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First Love, First Tattoo

I got my first tattoo in 2007, when I 18 (the legal age in the UK) after a breakup with my first proper boyfriend. The break up had been coming for a long time but it was still a hell of a shock to the system when the time came to actually tell my then boyfriend that I no longer wanted to be with him.

We had been together since the night after 'prom' (so clichéd I know) when we were 16 and had been sort of together throughout out school years, we had grown up together. He was my first love, the first person I ever slept with, and my best friend.

The relationship was far from perfect in its last year. I had moved away to university, and he was still at sixth form, having dropped out and he had to re start. I was working like crazy and living the university life, he was still hanging with the same friends, and still had no job and was sponging off me. At the time, I did not mind too much, but looking back, I was totally taken for granted.

That's what eventually led to me ending it. I remember it so clearly; I spent a week so ill and bursting into tears randomly because I knew I had to end the relationship.

After it was done (on a Saturday night) I was in a state of shock, not sleeping or eating. Monday came along and I had to get out of the house and do something.

I had wanted a tattoo for years. Both my parents have them and other body mods that an older 'respectable council worker/ teacher' would not normally have; ie they both had nipple piercings. I had craved a tattoo and more piercings for years but had delayed actually getting them due to the fact my then boyfriend hated them with a passion. But now he was not in the position to tell me what to do, I literally thought "to hell with it, Monday morning, I'm getting my tattoo". I had the design saved away safely since I found it years ago. It was the Chinese symbol for 'first love', I have always been interested in the culture of the middle east, loved the clothes, the language, the style of writing etc, so I knew my tattoo had to be something tied to that culture. I searched carefully for the translation of 'first love' and even checked it with a Chinese friend to check the translation was accurate and wasn't getting something completely random on my back instead. I printed off th e design and made sure it was the size I wanted.

My dad drove me into town to one of the few tattoo studios in my town. I went in, showed them exactly what I wanted and where I wanted it putting. The shop was busy so I had to come back an hour later. I wandered around town with my dad for a bit, I wasn't remotely nervous at that point. When we got back to the studio, I went through to the room and sat on the chair. I wanted the symbol on my lower back but to one side, so I sat facing away from the guy. I checked the location of the stencil and I thought it looked fab! I heard the buzz of the needle and that's when I had my first flash of nerves. The pain was no where near as bad as I thought it was going to be (I actually have quite a high pain threshold anyway), and I got a bit bored by the time the colouring was half done.

To be honest, I had not researched the artist and only really knew the shop by reputation as the place where 'everyone else went'. My tattoo looked fine, the design wasn't butchered, but there was no comfort made from the guy, he didn't talk to me, try and put me at ease or anything like that. The whole thing only took about 15 minutes and by that point, the pain was fairly dulled but I was bored out of my mind!

The tattoo cost me £50 and healed quite nicely, though the colour is a bit patchy and it does need touching up (it's just solid black colour). I keep meaning to do it, but never get round to it. I would not go back there again for more tattoos. I just think, although it wasn't a bad place, there are better ones around. For my next tattoo, I went to the same franchise but a different shop but that's another story.

I love my 'first love' tattoo. It is a reminder of a time where I had given up my first love as it was making me miserable. Although I did love the boy, it wasn't enough for me, I had to take care of myself. After getting this tattoo, I really started thinking of myself as my first priority which I had not really done before. It marked the end of one period in my life and the start of a new one. I had a miserable time after the break up and suffered for months afterwards. Me and the boy are friends now, and talk occasionally, he even likes the tattoo, 'the symbols are pretty' he says. I would not change my choice of design or placement of my first tattoo, it is where it can be hidden or displayed and it adds a bit of decoration to my body.

I love body mods and tattoos, I currently only have 2 tattoos and I am certainly not stopping at that!


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 28 Sept. 2008
in Tattoos

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Artist: +
Studio: White+Dragon
Location: UK

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