I know. You're shocked, right? I think my husband was, too, when I told him a couple of years ago that I wanted to get one. He had 2 at the time so what *could* he say. But me? A tattoo?
Let's review the whole tattoo process.
First, there's the design. Figuring out what you want permanently engraved on your body. For life. Forever. Sometimes that's where people stop. I mean, it's PERMANENT. (I'm 43. What's this thing on my back hip area gonna look like when I'm 70?) Then there's choosing the artist to do the work. And the shop. You want cleanliness. And someone who knows what they are doing and cares about their work. And then there is the $$. It ain't cheap. That's all I'm saying. Final decision is placement. WHERE do you want this FOREVER AND EVER piece of art on your body? In plain view? Hidden to the world?
All the decisions are made. You are ready. And then....then....there's the needle.
Yes. The needle. And that's why my husband was shocked I wanted one. I don't do needles. I'm not as bad as my friend, Karen, but I don't like them. Hate them. And needles are involved in tattoos.
So I fly out to Michigan one summer to meet some on-line friends. (I didn't go alone. I took friends with me.) One of the gals had some connections to a local tattoo parlor (Which calling it a parlor, by the way, lends one to believe alcohol will be served. It is not. It should be.). The guy was nice, gave me a deal, and drafted a beautiful one-of-a-kind tattoo drawing from something I had sent ahead of time.
Have I mentioned the needles?
So getting to the parlor (that doesn't serve alcohol) was half my battle. I empowered my friends to NOT let me back out of this endeavor. And on the way I had a mini panic attack. Probably because I started thinking about the needles. I mentioned those, didn't I?
We get there. Go in. He shaves my hip...which my friends tell me is really my butt. However, I refuse to acknowledge that some strange man has just shaved my butt. So it's my HIP. He applies the copied outline to my skin. And we are ready.
Wait. I need just a moment.
Okay...no, wait. I need another moment.
Okay. I'm ready.
He just does a tiny part of the outline just so I know what to expect. Not soooo bad. This will be a breeze!
1-1/2 hours later it was done. It was NOT a breeze. Outline, shading, coloring....auuughh!! And on a completely sensitive area of my body. I mean, it doesn't even see the sun, people! What was I thinking? The area was throbbing in pain when he was finished. I almost didn't make it to the white highlights. I had tears in my eyes and I was just DONE.
But I loved it.
I'm a bit of a Wizard of Oz freak. But that's another post altogether. The meaning behind this tattoo, other than the obvious? I had to have one. It's the law when you get a tattoo. Did you know that? You have to have meaning and reason behind the design you choose. If you don't, they won't give you one. It's the law. Okay, not really. But my husband insisted that I really think about the design and make it personal and meaningful.
I had a rough few years prior to the tattoo. They involved family. The ruby slippers represent me traveling the road to find my way back home. And there is no place like home.
Corny? Maybe. But I have permanently marked my body so that I will forever be reminded of where I was and how far I traveled to get where I am. And I really do love the final product. It's a good thing it turned out so lovely.
Those needles are never coming anywhere near my body again.