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Tattoo - an experience by Danielle

ad been thinking about a tattoo of some form for months, but only in the past few weeks had I been serious about it. I did research, called the tattoo parlor that did my piercing, got some info, and thought and thought. Today was the day I decided to at least go to the place and check it out.

I packed my stuff (I was heading for Sebastian for the holiday) and then headed south to Ft. Lauderdale. I finally got down there, thinking about it. I really needed to get my ass in the chair to get me there…it was a fear of pain that was stopping me.

I got in and witnessed Dan (my previous piercer) doing a background scene on a guy's back who already had a lot of tattoos. Dan drew the picture and then went for a cigarette while the ink dried. I talked with the guy while Dan was gone and asked a lot of questions (pain, regrets, etc). I looked through the pictures on the wall. I wanted a flower on the back of my left shoulder. I saw one yellow flower that attracted me, and then saw a smaller purple one on the other wall that I liked better.

I asked Dan if it was all right if I observed this guy's tattoo and he said yes. I watched him get the needle ready with black ink and watched him draw the image on the guy's back. It made a buzz sound, and there was the ink, like he was drawing on paper! I asked the guy if it hurt and he said "nope!" After a while, the other tattoo artist there asked me if I needed help, and I showed him the small flower. He suggested something a little bigger so it can be seen. I wanted nothing bigger than a quarter. We looked through some more flowers on the wall and came out with a magenta colored flower. I asked him some more questions and he was a nice guy. He had a lot of tattoos and piercings and assured me the pain was minimal. After some thinking, I decided to start the stencil.

We went into the room and drew the picture on a paper with pencil.
He went into the back and set up the stencil and came back. We sat down and I excused myself while I unbuttoned my shirt. He handed me a towel to cover myself up with and we discussed the location. I wanted it on my left shoulder, on the back of it. He put on some deodorant (makes the stencil stick) and stamped the image on. I looked in the mirror. It looked weird on my back, as I had never had a tattoo before. I wanted something simple, pretty, and dainty. I didn't like the leaves on the flowers. I asked him to make it smaller and he did and tried it again. I still didn't like the leaves. I didn't like the look of the flower. I asked the guy more questions. I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't getting something that I wouldn't like years from now. The guy asked me if I change cars every year or change color schemes every 6 months. No I don't…I'm pretty consistent about things (I'll drive my car till it falls apart, as it is like a child to me!). He said it was up to me and that he wouldn't push me (very nice and patient).

We chatted a bit and he asked me if I was 46!! "No! I'm 20," I said.
Turns out that he was looking at the wrong release form! Haha I said "Well then I guess I look pretty good for a 46 year old." He laughed and said "You're a good looking 20 year old!" I thanked him for the compliment and while I thought, my cell phone rang.

It was my dad. He asked me where I was, and I had to tell him. I told him I was in a tattoo parlor and told him of my situation. I wanted a tattoo, but just could get my ass in the door so to speak. He said to go for it. That was it, I decided to do it with another flower.
The guy and I went back to the wall and checked some more flowers.
We came across a daisy that I liked a lot. He said it is more simple, less color, and overall less "out there." I said "let's do it."

He went back into the room and got the stencil ready with the same smaller size. He came back and did the stencil again and I checked it out in the mirror. That was it - it clicked!! That was what I wanted.
No leaves, simple. I took a deep breath and was ready.

I told him about passing out during the piercing and Dan overheard and said to let the guy know if I felt dizzy and he would stop. I sat down in the chair facing the back of the chair, leaning over. I watched as the guy went into the drawer and get the disposable needle (this place is very clean). Then he turned the radio off and put in a Janis Joplin CD. "Me and Bobby McGee" was playing. We talked about Janis and the song, and he said it was his favorite. I leaned over the chair, holding onto to brace myself, my knees weak and banging up against the back of the chair. I waited. I heard him sing to the song, put his gloves on and then get the needle ready. He told me to hold still and then I felt what the "pain" that everyone is talking about.

The "pain" is not pain!! It's an annoying, burning sensation, but it didn't hurt. I could feel him draw the flower. He drew, wiped the ink/blood, continued. 10 minutes later, he was done and asked me to look and see if I wanted the petals filled in white. I got up and looked. It looked great!! It didn't need the white, and he agreed. I sat back down and he cleaned it up and patched it up. I asked about aftercare and he said to leave the patch on for 2 hours, wash it with cold soapy water and put cocoa butter on it a few times a day. I put my shirt back on and stood up.

I had a RUSH!! I felt nervous and not really light headed, but I asked for water anyway. I drank and cup and paid for it and we chatted.
"How was it!" Dan and the guy with the back tattoo said. "It was nothing!" I said. Finally I thanked everyone and Dan asked if I was ok to drive. I was fine. Everyone was so nice, and I called dad in the car.

I left the bandage on all day (since I was on the road to Sebastian 2 hours later still) and finally took it off and cleaned it up when I showered. No blood, not even red. Just a little sore and a little speck of dried blood in the center of the flower. He did a great job, and the lines are fine and it looks the way I wanted it!

My dad liked the idea and thought it was cool. As for my mother, she wasn't happy when she heard the news but told me that I am a grown woman and that she doesn't love me any less (I am glad she said that because I was really worried about what she would say).

To anyone thinking about getting a tattoo: if the pain is your fear, don't be afraid. I have a normal pain tolerance, sometimes even a wimp, and I had no problem with it. It's not that bad at all!!

Make sure you get what you want. It's permanent, as you know.

Make sure you're comfortable with the people there and the place. I could go on, and there are tons of literature on tattooing and the do's and don'ts on the net.

Do I want any more tattoos? I doubt it. I wanted one, I got one, and I only had one spot where I wanted one (on my shoulder) and that's what I got. It's a personal thing, and it is cool that it is under a shirt unless I show it or wear a bathing suit, as it makes it more "personal" and a part of me to show people. I guess it is also a symbol of nonconformance, as I have always done my own thing and never conformed to people's view of society (though if you look at me, I look pretty humble and you wouldn't guess I had a tattoo).

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 15 Dec. 1998
in Tattoos

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