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Against The Grain

rcumstances by which I received my first tattoo were somewhat odd, but none-the-less very cool. At the time, I was in my junior year of high school, and I was hosting a foriegn exchange student from Germany. I had expressed interest in getting a tattoo many times to my parents; and although they each bear ink, I was told to wait until I was older. When Daniella(our German student) came to stay with us, however, that all changed. She also wanted to decorate her skin, and together we convinced my father that it would be a bonding experience for the both of us. He agreed, and after some awkward long distance phone calls, Daniella, my mother, and I were off to the studio. Upon arriving, we both knew exactly want we wanted. She, a small couplet of stars on her right ankle; I, a band of flowers around the left. She went first, and it only took twenty minutes to complete her design. My choice took an hour and twenty minutes. It was very tedious, and inconveniant for me because I had to keep re-positioning myself so as to allow for the artist to go all around my ankle. It didn't hurt as much as I had anticipated; for my father, in an attempt to disuade me, had poked me with a fork to show me how it would feel. The only thing that I would complain of, if I did any complaining at all, was how terribly sore it was the next day at school. None of my friends, nor her friends for that matter, approved. There were rumors going around us for the duration of Daniella's stay, and we were approached by numerous people wanting to see our new body art. I can't say that I was upset, cause I love to show off my tattoo, but the name-calling got a little annoying. In fact, one of my closest friends whom I truly trusted began screaming down the halls, "Marie got a tattoo, I can't believe it! She is so wierd!" I didn't mind this because I knew that it would be a shock to everyone I knew, I just hoped that these people that I thought I had known would have been a bit more mature. Most people could not believe that I'd taken such liberties with my body, and they seemed to see me in a new light. Many people didn't even believe that it was real. One girl asked me if she could touch my scabbed over nastiness: just to prove it had once been bleeding! My father began calling me his little "tattoo girl". He should have known though that I was going to be in love with the idea of painting my body. My mother has a tattoo, and is currently having another drawn. My father has two spectacular designs. My favorite being an a tribal rose/dagger combonation on his right arm, done by Fritz of Tux's Tattoo Studio in Glen Burnie, MD. I have a cousin who is an aspiring tattoo artist, and who is consequently under the wing of another cousin of mine with two studios. As far as healing went, I was a slow healer. During the actual tattooing, I bled quite a lot. Also, my skin was irritated from having to go over the same areas over and over; due to the multiple colors that went into each one of my roses. I remember looking so silly with one pant leg rolled up, so as to not irritate my new art work. I can also recall the looks on my grandparents' faces upon coming home in a guaze bandage. They tried so hard to be interested, and I love them dearly. They were just not ready for me to come home with a full anklet. And, I can't leave out the wonderful times I had carrying sunblock around. Remembering to put it on, remembering to re-apply, remembering to wear socks at the pool when I wasn't swimming. It was horrid, but I have such pale skin. I would be asking for upset if I were to leave my tattoo open to the sun's rays. For a long time, it bothered me that other's looked upon me differently, and sometimes harshly. I am a sensitive person by nature, and I didn't feel it was right for other's to judge me simply because I'd chosen to get a tattoo. I knew that I would never allow something so superficial to dominate my judgement. In fact, I was prone to look upon tattoos as a definition of character, something that made someone special. I still don't like when my elders find it necessary to mock me simply because they can't see the beauty in my tattoo, and a statement of who I am; but I understand thier reasons. They don't like it and it's new to them; this concept of tattoos being something someone in thier own family can sport. I can't, however, understand how someone could even begin to think that they knew me, or "my type" by some physical presence on my body. I know that I can't make everyone get a tattoo, or even like them. I do however feel wonderful knowing that I made a lot of people thing twice about allowing stereotypes to intrude on thier friendliness. For now, I was the exception to the rule. I was the super nice girl, involved in school, lot's of friends, and a tattoo(and now an eyebrow ring, too). And as Daniella and I contemplate our second tattoos, (hers a tribal design on her shoulder, mine the WonderWoman emblem at the base of my neck) we know that we have bonded for life, and hope that we will change the world with our difference. Marie

Details

submitted by: Anonymous
on: 08 Oct. 1999
in Tattoos

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Artist: n%2Fa
Studio: Gypsies
Location: Maryland

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