wanted a tattoo for as long as I can remember. All throughout high school, I discussed with various friends what tattoos we would get, and where we would get them, and why. But I was always so afraid of the pain, so I was basically talking in hypotheticals. I wanted it, but I didn't want to go through the pain. As time passed, the pain started to scare me less. Then, my roommate got her bellybutton pierced at a piercing and tattoo parlor. While we were waiting, I perused the flashes up on the wall, and my eye was caught by a simple black and white flower. I think being the tattoo parlor really made me abstract desire to have a tattoo crystallize. So, the next week, we went back to the same tattoo parlor, and I sat there for about three hours, selecting my tattoo, and deciding how big I wanted it, and what side to put it on. I selected a large, hibiscus like flower. I paid my money, I sat down the back. The tattoo artist put the transfer on. I looked at it in the mirror....and I hated it. I. hated. it. There was nothing wrong the tattoo, per se. It just wasn't me. I didn't like how it looked, I didn't like the placement, I just didn't like it. I expressed my thoughts to the tattoo artist, and he was very rude to me. He had been fairly silent through the whole process anyway. Not very friendly, or outgoing. So, as much as I wanted a tattoo, I walked out that day. I did not get the flower tattoo. And quite honestly, it was the best decision that I made. You should never get a tattoo that you don't love just because you want one. And you should never get a tattoo from someone who is rude, taciturn, or otherwise surly and unhelpful. That's just not cool. I was really disappointed, and depressed for the rest of the day. I didn't realize how much I wanted the tattoo until I didn't get it. I talked to some friends, and got a tentative line on a good tattoo place out in Maryland, so I made plans to get one at a later date. In the mean time, I pondered long and hard about what I wanted my tattoo to be of, and what I wanted it to look like. I looked through a bunch of tattoo pictures, and didn't find anything that inspired me. So, I started looking through photographs, and found one that I really likes. So, I drew my own conception of what I wanted. My tattoo concept was a moon, rising over water. Luckily, my roommate and I discovered that a place we thought had gone out of business had actually just moved. I talked to some people there, and they were all very nice, and very professions. They only do custom work and no flashes at all, because they believe that every tattoo should be totally unique. So, my friend and I made appointments there to get tattooed. My tattoo artist was an extremely nice guy. He chatted with me, and joked around. He even used my exact drawing, with no modifications, as his stencil, which made me feel very flattered. The pain really wasn't bad at all. It felt kind of scratchy more than anything. Like someone was taking a mechanical pencil, and dragging the point across my skin. I have an extremely low pain threshold, and it didn't bother me much at all. Getting the cartilage of my ear pierced actually hurt a whole lot more. (I got it pierced with a gun, which is a big no-no.) So, now I have a large tattoo of a moonrise on my back, that I drew myself. I have to say that I did not immediately love my tattoo. It came out darker than I had imagined, and the shading wasn't quite like I pictured. But as a look at it more and more, I love it more and more. I think I just needed an adjustment period. I mean, I put a decent sized (about 2 ½ by 1 ½ ) mark on my body. And mine, because it's a moon, has a lot of black in it, so it was a bit of a shock to my system to actually see it there. But, I think it's natural to need to get used to it. Bottom line is thisif you want to do it, do it. Don't be afraid of the pain. Make sure it's something you love, and you get it done from someone that you like, and feel comfortable with.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 09 Dec. 1999