creative writing, gratuitous self pity, misanthropy

Add One to the List of Things I Thought I’d Never Do

cat-tattoo1

This is not my belly button area.

There are a few things that I thought I would never do in this life.  Some of them I’m pretty confident will never come to pass, such as climbing Mt. Everest or running a marathon, but I never thought I would (considering the dim view I take on tacky ones) get a tattoo.

I’m the first one to mock bad tats, and I’ll never forget the reason why my grandfather wore long-sleeved Oxford shirts with the button sleeves buttoned at the wrists every day of his life until he was dying in the nursing home.  Grandpa had some horrifically badly done tats on his forearms dating back to when he served in the Navy in 1943.  They did not improve with age.

I generally have a loathing for the “tramp stamp” or any other tats on a woman in places that are way too close to her naughty bits.  The idea of having an artist drawing on my cleavage, butt crack or any other area normally covered by clothing in polite company is a rather unsavory one.  I don’t want to subject anyone to that visual.

tattoos-star warsbad-tramp-stamp

Not my back or my “tramp stamp” area!  Especially not Jabba the Hut, considering that from reliable reports he bears more than a passing resemblance to my ex.

Even so, I have toyed on and off with the idea of a tasteful tat of a black cat on a non-naughty bit part of my anatomy for a long time. Weirdly enough, Steve-o was sort of behind me actually doing it rather than just continually mulling it over.

Steve-o is deathly afraid of needles, so much so, that last year when he had to have a routine blood draw I told him to grab my hand and look the other way.  I thought he was going to rip my hand off and jump up through the ceiling.  So when he said he was going to get a couple of tats, I said, yeah, right.  I didn’t think he had the balls, and I reminded him, in spite of his swagger, of his very unmanly drama with the phlebotomist in the ER, and that only involved one needle stick.

I told him that I’d go with him, and if he went through with it I’d get one too.  Part of me figured he would wuss out, but if he did it, then I was obligated.  The nice part about doing this with Steve-o, is that as in everything he had done his research and found a facility with stellar reviews, autoclave sterilization and talented artists.  He is so paranoid about needles and the prospect of blood-borne pathogens that he’s going to choose someplace that’s scrupulously clean.

Either way, no real big deal.  I am not freaked out by needles.  My pain threshold is much higher than it probably should be, so either way, I was cool with it, and I’d been toying around with the black cat idea anyway.

When I saw the designs he came up with I almost had to laugh, but hey, he’s over 21.  At least no cartoon characters were lampooned in the making of his tats.

The one he had put on his shoulder is in German and roughly translated means: We Must Live Until We Die.

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The other one is way too close to naughty bits to show the actual picture of the tat, but let’s just say it’s an instructional diagram:

shift pattern

The motorhead crowd would know this (above) is the shift pattern for 4-speed manual Volkswagens, i.e. like his rail buggy.  In Toyotas and other civilized vehicles, (below) reverse is directly below 5th, but VW to this day still insists on that funky dog-leg reverse pattern.  It screws me up every time I drive one if I don’t consciously think about it, since I am used to driving the Toyota every day.

5speed Toyota

This one makes more sense to me.

The other bet Steve-o and I had was which one of us would be discovered first.  Since his are on his shoulder and in the nether region covered by boxers, and mine is on my calf, the Warden (Steve-o calls my Mom the Warden, which in some ways is sort of apropos) will probably notice mine first, being that it’s the season for wearing capris.  So I’m thinking the next time I go up there either I wear a skirt or long pants if I want to avoid the drama.  Unless of course, she already knows.  Mom will of course have a major tizzy fit when (or if) she finds out, because she thinks any tattoo is automatically tacky.  She may be right, but I’m 44 years old, and if I feel like getting a black cat inked on my calf I’m going to.  You only live once.   It’s not as if it’s on my face or hands or naughty bits.

IMG_20130513_093939

For what it’s worth, I think it’s cool, and right now I’m the only one I really care about impressing.

I’ve heard people say getting a tat is insanely painful.  It probably depends on where you get it and who you are, but at the very worst- for me anyway- it only felt like a minor sunburn.  The more that I thought about black cats in art, the Chat Noir illustrations by Théophile Steinlen stood out in my mind as being the coolest black cat icons I could find, though I did take liberty with the hot pink eyes.

Le_Chat_Noir

I do draw the line on a great number of things as far as tats go- where they can be, what they can depict and so forth to be considered tasteful.  Names are out of the question, as I remember all too well my best friend in high school having her boyfriend’s name- RAY- tattooed across her back.  When she and RAY predictably broke up, she was stuck with his name in three inch tall letters across her back.  I got smacked when I suggested she put BESTOS underneath RAY and get a job advertising brake pads.  There are just some things that aren’t meant to be illustrated on the human body, like this:

tattoo lenin head

Don’t be a Lenin-head!

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2 thoughts on “Add One to the List of Things I Thought I’d Never Do

  1. Congrats on the tats! I realize you only got one, but it doesn’t rhyme without the plural, so I’m congratulating your boy as well.
    In full disclosure, I am uninked, but I have no problem with tattoos in principle, and if someone’s tattoo makes them happy, more power to them, but I think it should be something you’re gonna remain proud of for the rest of your days.

  2. That’s why I waited until I was 44 years old, really thought about what I wanted, and paid good money to have it done in a top rated facility by an experienced artist. I didn’t want to be stuck with a tragic tat. As usual Steve-o had done his homework and picked an awesome facility and a great artist. I’ve been in hospitals that are less clean than this place,

    There was an element of mother-son bonding there too. A big part of me just wanted to see if Steve-o would have the balls. Now that he’s older, in a lot of ways we are almost more like good friends. So far I really like it. It kicks ass.

    I’m enjoying my second adolescence- and learning at least to hesitate before I say “never.” I’ve not asked him how the past week has gone for him- I’ll see him tomorrow- but mine is almost completely healed already.

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