y name is Stephanie. I'm 19 and from Connecticut. I just got my first tattoo tonight, and I've been reading these experiences for some time now, so I decided to share mine. Ok... it started when my friend Nate (who was on a buisness trip of sorts, all the way from Oregon) said that he was going to get a tattoo when he was in Delaware (about a week before he came to CT.) I talked him into waiting and going with me, because I've wanted a tattoo for years now, and I couldn't find anyone else who would go with me. So I made an appointment for the both of us at Green Man Studios in West Hartford, CT. I know a few people who have gotten tattoos done there, and they all said that it was one of the best places to go and that they did really good work, so I decided it was the place for me too. Unfortunately, Nate got held up in New Jersey on his way here, so we had to cancel. I was really disappointed, but at the same time kind of relieved because I was really nervous about it. So the next day (today) Nate and I decide to meet at 5:30 to go to this record store in West Hartford. As we were driving along, he asked me if we were near the tattoo place. We were, so we decided to stop in and see if anyone could fit us in tonight. I started to get nervous, but I wasn't going to let myself wuss out this time! I've wanted this tattoo since I was 15, I'm getting it done dammit! We went in and talked to the girl at the counter, who told us that there was an artist (Kenny) that was free for the rest of the night. We showed him our designs, got prices, and decided to get them done. Nate got a drawing of this girl with a guitar and an amp (something to do with the band Dirt Bike Annie. I think the girl was supposed to be "Dirt Bike Annie". Whatever, it looks cool. Trust me.) all in black ink, on his left arm. I got a black and green smiley faced flower (the flower from the cover of Green Day's "Kerplunk" album) on my right back waistline. After walking down the street to use the ATM, and waiting for Kenny to get ready for us, we went in to the work area. I was kind of uneasy, because the rooms weren't really separated from each other, everyone else who was there could see you, but actually that turned out to be kind of cool because we were all talking to each other, watching what other people were getting done, etc. Everyone there was totally cool and friendly. (I'm sure if you wanted privacy, or if you had to take clothes off or something, they could put you in the back room though, or get a curtain or something. Anyway...) Nate went first. I was anxious to see what his reaction to the pain was; it was his first tattoo too. Kenny gave him a swipe with the needle (no ink) just to show him what the pain would be like, and he was like, "that's it??? That didn't hurt!" That helped ease my nervousness a lot. Nate's tattoo took about 45 minutes, I think. So then it was my turn. We had to go back into the waiting area for a few minutes, while Kenny set up this huge table-thing that I was going to lay across. So finally, we were ready to go! After positioning the outline just right, and checking to make sure it was in the right spot and looked ok, Kenny had me lay on my stomach across the table-thing, with all of my weight on my chest and my feet dangling down. He then did one "practice" swipe with the needle to show me what it would be like, and then went to work. It's a weird pain... hard to describe. Some people say it feels like a cat scratch, or being spattered with hot grease. It does feel kind of like that sometimes, but not really. People get all worried because it's a needle going into your skin, but it's not like a shot. It's weird... like this sharp thing dragging through your skin, but it doesn't hurt like it sounds. It doesn't exactly tickle either, but the pain is totally bearable. It's not nearly as bad as you think, and after a few minutes you start to get accustomed to it. There were a few times where it hurt like hell, and I was grinding my teeth and sweating like crazy! Seriously though, the worst part of it was laying across the damn table! I kept sliding, and my legs started to fall asleep! The needle wasn't my big concern, I was just totally uncomfortable (which isn't really a big deal). Kenny went over the outline twice to darken it, filled in the green parts, and I was done! It only took about 20 minutes. It went by so fast I was shocked. Kenny bandaged me up, gave me some care instructions (leave it bandaged overnight, put bacitracin on it for the next 3-5 days, use lotion on it for the next week or so after that, DON'T PICK OR SCRATCH IT!!!), and that was it! We were TATTOOED!
So now, it stings a little on the bottom, and bled a little bit (I can see it through the bandage), but it's not bad. I had to retape the bandage though, because it was falling off. But other than that, it's great. It looks awesome and it's exactly what I wanted! I think I'm addicted now, I'm thinking about getting another one. I wonder what my mom will think when she sees it (I'm dead! Oh well, nothing that can be done about it now :-). Short of thousands of dollars of lasers and whatnot.)
So that's my little story. I can't wait until I can take this stupid bandage off and show everyone my wonderful little tattoo. If anyone from Connecticut is thinking of getting a tattoo, I highly recommend Green Man, and Kenny (or anyone else there; they all do great work.) And if you're scared about getting a tattoo, don't be afraid of the pain. It's not a big deal, it hurts way less than you think it will, and just think, for a few minutes of pain, you get to enjoy a beautiful piece of artwork for the rest of your life. GO FOR IT! YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE!
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 12 Nov. 1999