Closed minds and drawing boards

So after wanting to get inked on and off for over two decades, we finally went ahead. And thank God I didn’t until now. I know for sure I would soon have regretted having a tramp stamp (all the rage during my uni days) and I don’t think “Made in Sweden” would have looked so cool either… I suppose it was always a matter of doing it when there finally was a concept and a design I knew I’d love forever. And in this day and age when so many people have tattoos, I don’t think mine will send the staff in my nursery home 50 years from now reeling with shock.

It always had to mean something. Something meaningful. More so than a nod to my native land. And it had to look beautiful – to me, at least. A lot of people don’t like tattoos full stop, my very conservative father being one of those people who passionately hate tattoos and consider them to be something “a certain type of person” might have. Yes, he is somewhat ignorant, prejudiced and close minded, but that’s who he is and who am I to try to change him, I love him all the same and I know it doesn’t come from a place of malice, it’s just him, how he was brought up and he just happens to see the world in black and white with no room for nuances. So no, he will never like my tattoo and wouldn’t have no matter what. In fact, I am pretty certain he will be furious with me when he discovers it – he will try to hide it (his anger, that is) because he loves me, but I know he will be genuinely upset with me. Jeez, at 41 years of age I shouldn’t concern myself with what other people think – even if they happen to be my dad – but there we are. Always been Daddy’s Girl so therefore disappointing him is something I hate to do. But this is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and sometimes you just have to accept some collateral damage.

So, Monkey’s birth date, the Maori word for ‘love’ and our wedding date is what runs down my back from the top of my neck, topped by a crown (because I should have one, damnit!) and tailed with a heart eternity symbol. And B got one too! His is the heart eternity symbol incorporating my name and our wedding date. Not regretting it one bit but when you’ve had 20+ years to think something over, you’re less likely to I guess.

At the tattoo parlour I very nearly freaked out and left though. The first design the lovely Sandro showed me wasn’t what I’d envisaged and I was NOT going to get something etched on to me forever that I wasn’t in love with. No chance in hell. The poor guy went back and forth five times, right back to the drawing board quite literally, before he finally showed me The One. This all took approaching two hours. Getting me inked took just over ten minutes. I’d worried they’d put the needle to my skin and I’d flinch, scream and have a meltdown, then run away with a permanent black dot. Because I know that the more I fuss, the more I get myself worked up and the result of that is that I’m less likely to be able to go through with something. So when there was an ominous buzzing sound and Sandro asking “so shall we start?” I gritted my teeth and told him “let’s go”.

I’m not going to lie, it was NOT nice. And given this motherfucker was going along my spine, hitting bone along the way, there were a few moments when I thought I was going to faint. It felt like a sharp scratch with the occasional deeper pinch. Those ten minutes were quite enough, ta very much, I was very relieved that it didn’t take any longer – I had expected it to take perhaps as much as an hour so thank heavens for that. B’s, which had a bit of colour, look longer, probably 45 minutes in all. Guess mine was quick because it was all thin, simple script. Not as painful as I thought but far from pleasant.

Not in a hurry to get another one, that I can tell you, but exceedingly happy with the one I just had done!

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