Tuesday, September 25, 2012

virgin (tattoo) diaries pt. 3

I did it.

You wanna say I'm all mouth, yeah? OK, sometimes I talk a big game. Sometimes I sissy out. But this is my year, remember? I'm just doing it. All of it. Bunce wondered aloud if we really do "get things out of our system". Maybe we just scratch the itch and enjoy some temporary relief. I think I'll always be itchy.

(Like my 5-day-old tattoo. Oh, the itching.)

There are some people in my life who share my affliction. 30-something going on 16? You know who you are. I guess I'm just trying to figure out how to satiate my inner irrational teenager while staying within the confines of my responsible adult existence. Cabin in the Woods of the soul. Spoiler alert! I'm making sacrifices to my demons.

My demons are happy.

My actual 16-year-old self didn't rebel with a hasty, amateur Daytona Beach dolphin ankle tattoo. I experimented with hair colour and pierced my nose on a New Year's Eve dare, offering up my guinea pig face to a beauty school freshman. My folks weren't especially strict about that stuff but I remember them being pretty anti-tattoo (until, at 50, my mother beat me to the punch) and I wanted to be a good girl. Also, I was quite self-aware at 16. I was fickle and flighty and pretty uncomfortable with being me. Not an ideal candidate for permanence, right?

I never wanted a dolphin. I always wanted a bird (see? I'm not being impulsive). It doesn't mean anything. It's just pretty. And while that might sound like a silly reason to choose a specific tattoo subject, I think it's smart. An aesthetically pleasing representation of nature will never cease to be relevant.

{ get ready... }

I'm 33. I feel 16 (angst and all) but I know who I am now. I'm comfortable in my skin (itchiness aside). And I decided I might be – well, I AM – the kind of girl who chooses a full-forearm tattoo on her very first go.

My first of two sessions at Archive was last Thursday. I was hella nervous but I was pretty sure that it was the good kind. Like first-date-with-cute-boy nervous. Not STD-test-after-unprotected-sex nervous.

David was a total pro and just an awesome person. The atmosphere (non-pretentious, clinical-but-cozy) was ideal for a first-timer like me. The pain was probably hiding under adrenaline and good conversation, so it wasn't as excruciating as I'd been made to believe. I also told myself that it was less horrible than roller coasters and and PAP smears and job interviews. It was. The last portion of the shading started to get to me, however, and I realized that 2 hours was probably my threshold. No matter – David finished a beautifully-executed starling perched among wispy freesias (a whopping 7x4" piece) in time for me to be home for dinner.

In a month, I'll get my colour done. I can't imagine loving it any more than I do, but I'm a sucker for colour. All of them. RAINBOWS!

 { this guy will be making a lot of cameos in my photos. forever. }

In the meantime I'm trying to ignore the fact that I am molting. Molting! Yeah, like a seagull or a tree frog. JUST PIECES OF MY BODY FALLING OFF. I would generally be inclined to pick at and "encourage" this process. I'm a picker. But I have been strongly advised against it. Forbidden! Put me in a straight jacket. Please.

I blubbered "It completes me!" after admiring it (again) in the mirror tonight. Hubby was surprised to learn that he hadn't already been the last piece of my wholeness. I'm sure he and ink-bird will learn to live harmoniously.

And if they don't? Tattoos are a lot more permanent than marriages, so you can guess how that will go down.

(Totally kidding. He loves it.)

More non-iPhone photos when I start looking more like a girl and less like a reptile. 


Read more about my adventures in ink here and here.

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