Well worth the wait.
My parents had never been the type, my Father at least, to look down on things that would be considered 'taboo' by the general public, especially tattoos. Having a few of his own it had always been a good experience for him and, in a way; he passed that on to me. We used to live in a small town in Pennsylvania, and there was a tattoo shop that my parents would go to and where they knew the owner quite well. It wasn't like tattoo shops now-a-days (even though this wasn't really that long ago) but it was kind of dark in the room where he did the tattoos and the walls in the main room were covered with flashes. Having always been interested in my Father's tattoos I went with him to get a few more, watching what was going on and I loved it. The sound, the sight, and of course the tattoo that was left imprinted deep into his skin afterwards.
I knew I couldn't get my own until I was old enough, and as I got older I would get ideas, or see a picture, that I wanted as a tattoo. None of that really mattered, because when I stepped into Caspian Tattoo in Lynchburg, Virginia, about a month after my eighteenth birthday, I looked through their flashes and found what I wanted. I didn't take the flash right off the wall; instead I asked Dave, my artist, if I could change it up, the colors, the tattoo itself. Talking things out with him first, letting him get my idea of what I wanted he said it would be about two weeks while he drew it up and proportion it to my body and my tastes.
Almost exactly on the dot two weeks later I was in the shop again, I loved what had been drawn up and I had my appointment that day to get it done. I was nervous, of course, only having had ear piercings and that was it, but Dave talked with me and my Dad was there to help me relax. The print was placed on my back, the middle between the shoulder blades, sitting with my chest against the back of a chair and my Dad directly in front of me while everything was set up. I was ready.
I was also excited, being talked through the process and on what to do and what not to do. There was a mirror right in front of me so I could see everything that was going on. When the needle first touched my skin I honestly didn't know what to think, it didn't hurt as bad as I thought it would and I realized then that my nervousness was worth nothing, and it faded away. I found that I rather liked the feel of it, the calming hand that rested against my skin; not to mention the buzzing of the machine that some might find obnoxious. I seen relaxed, talking with my Dad about random things such as what was going on in school, work, and even this little black spot on the floor that we had managed to talk about for roughly a half hour.
I had been told that getting tattoos over bones was more painful then on the more fleshy areas of your body, I didn't realize just how much until the needle moved over my spine. At first I was worried because the spine is a major part of anatomy, I tensed and Dave stopped. Waiting patiently for me to relax and talking to me until I did. When I was relaxed again he continued, though I would have to say the only unpleasant part was when he moved to the tip of the sun which is near my neck. Always having had, and still having, issues with people near my neck I couldn't help but tense up again. It was over bone, so it hurt, so it was unpleasant, but again after a few short moments I was able to relax again and he was able to continue.
After my outline was finished, doing it initially then darkening the lines, it was mutually decided to take a little break; for both Dave and me. While he and my Dad were outside smoking, I stayed inside, thinking that I was the one who needed a cigarette. I couldn't, my Dad didn't know that I did smoke, so I was just leaning against the door, watching them smoke and talk about cars or something of the like. It was dark in the shop, everyone else having left and Dave was staying late to do my tattoo.
Once they were finished we all went back into the room, taking my place once more it was time to do the coloring. I had chosen two colors, blue and purple, and we decided to use a light blue and dark purple. I told Dave to color how he saw fit because he was the artist. I knew I would be happy with it and I was.
By now by doing the outline the designated spot on my back was pretty much numb, so the coloring didn't bother me much though Dad and I still talked. I hadn't even realized Dave had finished until he said so and after I looked he put the paper towel to cover the area. I paid for the tattoo on my own and after getting a celebratory milkshake from McDonalds Dad and I were on our way home. It was Mother's Day and considering I had just spent a few hours in a tattoo shop it was decided that it would be a good idea to just go home and spend time with Mom.
I have to say that my first experience with getting a tattoo was the best that it could be for me; my artist was friendly and helped greatly with keeping me relaxed. It has been three years since and I still love my tattoo; often wishing it was summer during the colder months just so I can wear a tank top and let it be seen. The after care was easy, even if the placement made it hard to do it myself; and I found it funny that my Mom pulling the tape off my back hurt more than the tattoo itself. It healed perfectly, having strictly followed the instruction not to pull the scabs off no matter how much it itched, and so I have no holes of missing color.
Even though it was three years ago I only have three tattoos, finding myself craving more and more because it really does become an addiction. And I can happily say that in a months time I am going back to Dave to get my forth.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 23 Sept. 2008