Sunday, December 12, 2010


Michael and I got inked last night, and photographed the event for posterity:

This was not a first tattoo for either of us, and we've both talked about each getting another for a while. Trying to decide what to get and where took a lot of time and thought. We finally decided on matching peace signs, symbolizing peace in our love for each other - which is especially meaningful to us with everything we have been through together - and our wish for peace in life in general. We wanted something matching, also, to symbolize the unity between us.

The chosen spots

Me first . . . signing my life away

In another lesson of not judging a book by its cover, the guy who did our tattoos, John, had the look of a carny - completely tatted out from neck to ankles, giant holes in his ear lobes, shaved head, and just a vaguely inbred look. He was extremely polite and well spoken, however, and completely won me over when this oddball guy who apparently hangs out at the shop pretty frequently started talking about Howard Stern and how funny it is when he makes fun of "handicapped people," and John said, very seriously, "It's not funny. I don't like it."

The outline is done

My tattoo took about an hour, and it hurt! The inside of the wrist is a very tender area, and it's still very sore today. I'm very happy with it, though - he did an excellent job. Look at all the detail. Isn't it beautiful?

Michael was next. His tattoo didn't take as long, as it had much less detail. It's basically the same peace sign as mine sans the vines and flowers.

Interesting fact that I learned last night: there is no licensing of tattoo artists, and there is no governing body regulating tattoo artists or tattoo studios. Tattoo artists learn generally by apprenticeship, and there are no set requirements for becoming a tattoo artist. All one needs is a business license. This came as a huge surprise to me, given that the girls who do manicures and pedicures are required to complete a certain number of hours of schooling, pass a written test as well as a performance test, are required to be licensed to practice, must follow stringent regulations having to do with sanitation, and are subject to random site checks by the State Board of Cosmetology. And yet, tattoo artists, who deal with tissue and blood, have none of these requirements. Kind of shocking! Really makes this whole tattoo thing seem like even more a leap of faith. I saw their autoclave in the back last night, which made me feel a little better.

My Other Tattoos

All of my tattoos symbolize something to me. It goes beyond body art for me - I haven't set out to just decorate myself with images that look pretty or interesting but don't mean anything. Each one represents something deeply important and meaningful to me.

I got my first two tattoos eleven years ago, shortly after my first marriage ended and my first husband died. They are two butterflies, and they are located on my right hip. Getting a tattoo in the first place represented a sort of statement of independence for me; I had wanted to get a tattoo for a long time and my first husband, being the controlling bastard he was, always told me he'd leave me if I got one. Butterflies, to me, represent metamorphosis or transformation, and these butterflies represent me and Kevin who, at that time, were undergoing a huge change and transformation - beginning a new life, a fresh start, my hope being that we would grow together (and did). They are also something of a tribute to my dad, who had a butterfly tattooed on the back of his shoulder.

This tattoo is on my left shoulder. The two intertwined hearts represent me and Michael, and the six flowers, our kids. I got the hearts and the first five flowers shortly after Lilah was born, and had the sixth flower added after Finn was born.

In a sort of twist of irony, the guy screwed up the sixth flower.

As you can see, it's irregular and not lined up properly. Fitting, though, that it represents my "irregular," imperfect boy. I think this actually gives it more meaning for me.


Anna Alexandrova said...

Nice! Love it.

Taryl said...

The new tattoos are beautiful! Very well done.

Wendy P said...

Beautiful! There's a dad at Jackson's school who is completely covered in tattoos and piercings. He's one of the most actively involved parents I've ever seen. Books/covers/and all that.

Love Finn's imperfectly perfect flower, too.