Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I Think It's Too Late ...

I missed the tattoo train. I had a ticket, but it just never got punched (or punctured and filled with ink, as it were). Now that I’m in my wise old thirties, I think that it’s safe to assume I’d be older than my artist. And that’s a bad sign.

I went through a very short I-need-a-tattoo phase, while I was in Great Britain my sophomore year of college. What better souvenir to myself than getting inked in London or Edinburg? It would be permanent, meaningful, and I wouldn’t have to claim it on my customs form. So I braved a few parlors after doing extensive research (which means: looking them up in the phone book to see which ones were closest to my next sightseeing stop), with a friend in tow, and never really made it past any of the front doors. I don’t remember seeing anything traumatizing, but let’s just say that my friend pointed out that Tattoo Charlie’s in Louisville was way cleaner. Every time we went inside one, I just went straight to the board to look for “my” image. Which I never found very easily, and as the seconds ticked by, I became more and more self-conscious. Nobody in the parlors bothered to look at me twice, and I just ended up “not feeling it” and slinking out and away, back to the museums and pubs and theatres—where I belonged and did not feel self-concious.

When I got back from GB (I bought myself a locket instead), I told myself and others that I’d get one if I ever went back.

Oops.

I did go back, two years later. And that time I didn’t even try going into any tattoo parlors. Pretty sad, huh?

I still say if I go again, I’ll maybe get one. This is partially b/c it really is a rockin’ souvenir, partially b/c it’s an interesting thing to throw into a conversation, and partially b/c I don’t really know if I’ll ever be in GB again. So I’m mostly safe.

I don’t think I’m cool enough for a tattoo, if I’m being honest. My friends who do have tattoos are all much cooler than I. A ring of violets on the small of the back, an icthus just inside the right hip, a sprinkling of stars at the nape of the neck, “Love is patient” in French around the left wrist. I could never pull any of those off. I’m sure some of my friends have tattoos that I don’t even know exist … and I’m glad I don’t. I’m already way less cool than they are, and I don’t need any more self-consciousness.

I wonder sometimes, though, if I were suddenly possessed with the need to get a tattoo, what? And where? At this point in my life, the realization that I’d need to place it carefully so it didn’t lose its shape is actually an obsession. I keep having flashbacks to that “SNL” faux-mercial about how “it won’t be cool forever.” Where on my body will the skin always be as it is right now? The backs of my ears, my tongue, right below my collarbone, and the palms of my hands. OK. That was actually pretty easy! Now. Tattoo image … let’s see … hmm. What in my life will never change? My love of chocolate, the fact that if necessary I will cheat at board games to win, and my husband. That give me lots of options! I’ll see if my artist sister Kat can come up with a design around those parameters. It should be awesome. I’ll send PIX messages when it’s done.

What tattoos do you have? And where are they? I obviously need inspiration.

2 comments:

Wicked M said...

Dang. I am the only gal up in this joint with a tattoo, aren't I? I now feel intense pressure to make my post extremely cool.

Alas, I am not that cool. We all know this.

And I still believe that a tattoo drawn by Kat would be rad. And I totally want to be there when you finally get the courage to go through with this...because it is really cool.

glove said...

Wicked, shut the freak up. You are cool. As is Rin.
(and sj too of course!)

Now I am resisting the urge to comment much more, because I have to write my own post about this and I don't want to put it all here.

But this is interesting. I would've really thought that sj would've been marked. And Rin - I didn't know that you'd largely given up on the idea. Wicked, I know you have some but I can't remember what or where and I'm very interested in seeing what they all mean!