Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Complete Collection

Some people get tattoos because they are trendy or cool. Some people get them due to peer pressure or because they may want a souvenir from their Spring Break trip of 1993. Other people see tattoos as art and as a way to express themselves. I fall into the latter category. I never dreamed of getting a tattoo and I never gave a second thought to any designs that I liked in case I ever got a tattoo. My journey toward deciding to get a tattoo was merely based on some friends saying they were going that weekend and maybe I would like to come? I figured I would just ride along and hold their hands for moral support. However, as the week passed, I found myself thinking that getting a tattoo would be kind of cool. I wanted it to mean something and I would only consider doing it if the tattoo place was clean and if the people working there were not creeps.

So, in the second semester of my sophomore year of college, I found myself on a tattoo table getting the symbol for love permanently etched on my right hip. It hurt more than I expected but only for a moment. After that initial moment of ouch(!), it felt more like a scraping sensation. The guy who did my tattoo was smart enough to have waited until after the tattoo was done to make a comment about having gotten my pants down, but he clearly was not smart enough to have waited until after I gave him his tip. Idiot. I still love this tattoo since it was a fun experience with a group of friends and in that it truly means something to me. My name means "worthy of love" and I feel a little bit like the symbol is me.

Everyone always says that after you get one tattoo, you want more. They are right. I got the itch for a second tattoo about a year later. I took myself back to the same tattoo shop and had an artist draw up an original design based on an idea I had. I wanted a ring of violets on my back. I was born in February and violets are that month's flower. They also happen to be my sorority flower and so it reminds me of the wonderful friends that I made while in college. That group of women taught me that women can be true friends and that the end of a college career does not mean the end of a friendship. I rarely see this tattoo since it sits at the small of my back, but I truly do love this design for all that it means.

My third tattoo is one that means the most to me. It stands for all that is important to me and is an outward expression of everything I want people to know about me. I have a set of three small stars on my left foot. They are each a different color and they each stand for something very important to me. It means so much to me, in fact, that no one knows what the stars represent. I can only say that the each star represents something different and that the stars together represent many things. The stars being on my foot has also come to represent many things as well. This is the tattoo that I get the most compliments on since it is the most visible. I got this tattoo while traveling in California for work. This tattoo hurt the most to get but I have to say that it is my hands down favorite.

I did have a fourth tattoo and I can only say that it was a big(!) mistake. The minute that artist finished it, I hated it. Hated. I waited the requisite amount of time for it to heal and immediately started calling laser centers for pricing to have it removed. It was a L-O-N-G process, I got an infection at one point, and it hurts like a mother to have done. It hurts far more to have a tattoo removed than it does to get one. It also costs more. A lot more. So, my history of collecting tattoos is not perfect. I still have a scar from having this tattoo removed that reminds me of how awful that entire experience was. I will never forget that. I think that is the biggest reason that I do not have another tattoo.

I do have an idea for another design and Superman and I have discussed morphing the idea into semi-matching tattoos that would mean something to both of us. However, it just has not happened. Maybe we are getting too old? Maybe we are getting too stingy with our money? Maybe we just do not need an inked symbol to remind us of what we have? So, I will never say that I will never get another tattoo...but for now? I am thrilled with my complete collection.

***I am not even going to go into my parents' reaction to my having gotten tattoos. I grew up in conservative-town America and they really do not love them. Secretly though, I think my dad thinks that it is cool.


34 Years said...

Yeah, I'm going to need know what the tat was that got removed :)

I'd like to see a pic of the stars one, but it sounds pretty original so you probably don't want to post it, unless you feel like slinging it up on your other secret blog? Hmm???

At one point I thought a row of white flowers on a green vine slinking up my spine would be cool...but it never happened. It would probably be painful as hell.

MSO Rin said...

I started polling friends about their tattoos or lack thereof aftter I wrote my post yesterday, and I had someone actually drop her pants (in my office! in front of the window!) so I could see the symbol she got on her upper-right-cheek when she earned her Master of Arts degree.

Tattoos make people REALLY passionate! I love it. :)

super jane said...

oooh, i know which one you got removed! how do i remember that? and i didn't know you had it removed.

glove said...

OK, if sj knows, I have to know. SPILL IT!

Wicked M said...

The tattoo I had removed was a sun. It was supposed to be cute and cool and the design was quite lovely. The result? A god-awful mess of a tattoo. I now sport a lovely scar with the many undertones of red, orange and yellow. So pretty!

And if you are a secret blog reader of mine, there are already pictures of my "secret stars" tattoo there. You'll just have to go digging! :)