For JD – WHY I have tattoos.

15 11 2008

You asked, here it is.  I’m not editing or using proper grammar or anything here.. just typing it as it comes out of my brain.  Lol.

I have 5 tattoos.  I got 3 of them before I was 18 and the story behind that is pretty stupid.  When I was 14 I got into the whole goth/punk scene, which wasn’t popular at the time.  I didn’t know anyone who had a tattoo either, except older people (by older I mean, not in high school).  I wanted to get my eyebrow pierced, and this was still semi-taboo at the time, too.  This was the mid-90s and eyebrow, tongue, and multi-earlobe piercings were becoming increasingly popular.  “Tramp stamps” aka, lower back tattoos, weren’t “in” yet either.

I begged my parents to let me get my eyebrow pierced.  I begged and begged.  Keep in mind, I’m 14.  They, of course, said No.  More like, “No way in hell!” This lasted a few months, and then I changed my mind and wanted my tongue pierced.  My parents felt vindicated that I had changed my mind and realized that I would change it again, so they just kept saying no.

My aunt, at this time, was into tats.  She got like 6-7 tattoos over a few months time.  I thought a tattoo might be cool, but I figured if they wouldn’t let me get a piercing, which can be removed and healed over, then I wouldn’t even bother asking for a tat.

One day, my aunt was over and she and my dad were talking about tattoos.  My dad decided he would get a tattoo of Jesus.  My dad looks like a biker with a ZZ Top beard, and now a tattoo of Jesus?  Ugh.  Okay, so my dad gets this tattoo.  Whatever. Lol.

A few weeks later, I’m telling my dad about the benefits of a piercing (just making crap up) and he says.. “Why don’t you get a tattoo instead?”  Now, my dad doesn’t do drugs but I thought for sure he was on something right then.  I took advantage of it.

Walt, my tattoo artist, refused to tattoo me until I was 15 with parental consent.  On my 15th birthday, my dad and my aunt took me and I got a tattoo of a tree frog.  I liked frogs a lot, and it has somewhat of a personal story.  I won’t go into it, but when I was 13 I went to a missionary school in FL and got shit on by a bunch of tree frogs.  Needless to say, they are pretty but not very nice.  I should have had a turd tattooed under the damn thing.

Okay, I’m sure you’ve heard, but tattoos are addicting.  It’s like drugs.  I was already planning my next one before the first one healed.  I got 2 more tats before my 18th birthday.  I also got my lip and clit pierced when I was 17 by some weirdo with a mullet who didn’t require parental consent.  In his defense, he did a good job.

Anyway, the 2 next tattoos I got were small, and honestly, pretty dumb.  They were just “pretty” things that I liked.

Fast foward to April 2006.  I’m 21 and I’ve been in the Army for a couple years.  I’m in Iraq, and I decide I want another tattoo.  This time though, I want something special.  My dad is an artist.  Not professionally anymore, but he does it on the side sometimes.  He is outstanding.  Anyway, I give my dad some vague details about what I want.  It’s very personal, but for the most part I just tell people that I wanted a piece of art by my father forever, so I got it tattooed on me.  I make it a big one too.  I come home on leave from Iraq, and I go and get this big ass tattoo on my arm.  I have to do it all at once because I don’t have enough time for it to heal and then come back and get it finished.  It took 6 hours.  Ouch.

I had a daughter in June of 2007.  6 days after I gave birth, I got her name tattooed between my shoulderblades.  They usually make you wait, but the guy who did it (not Walt – mistake!) figured I could handle it.  I did, but your senses are so heightened after birth that it was about 10x more painful than it should’ve been!

Here are a couple pictures:

My arm – shortly after it was finished-

My daughter’s name:

This is actually a picture of my back.  Lol.  I’m white as hell, but the flash on the camera made me invisible.

As far as my other tats, I don’t have any pics handy and I’m too lazy to take any.

Will I get more tats in the future?  Yes.  I have 1 more small one that I want to get, if I can talk my husband into letting me.  I also need someone who can speak/write fluently in Arabic before I can get it.  Besides that one, I plan to get all of my children’s names put on here somewhere.

Do I regret my stupid tattoos?  Yes and no.  If I could go back, I probably would’ve gotten something else, but I don’t regret it.  Notice that I said something ELSE.  I still would’ve gotten a tat.  It just reminds me of a different time when I was a different person.

Anyway – hopefully that helps give you some perspective.



Tattoos in the work place

21 08 2008

I have tattoos.  More than 1.  Less than 10.  I have multiple hours of work on my body and hundreds of dollars.

The first thing people notice when they look at me are my tattoos.  That is, unless I go out of my way to cover them.

I am lucky enough to currently have a job where my boss dictates the dress code, and also a really cool boss.  If he chose to let us wear jeans everyday, we’d be able to.  If he chose to make use wear formal business attire everyday, we would have to.  He is pretty lenient.  For the most part, I would define our dress code as “business casual”.  But it’s not even that serious.  I do work for the government, so you might think they would be a little more strict.  Let me just say again that my boss is a pretty cool guy.  When I first started this job, it was February in Pennsylvania.  I wore long sleeves and pants to work everyday, which covers all of my tats.  Now, it’s August, and while not as hot as some states, it is hot enough that I don’t want to wear pants and a sweater.

I wear short sleeves and skirts which show my tattoos.  I sit behind a desk where I deal with government officials (nothing too fancy, this isn’t D.C.), but mostly I deal with the local population.  Namely, old people.  Now, I have a huge tattoo on my arm.  Most people look at it and say, “Wow.  How long did that take?” or “Wow.  That is beautiful.”  But today I got something that threw me off guard.  I want to add that I do cover my tattoos at more formal events.  I know where and when I can push the boundaries.  Today my boss and another local government official held a “Senior Citizen Expo” where local businesses and companies set up tables with free stuff and tell them about services that they provide to senior citizens.  Generally, when it comes to old people, I try to cover my tattoos.  I was working the event, mostly taking pictures because I seem to be the only one who knows how to work a digital camera, and an elderly man walked up to me and said, “You were in the service?”  I didn’t know this guy.  I said, “Yes… How did you know?”  To which he replied, “Well, I saw your tattoo peeking out and I just assumed as much.”

I don’t know why this sort of threw me off guard, and I wasn’t offended by any means, but I was taken aback.  I remembered that when this guy was my age, the only people who had tats were in the service, and their tats were hearts with banners that said “Mom”.  Or of anchors if they were a sailor. When people ask me about my tattoo and what it means, sometimes I just say, “Well, I was in the Army and everyone had a tattoo.”  But really, I’m just too lazy to go into detail and why should I tell a stranger the motive behind my tattoos?

Why should anyone care about my tattoos?  It’s my body.  I’ll do what I want to it.

My biggest pet peeve is when people come into our office and look at me, but then completely ignore me and wait at the other person’s desk for help.  Like I’m going to eat their souls or something.  Hey, you know what – go ahead and wait at Joe’s desk.  I don’t mind.  I’ll just sit here and surf the web while he works.  I offered you help but if you want to wait, go ahead.

How about the age-old question?  — What are you going to do in 50 years when your skin is all saggy and your tattoos look so ugly?

I always say, “Who says I’m going to be saggy and ugly in 50 years?  Maybe I will age beautifully!”

(That’s not me, but she’s 50.)

Or — What will your grandchildren think!?

If my grandma had tattoos like I do, I would think I had the coolest freakin grandma ever!

Anyway, I just felt like ranting for a minute.

What do you think?