Friday, July 11, 2008

Inked (Midwest vs. NYC)

I'll be the first to admit it: I'm a bit of a closet hoodlum. I got a cute little butterfly tattooed on my stomach at 16. I got my tongue pierced at 18, then took it out two weeks later. I got my tongue pierced again at 19 and left it in for two years. I liked the fact that it shocked people. Sweet little Tina is borderline dangerous? No way. Way. I got a pink star tattooed on my foot at 24. And now, at 26, all within the past month, I've gotten my nose pierced and now—more ink. After this experience, I assure you, I am done. Finito. No more.

You see, it's like this: I'd wanted a small tattoo on my left wrist for awhile now—ever since I found out that Lindsay Lohan had the word "breathe" tattooed in faint white on her wrist, basically a personal reminder to keep going, no matter how hectic life could get. Lindsay is not my role model by any means, but I began to think of what word I would want to get. Nothing stuck. So on my recent trip home, I debated getting a tattoo anyway. They're half the price in the Midwest, as compared to New York. My friend CC back home wanted one, too. So we went to some place in the tiny town of Belton, MO, where her friend's brother worked. He was busy, so he had his co-tattoo artist, Mike, do the job. The place was nice and clean. Mike was cute. It worked for me. I suddenly got the genius idea to get outlines of two stars. Purple and teal. Mike thought it would look cool. I figured it matched the shirt I was wearing that day. He made the stencil. I asked if it could be smaller. Mike said no. I didn't believe him but didn't press the issue. I should have, considering that this was a PERMANENT decision! But I was in a "let's get this shit over with" kind of mood...

So I'm sitting in the plush leather chair, looking away from the puncture job he's doing on my tiny wrist and grimacing as CC attempts to distract me from the pain. When all I can think is, "So this must be how it feels to slit your wrists. I will most certainly select an alternate method of suicide if it ever comes down to that." (Kidding...) I occasionally look over, and he's working on the purple star, every once in awhile wiping something away (ink? blood? whatever it is, it's purple). What seemed like a simple tattoo, is starting to take forever. He goes over both stars twice in the end. So it's, like, twice the pain. Throughout the process, we're asking him about his job, his career choice. He confesses that he's 20 years old. He looked my age... or so I thought. This is starting to become a pattern. Am I getting older and just not realizing that the guys I liked six years ago don't quite look like that anymore? After two hours, he's done. CC's only takes about 30 minutes. We go home, fairly satisfied with our rather permanent artwork. I go to bed.

I wake up on Sunday, the day I am to fly back to New York, and look at my wrist. My God, I think. What have I done to myself? I'm going to look at this every minute of every day. It's right there. In my face. I freak out for just a few minutes. I google "day after tattoo removal" and come across this. It involves sandpaper, peroxide and rubbing your skin raw for a month. I'm not taking measures that drastic. I decide to leave it. Well... what other choice do I have? I figure I'll get used to it. Now? Some days I love it. Some days I despise it. My coworkers can't miss it, as the star stares them in the face as I place various paperwork on their desks. No one's mentioned it. Either they do a good job of hiding the fact that they might be legally blind, or they're just too polite to say anything. Everyone knows that if you like something, you say you do, but if you don't, you politely ignore it. Then again, at my job, and in this city, it's not out of the ordinary to mutilate your body. It's rather common.


  1. Yay Tina. =]
    If it's any consolation, I love the new ink, even though this was posted about a month ago and it's not so new anymore.
    Anywayyyy...I intend on updating my blog fairly often (at least like once a week...), but we'll see how that goes.


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