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Ne m'oubliez pas...forget-me-not

So I've wanted to get a tattoo for a long time, but unlike the majority of my peers I didn't rush into a tattoo place on my eighteenth birthday. I knew that I should wait to be absolutely sure it's something I wanted and that I had the money to spare.

I've tossed a bunch of ideas around, but it wasn't until a few months ago that I had narrowed it down to two designs. I wanted either a celtic heart knot or a forget-me-not. Both have a significant meaning to me, and I knew that I could confidently get them permanently etched into my skin. I talked to several of my friends and got their thoughts on it. They loved both designs. So, I just had to figure out which design I wanted first. The celtic heart knot would be on my wrist and probably cheaper, but I wasn't sure if I wanted my first tattoo in a painful spot. The forget-me-not I decided would also have lettering beneath it, and I wanted it on my right shoulder blade. I figured I would see how much they cost then go over my winter break to a place near where my mom lives.

So, after I came back to school from my Thanksgiving break I went to the tattoo place that's about a ten minute walk from my dorm to ask about pricing. I showed him both of my designs, and he asked me some questions about them. Then he asked which design I was more serious about. I decided the flower because I knew that even though it would be more expensive I'd rather do something a little more elaborate for my first one. So, he took that one and looked up some more examples online to kind of get a better idea of the colors. He said it would be about $150 which I didn't think was too bad. I thanked him and was about to leave when he said that if I wanted he could get me in on Thursday which was in two days. Even though I had planned to wait another month to get it done, I said sure without hesitation because I felt it was some sort of sign.

He explained that someone had cancelled and that he could get me in around 1:30ish. I made a face because I have philosophy at that time. He asked if two o'clock sounded better, and I thought what the hell I'll just ditch. I agreed and gave him a twenty dollar deposit for my appointment. I left and immediately called one of my best friends who has gotten two tattoos and told her about my spontaneous decision. She was pretty surprised but excited for me. I got back to my dorm and told my roommate and she was pretty surprised too. When I went to dinner with another friend I told her she should ditch her philosophy class and come with me, but she said she couldn't. So, I had two days to find a support system. I had to watch a documentary that night for my religion class and asked one of my friends I knew from my honors program, and she agreed to take me.

The next day I looked at the spot on my back that I wanted the tattoo and realized that I have some moles pretty close to that area and decided to get it on my left shoulder blade instead so that the placement wasn't restricted.

The day of I wasn't really nervous which is very surprising because I'm quite the worrier. Well, my friend came to get me, and two girls that I'm friendly with (another girl from the class and her roommate) decided to join the support group as well. We got there, and the artist, who's the owner of the shop, was finishing someone up. After he was done he took my design and drew up the stencil. We went to the back, and I watched him get everything ready. He checked the needles to make sure they were sharp, and explained how sometimes they can get damaged because the tips are so fine. I watched him mix the ink, and he told me he was going to keep the color scheme the same as the picture I had brought. Then, he placed the stencil where I wanted it and gave me a mirror to check it out. It looked perfect.

I sat in a chair, and he asked if I was ready for him to start. I said yeah and waited for this immense pain and was surprised by how dull the pain actually was. It felt exactly like what it was; it was just like needles going in and out of your skin. It hardly hurt at all. The guy explained how he started the tattoo place, and he answered any questions me and my friends had. He was very nice. The only parts of the tattoo I really winced during was when he was detailing the lettering and when he was outlining the flower. Overall, the pain was just a minor annoyance.

It took him about an hour to finish. When it was done the white around the center was kind of pink because it was bleeding a bit, but otherwise, it looked amazing. My friends thought it looked great as well, and I was super excited. He gave me some aftercare instructions and bandaged it up. We stopped by Walgreens afterward to pick up some A&D ointment and fragrance free lotion.

It's been three days since I've gotten it. There are some small scabs forming on the flower, and the lettering feels a bit raised so I think there are some pretty good scabs on there as well. I've been using the A&D ointment a few times a day, and I think I might switch to the lotion tomorrow. He told me that I should use the ointment for a week, but everything I've read said to only use it for the first few days. So, I'm going to call him tomorrow to see what he says about it. I'm kind of nervous about the aftercare since it's my first tattoo, and I don't want to mess it up. However, overall, I'm very happy about my tattoo. It looks great, and it's exactly how I pictured it. I just can't wait for it to be completely healed.

The pic below is from right after it was done.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 21 Dec. 2008
in Tattoos

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Artist: Ron+O%27Tool
Studio: O%27Tool+Designs
Location: Rock+Island%2C+IL

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