Monday, April 13, 2009

Just consider it a mental upchuck [Part VII]

So I'm back...and I'd like to say better than ever, but I think I'll just go with "well rested" :) Hope you all had a fulfilling Lenten Season and a great Easter! I've missed you all but not nearly as much as you've missed me!
...
Wait! I meant, you know...I've missed you AS MUCH AS IF NOT MORE THAN you've missed me.
...
Right. Anyhoo, I know this post isn't up to my usual standards but I've been out of practice so bear with me! :)



Part VII: Pain for Pain and other stupid ideas...


From the moment I turned 18 (and truthfully, even before then), I wanted...nay, yearned for a tattoo. Because it's a cool thing to have (or so I thought at the time, and still do) and because I wanted so badly to rebel against the goody two shoe nerd image that I've unfortunately embodied my whole life. To my credit however, I didn't want to just waltz up to a tattoo studio, pick a stupid design off a wall and end up regretting something for the rest of my life. Besides, if I was going to put myself thru GAD-awful pain, then it better be worth it!


As it turns out, I never could decide on a single design or color or placement so even though I had a few designs I'd tinker with now and again, the whole tattoo event was put on the back burner. Fast forward 5 years and I was dating a guy with a few tattoos. Seeing his artwork made me dust off the old drawings and doodles and earnestly begin working on them again. I was not and am not a great artist, but I forced myself to draw my own tat since I figured that way it would mean more in the long run. When I finally settled on a design, I (on another brilliant moment of absolute wisdom) decided to take the picture, stick it on a wall, and make myself wait another few months before getting it. To make sure that me staring at it day after day didn't make me change my mind or get sick of the design.


Fast forward another 4 months and my boyfriend broke up with me...broke my heart and all that. During one of those nights at the beginning of the breakup, my sleep deprived and tear clogged brain came up with a theory. Not a brilliant theory...so don't judge me! Anyway, I came up with this theory that the only way to get myself thru the emotional and mental pain was to cause myself physical pain to take its place.


...ok, don't panic! I didn't want to start cutting myself or anything like that. Rather I figured, what better time to get a tattoo than now! At the same time that my brain was coming up with the whole Pain for Pain theory, one thought lead to another that lead to another. I told myself that other women have gone thru this same pain before and lived thru it, among them both my grandmothers and my mom. If they were strong enough then darnit so am I. In fact, the women in my life are the strongest, toughest, badasses I know so what better way to honor their strength than to permanently etch their names into my back for all of eternity!


So I hauled myself out of bed at 3am, modified my design to include both grandmothers' and my mother's names and reminded myself to call my tattoo artist the next morning before finally passing out. In another stroke of luck (or fate...), a friend of mine called me up the next day because he wanted to see his friend about refreshing his tattoo and wanted to know if I could come along. I said sure! His friend just happened to own a tattoo parlor and after politely asking him (and doing some gratuitous eyelash-batting) I convinced him to do mine without an appointment and for a huge friends and family discount! 45 minutes, 2 extra strength ibuprofen, and a LOT of hand gripping and teeth clenching later, I had my first tattoo.


Even though the circumstances surrounding the event were a little strange, I have never regretted my final design decision for a moment. Not only did I inadvertently end up honoring the best people in my life in a unique way but as a bonus my mom couldn't really get too mad at me since I went thru pain to immortalize her in a way no else would.

Now if I could only claim the same amount of brilliance and fate intervention about my second one...


But that's a story for a different day!


(Names have been blacked out for privacy reasons...but they're there!)

12 comments:

SkylersDad said...

Welcome back! You were missed, and thanks for sharing the Tattoo story with us.

Fancy Schmancy said...

Love the tat, and the fact that you're still alive. Glad you're back!

Cora said...

Welcome back, ~E! We missed you!

Love the tattoo. That's gorgeous! You're braver than I am. I chickened out and never got mine. Good thing too or I would have had a Marvin the Martian on my ankle for all eternity! Yikes!

The Unbearable Banishment said...

Welcome back! Nice to see you again. I love that design. Nice work. Where is it? I have a tattoo on my shoulder. I don’t understand people who get tattoos in places where they'll never see them. Why put one on your back? What a waste.

Everyone has induced pain in order to relieve it. Haven’t you ever cut your finger and pressed the cut? First, the sting of pain and then, blessed relief.

Sassy Britches said...

PHEW! So glad you're still with us! LOVE the tattoo, and what a fantastic story behind it. Can't wait to hear about nummber 2. :)

Some Guy said...

Welcome back, E!

Chris said...

See everyone?!!? I TOLD you she wasn't kidnapped by a pack of rabid wolves....glad to have you back! :)

Amanda said...

yup yup! I got mine (from the same artist, as I recall) as a pain-for-pain type deal. Angus's name and feet and wings on his birthday. I love summer time when I can wear tank tops and show it off, too.

~E said...

Everyone: Thanks! Glad to be back!

Cora: LOL at Marvin the Martian!

UB: It's a tramp stamp...hahaha. On my lower back. And the placement was key. I figure I can't get sick of it if I can't readily see it.

Sassy: The story about #2 is kinda embarassing. I'm still debating whether to post it or not.

Amanda: Actually, I got the first one at a shop called Admiral Tattoos in West Seattle. The second one I got the traditional way in the Philippines, then had it retouched at Diamond once I came back.

Amanda said...

Don't post the second one...I clearly remember telling you not to get it when you were trying to decide where to put it. But you can always change it up. Or just black it out completely.

w.v.: mutulate
hmmm, interesting.

~E said...

Amanda: while admitedly not the smartest decision Ive made, I cant really find it in me to regret getting it. I still like the design of it and now it means different to me than what it started.

Felisa said...

So you did give up blogging for lent huh?

It's beautiful! And I love that it means something to you. I despise it when people get tattoos of things that are "hot" at the moment.

I know where I want mine but I can't settle on a design so I don't know if I'll ever get one...