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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Tattoo Dreams

Did I mention I want a tattoo? It's something I've been thinking over for the last 18-months or so.

One afternoon last summer, while working at the gallery, a man came in who had just come from the tattoo parlour. I had never seen a "fresh" tattoo before, and it was so bloody and disgusting looking that I completely freaked out. Suddenly choosing a body part - any body part - seemed a lot less pressing. Despite the tempting offer of several friends getting tattoos at the same time (friends who, at their request, will remain anonymous), I backed off. (Its what we do for fun in Alaska: group tattoos.)
Last Saturday, I bought a new stud for my nose, and while I was at the body art studio, I studied the tattoo catalogue. I was getting ideas again. I asked the body-piercing-specialist if the tattoo artists can help design the image. Emphatically yes.
So here I am, ready for pain and blood.
I even know where I want it.

I want to be able to see it without using a mirror, so that leaves out my whole backside. I considered my upper arm, but was warned that upper arms - like many other body parts - tend to change size as the years progress, thus "altering" the image. So I gave up on that idea as well. (Additionally, an upper arm tattoo is a lot more difficult to hide, which might be necessary the next time I interview with a Fortune-500 company.)

Ankle tattoos look really cool. Originally, this was my first choice. Then someone told me that because ankles have so little body fat, tattooing them is very painful. And since I can't be drunk while getting the tattoo (and thus numbed), ankles quickly lost their appeal.

(Incidentally, before having the first of my four kids, I would often try to imagine the pain of childbirth, wondering, How bad can it be? Really? Having learned the hard way that this is a mortifyingly stupid question, I did not want to duplicate this pattern with a tattoo. However, habits die hard. Hence my recent musings while reading Jon Krakauer's book "Into Thin Air": Come on. How hard can climbing Mt. Everest really be? See how I am?)

With all this in mind, it has become very clear to me that the perfect place for my tattoo is the front, lower part of my shoulder, a la bra-strap-region (as long as it stays well-above those areas which will some day inevitably creep in a more southerly direction).

I have also chosen what to get tattooed with. But I'm not going to tell you.

Choosing a tattoo image is a lot like naming a baby: if I tell you, I know I'll get the inevitable "Huh", plus all sorts of unsolicited input. Let's face it: getting branded with something I'm going to have look at several times a day until I die is a fairly personal thing. You, on the other hand, may never see it. It's not about whether to buy the Captain Crunch or the Cocoa Pebbles. (Duh, by the way.) But I can assure you it will be G-rated - no gory, half-mutilated, naked-people hiding under my bra strap, thanks. (Neither will it feature Disney Princes and Princesses.)

Bruce is urging me to get it done sooner rather than later. I'm not sure what this says about him - that he wants his wife tattooed - but I told him it won't be any sooner than this fall, when the weather cools and I'm less likely to expose that particular part of my anatomy to the sun (which I've been told is a no-no for a little while afterward).

I may very well think of another reason to chicken out between now and then. We shall see. We shall see.


At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're waiting... :-)


At 3:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You never cease to amaze me.

At 3:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know I'm not usually the pessimist, but I do want you to ask a professional if this has any effect on MRIs, Mamograms, etc. before you have it done. (Remember when Charley had his MRI? I was told then that if you are tatooed you cannot have one, but this is something you should check out for yourself.) Only brought this up out of love,


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