Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tattoos Just Make You Better

I remember the day I got my nose pierced like it was yesterday; I was at Black Hole Body Piercing, and I was pretty newly 18 years old. The guy who pierced it punctured a capillary with the needle, so when he removed the chunk of wine cork from my nostril, a waterfall of blood came pouring out of my face, spilling onto my tee shirt. He quickly stuffed a stud into the hole and grabbed me a wad of Kleenex as I tried to blink away the stars I was seeing. It was quite the ordeal, and then I ended up removing the piercing within the year after it was too much of a nightmare to continuously take in and out for work, where I wasn't allowed to have it.

Would you rather: Have piercings or tattoos?

Outside of my ears, I don't have anything pierced that I once did; it turns out, I decided at some point that piercings weren't worth the trouble of cleaning and shopping for stainless jewelry to satisfy my nickel allergy. I would much prefer tattoos, both on my own body and on the bodies of others. 

I first got my ears pierced in 5th grade, and at some point in junior high was allowed to have a second set of holes in my lobes as well (those have since closed up, been repierced, and closed again). I had my belly button pierced at one time as well, and I have the scar but no longer the piercing. And then there was my nose. That was the extent of the piercing craze for me - I never did upper ears, or my brows, which were all the rage in my generation. I am not a huge fan of piercings and don't get cravings to add holes to my body on a regular basis.

The same is not true of tattoos. I crave tattoos. I have several and I want more, and I generally allow myself to plan for one with at least one quarterly bonus a year - I figure a bonus is meant to be spent on something fun, right? 

My first tattoo, I got when I was 18, and my mom went with me to get it. My friend Josh drew it for me; it's a very small, cross-legged Tinkerbell on the small of my back, off to the side of what would be a "tramp stamp." I got it at a tattoo studio in Milwaukie, which is no longer in business, where all of my high school friends were getting theirs done. It was pretty for a while, but I've had it for 12 years and it's needing redone really badly. I have every intention to cover it up with something big and bright and wild. 

Next, I went up to Dark Something-or-other in Vancouver, where I selected a crescent moon and single star off a wall of art. We added a second star and the initials of two close friends of mine who's passed away that year and a couple years prior, and I left. I never liked it. It was too small for my calf, and the guy just really didn't do a good job. Just last year, I had it covered up by the amazing artist at Tron City in Portland, with a huge purple rose and a swallow. I love it now; I think it's beautiful and I love how big and bright it is. I also love that you can't see the ugly moon anymore. 

My third tattoo I got at Red Rocket Tattoo in New York City. It says "Carpe Diem" in large black block lettering, and it's on my hip. I like it, My mom hates it. I hid it from her for a long time, because I was living with her and for some reason thought I would get in trouble for it. It's not my favorite tattoo, but I love the story behind it and that I got it on one of the best vacations I went on with my best friend. 

Fourth was the aforementioned cover up. 

My fifth tattoo, I got this year, again from Tron City. It's my largest one, and also my favorite, and the one I intend to add to next. It is on my side, up under my armpit, and it's two honey bees and a beehive, meant to represent my grandparents. There's a long story to it that you can read all about, but in general, this is by far my most meaningful tattoo - and the only one with a real story outside of I liked the design. I plan to add huge, vintage-style flowers to it, and probably soon - I like to get tattoos in the winter so they can heal without being on display when they're all gross and peeling. 

Not only do I have several tattoos and want many more, I am also fascinated by tattoos on other people.  I love them, love the stories. I like to look at them. My boyfriend has a tattoo on his shoulder blade that I love to outline with my finger when we're in bed watching TV. I enjoy watching people get tattooed as well, which I hear is weird...I sat through my girlfriend's 5+ hour session and loved it. 

I think tattoos are great. But more importantly, I think that if you want a tattoo or a piercing, you should just get it. Don't worry about what anyone else thinks - it's your body; treat it as such.