Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Ink


Here's something you may not know about me;  I have a tattoo.  Not only that, it's not your stereotypical dolphin or devil, and I didn't get it on a whim or when I was drunk.  Don't ask me why but I wanted one ever since I was little, so just over a decade ago, I bit the bullet and got it done.


My tattoo
The design doesn't have a specific meaning, but to me it means "inner strength".  I got it done not long after a particularly difficult period in my life.  Things at home were going to hell, I'd not long be diagnosed with depression, my fiance of six years left me and I'd been made redundant from a job I loved.  My tattoo helps to remind me that no matter how tough things get, I have a hidden strength within me that will get me through it.

(Oh, and on an interesting side note, I was still living with my Parental Unit (a.k.a. my dad) and I got my tattoo done when he was away.  When he finally saw it, all he did was raise an eyebrow.  Six weeks later he said, "Don't you think you should wash that transfer off now?  Your arm must be filthy."  Sigh.)

Anyway, on to the point I wanted to make.  Just because I have one, it doesn't necessarily mean I understand why some people get certain tattoos.  So, I wanted to share my personal "do's" and "don't's" when it comes tattoos.

(It's also an excuse to show some really ugly/beautiful/disturbing pictures I came across.)

DO make sure the tattooist isn't a jerk...
Picture the scene;  I go in to get my tattoo done.  I sit in the chair, full of nerves, and this sweaty middle aged guy looks at my design, sits down next to me, prepares his equipment and says... "You sure about this, love?  It's going to f***ing hurt."  Not exactly the bedside manner I was hoping for.  I was up and out of that chair like a rocket and practically ran from the building.

Thankfully, the guy who actually did my tattoo was very sweet and very calming, and he made the experience not exactly pleasurable, but definitely not a nightmare.

DO make sure the tattooist knows what they're doing...
Otherwise you could end up with something as lame as these...
Oh dear, oh dear...
Oh dear...












DON'T worry about the pain...
If you want a tattoo that badly, the pain is worth it.  I have a lot of friends with tattoos and they've just about always said that the pain wasn't as bad as they expected.  I was so geared up for it to hurt that when it didn't, I had a massive adrenaline rush and almost passed out.

Putting the "ass" in "classy"
DON'T get a "Tramp Stamp"...
A "Tramp Stamp" is a tattoo situated at the base of the spine or the lower belly, just above the underwear line.  No matter how beautiful, how well drawn or how expensive they are, they are very rarely classy and can make even the most sophisticated person look cheap.




She must be so proud...
DON'T get a tattoo on your face..
If it's just about anywhere else on your body, you can cover it up if you need too.  But if it's on your face, you're pretty much screwed.  And a face tattoo is never attractive.


DO research your chosen tattoo...
... especially if it's a Chinese or Japanese symbol.  It may look very pretty and you may told what it means, but that isn't necessarily the case.  For example, the guy who got this tattoo thought it meant "Dragon Soul"...


... but it actually means "Foreigner".

And the owner of this tattoo thought it meant "Beauty"...




... but the translation is actually "Disaster".  

See the point I'm trying to make here?

Are you sure that's what you wanted
DO double/triple/quadruple check the spelling...
If you decide to get an unusual or longer than average or just a word you don't use every day tattooed on yourself, check the spelling even if you're positive you already know it.  And then write it down and give it to the tattooist, otherwise you risk spending the rest of your life walking around with a permanent spelling mistake.

And speaking of words...

Spelling AND handwriting fail.
DO check the tattooist has decent hand writing...
... unless you want people to constantly ask you, "What does that say?"







DON'T get an ugly tattoo...


I know they say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but come on!

DON'T get a tattoo of a name...
... Unless it's of your children, and even that's debatable.  It doesn't matter how long you've been with a partner, getting their name tattooed on your person is like a kiss of death on the relationship, and then you'll have to do something like this...


DON'T get a tattoo of a photograph unless you know the tattooist is up to the job...






Need I say more?

DON'T get a tattoo that will cause offense...
If you don't want you mum/grandmother/kids to see it or it could start a fight, don't get it done.  Tattoos of genitalia are just horrible, and homophobic, racist or sexist statements just make ugly people even uglier.
I won't give the offensive tattoos I've seen any publicity.  Instead, here is a tattoo of a kitty cat.  Isn't it cute?
DON'T get a "Twilight" tattoo...


Don't.  Just... don't.

DON'T get a tattoo when you're drunk/stoned/taking copious amounts of cough syrup...
...or you may end up getting a tattoo of Wolverine riding My Little Pony or a half naked female Stormtrooper.  Think I'm kidding...?


And finally...

DON'T go too O.T.T...
Take a look at these...




Don't get me wrong, I actually think they're gorgeous.  But I can't help thinking they would look better on a canvas.

The only thing I hate about my tattoo is when people say to me, "You'll regret it when you're older".  Maybe I will, maybe I won't, but I'm sure there are going to be plenty of things I'm going to regret when I'm in the retirement home, so what's one more?  Besides, it's on the top of my arm and easily cover-up-able.  I can only wish that all my future regrets can be hidden so easily.

2 people love me ♥ Add a comment...:

PAMO said... [Reply to comment]

Welcome back! Hope you're feeling better.
I am a tattooed woman. I couldn't help but roar with laughter throughout your post. All fantastic points.
I got my tattoos done in my early 30's and at age 48 can tell you honestly that I don't regret them.
I have one on each leg and one on my left arm.
Another great post A.!

Maundering mutterer said... [Reply to comment]

I never got a tattoo because it would have offended my mother's religious convictions that forbid one from marking the body. She's passed on now, and once again I consider... Must say, your do's and don'ts pretty much suit my tastes.

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