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College tattoo experience

ince I was a little girl, I can remember seeing tattoos on men. Usually they were big older men with hairy arms and tattoos of mermaids on their biceps. I always admired them, and though I had never seen one on a woman, I wanted to get one someday when I grew up. In the early 90's, tattooing became very mainstream, especially on college campuses. It seemed everyone had one. The guys all had tribal armbands and the ladies all had a rose on the ankle. It became so cliche, it almost made me decide not to get one. I guess I have a thing about being run-of-the-mill ordinary. When I was 23 years old, I happened to be in Spokane for the day on fourth of July weekend. We were planning to go to a convention, but it was sold out, so we decided to beat around town and see the sights instead. As we passed by a tattoo parlor, I decided that this was the day. I was going to do it! At that time, there were three studios in Spokane. We went to all of them to see what they had. After spending several hours browsing through portfolios, we returned to Tiger Tattoo, which was the first one we'd stopped at. It looked like more of a dive than the other more modern parlors, with bars on the windows and big motorcycles parked outside, but the tattoos I'd seen there were far superior. I returned to the first tattoo that had caught my eye, earlier that morning. It was a beautiful dragon with butterfly wings. We talked to the lady at the counter and she told us that all the artists were busy, but she had an opening later that afternoon with Christy. I scheduled the appointment, and we left to go kill a few hours. As we waited, I was surprised that I didn't get nervous. Upon arriving back at the studio, we were shown back to the work area almost immediately. I told her I'd decided to get the tattoo on my left shoulder, just above the shoulderblade. She warned me that this was one of the more painful places to get it done, especially since I was skinny and didn't have much meat there. But I insisted. Because it was a hot July day, I was wearing a bustier, so I didn't have to remove my shirt. She had me straddle a chair and lean against the back of it with my arms. She applied the pattern and had me check that the placement was right. I indicated it was. After warning me to hold perfectly still, she started inking in the outlines. It hurt quite a bit, but not as much as I expected. The main problem I had was the involuntary contraction of muscles. Try as I might, I couldn't keep them from twitching. At one point, I jumped a little when she passed the needle over the bone, which made her bark at me to knock it off. To make matters worse, I hadn't eaten before I came in. About half way through the procedure, I started to sway. She stopped working and turned me around. "You're white as a sheet," she said. "We'd better have you lie down." She put a cold cloth on the back of my neck and send my boyfriend across the street to get me a soda. After a few minutes, my color returned and I felt much better, though still a bit shaky. She decided she could continue working on me, as long as I remained lying down. The outlines were by far the most painful part. Once she started filling in the color, it got a lot more tolerable. Before I knew it, we were done. My boyfriend claims it took more than two hours, but it didn't seem like nearly that long to me. She handed me a hand mirror so I could admire her work. I loved it! She covered it with gauze, gave me the aftercare sheet, and warned me not to wear a bra for the next week or two. It was very uncomfortable for a couple of days, and seeped and crusted quite a bit, but healed up without any problems. I've now had it for seven years, and I still love it just as much as the day I got it done. It makes me very aware of my body, and I smile when I wonder what my grandkids will say. I don't plan to get any more tattoos (because I'm afraid if I open that can of worms, I'll end up covered with them). I think the placement of this one is perfect, since I can show it or keep it covered, depending on the circumstances. To me, body modification is a private thing, which is why I choose places that can be covered up if I choose. I also have a cartilage piercing and a naval ring, and plan to get a more "personal" piercing in December.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 02 Nov. 1999
in Tattoos

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Artist: Christy
Studio: Tiger+Tattoo
Location: Spokane%2C+WA

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