Sitting in the Detroit airport on my way home from Maui last week, I called my mother. "I brought home a rather interesting souvenir from Maui," I said. Her guess: "You're pregnant?!" Um...NO. "Well, you're so close, but actually, I got a tattoo."
It's true, me with the fear of needles that once caused me to (very briefly) pass out at the counter in Claire's after an ear piercing, underwent over an hour of tiny needles being repeatedly dunked into my virgin (to inking, that is) epidermis.
I have thought about getting tattooed for a long time, but could never really decide on what to get or where to get it. Anywhere in the abdominal region is out due to potential future baby-related stretching; forget the lower-back "whore brand"--too cliche, and besides, I wanted to be able to *look* at the damned thing without using a mirror. I was really considering the top of my foot, but the thought of those bazillion tiny needles hitting my delicate foot bones was too much to bear.
So I finally went for it and got a dragonfly (and not a cute cartoony one either) on the back of my lower calf (ankle, really, but directly on the back instead of the more popular side option). Though I do like the design, there are a couple of things I would like to change about it. Now, normally the time to do that would be when the artist shows you the drawing and it can still be erased and redrawn, but I am such a fucking wuss that I just smiled and said OK and had her just shrink it down a bit overall. Fortunately, I'm fairly certain that the changes I envision could be easily made to the current version.
Since I'm sure you're wondering...YES, IT HURT. It really wasn't so bad at first, but near the end a few spots seemed to get really sensitive and it was all I could do to keep my foot still. At least by that point I'd stopped worrying about the fact that my toe was poking the tattoo artist in the boob. Because thinking about what was *really* going on made it harder to handle the sensations, here are some of the things I imagined was being done to my leg during the tattoo process:
1. That a small, very hairy portion of my leg was being continually depilitated with the Epilady from the 1980's (basically a tight metal coil that spun around while you rubbed it over your hairy areas, abruptly ripping the hairs out of your skin)
2. That my leg was being repeatedly tasered.
3. That stinging ants with huge mandibles were burying themselves in my skin in order to lay eggs and establish a colony that would eventually lead to their world dominance. (OK, I didn't really think that at the time, but it still works).
All I can say is that if it weren't for the calming effect of the palm trees swaying outside the window, I don't know if I'd have handled the pain nearly as well. And that said, I am already thinking about what I will get tattooed next. My husband was right about not being able to get just one (he has 10). He claims it's the pain that most people find addictive, but that I just don't get. Of course, most people wouldn't "get it" if I ended up with 10 different non-cutesy insects tattooed all over me, but that's their problem.
Anyway, here's the result (sorry for the crappy image quality: