gidgetjones

@Tess Sharpe@twitter The touching. Oh man, the touching! As you can see I have a good-sized back piece and why must people try to look with their hands, not with their eyes?!

brokers16

hi can i have those design

stinapag

I am in the lotion up stage of healing from the spilling bottle of wine tattoo I got on Wednesday on my right thigh. It was originally going to be a fireworks display but every single artist I talked to said that a really good firework was almost impossible to do. But I am absurdly happy with what I ended up with, and every time I look at it, I smile. Yay for good artists who don't let you get crappy tattoos.

isitisabel

I am a huge fan of waiting for a year. Or at least, a large fraction of a year. Since I was about 14 I knew I wanted a tattoo, because my super-cool older sister had two, but I never had a great idea for one until I was about 17. I knew exactly what I wanted and where I wanted it. But. It was words. And not just words, but song lyrics. 17-year-old me was a little pretentious and thought that tattoos with words, especially song lyrics, were incredibly tacky (honestly, 20-year-old me still thinks so, but to a much smaller degree). I think I was scared to get words permanently tattooed on me, and no, I'm not sure why that scares me more than getting not-words tattooed on me.

I got an infinity sign tattooed on the inside of my left wrist last January after thinking extensively about it for about 10 months (including doodling it on my wrist when I was bored in class). I'm very happy with it, and I'm planning to get another probably this winter break if I have the money (a curlicue based on a violin scroll either on my shoulder or on the base of my neck).

I still want to get my original tattoo idea but I still cringe at the thought of getting a tattoo of song lyrics, because I am a pretentious hipster about the worst things.

Sean_P

@isitisabel I think that's only a problem if you get lyrics to songs that probably nobody's ever heard of.

piggie

I waited on my tattoo idea for over a year. Then my friend talked me into doing it on the spur of the moment because I was moving away soon (she got her navel pierced at the same time, so it was a friendsies thing). Anyway, I didn't research artists or anything, just dropped in on a hippie-sounding place. The only artist available didn't have a portfolio to show or anything. After I explained what I wanted, he asked if he could make it about 100% bigger because he had a template. I started feeling weird and said "I don't know..." so he offered to knock fifty bucks off the price if I did it right then and let him do it his way. This is when I should have RUN, but my friend had already had her piercing done and I was only 22 and not good at turning down the hard sell. I said yes to everything. And now I have a very poorly done tattoo that's twice as big as I wanted it so you can really see how crappy it is! I hate it now, and instead of thinking about my friend and the trip the tart was meant to represent when I see it, I think of how awful I felt being pressured into it by the artist. Moral: thinking about your design forever is not enough! Research your shop and artist too.

Sean_P

@gangey Good advice. It's never a bad idea to discuss your idea with more than one artist/shop. Go into the conversation with the idea that you're not necessarily getting this done right this second.

bloodorange

I replied up in the literary-tat conversation, but the one I really have been thinking about awhile (a couple years) is one I haven't seen anywhere, and I'm not sure whether I made it up or got the idea from someone who said it: a classic heart-with-banner design, but with an empty banner, so I can write in whatever I want that day with an eyeliner pencil. (I'm REALLY into lettering and typography, so I think it'd look cool every time.)

My only real issues with the idea are that I'm not sure exactly where to put it (on my arm, heart on sleeve, har har) for optimal fill-in-the-blankability, and also the fading/stretching/drooping with time and how sad that'd make me. Otherwise, I don't have a problem committing to the design or anything.

Any thoughts?

(I have no tattoos.)

Sean_P

@bloodorange I can't tell you how much I love that idea. I'd do it.

violetta

Ohh I've been thinking of getting a cherry-blossoms-in-the-wind tattoo on my back since about 2007. I've even embroidered the general design it onto an embroidery for my niece (weird I know but it looks really good!). But cherry blossom tatts are everywhere now.. so... I don't know. May be I should talk to a tattoo artist and the get the tattoo drawn up so that I can really make up my mind. Thoughts?

simone eastbro

@violetta find someone talented (and expensive) who specializes in botanical drawings and flora, trust the artist to draw it for you, and it will look dope.

messofme

uh, also, thank god for cover-ups...

edit: also, thank god for cover-ups done by respected artists...

SarahDances

I don't really want a tattoo, but an idea I had that I thought was neat was a set of three clefs - treble clef on the shoulder, alto clef on the hip, and bass clef on the ankle. Better for a musician, though, than a dancer like me.

Casanova Frankenstein

Oh god, as soon as I started reading I knew it was gonna be a nautical star on your wrist.

I got my first one this summer. I had a plan for one for several years, but never wound up doing it, and then one day with my friends decided to get a totally different thing. It hasn't been that long, but I don't think I'll ever regret this one.

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