Thinking about inking

by DaniGirl on August 12, 2014 · 5 comments

in It IS all about me

I was never particularly interested in getting a tattoo. “Why would you permanently emboss yourself with artwork that you wouldn’t hang on your walls?” was my all-purpose response to the very idea. It’s not that I was morally opposed to tattoos or even disliked the idea. I just couldn’t imagine committing to a single bit of art forever – which may, now that I think about it, be a generalized extension of my inability to commit to framed photographs as well.

However, one day last year it occurred to me pretty much out of the blue that *if* I were to ever get a tattoo, it would be a tattoo of a shooting star. Nay, a tattoo of THREE shooting stars. Now THAT is something I would love for the rest of my life, and something that will still be as meaningful to me in 30 years as it is today.

In a manner completely atypical for a woman who thinks instant gratification is far too long to wait, I have pondered and toyed with the idea for more than a year. Finally, the occasion of my 45th birthday seemed like the right time to finally acquiesce to impulse – even if that impulse was more than a year in the percolating.

Well, I didn’t quite manage to get the tattoo in time for my birthday earlier this month, but I do have an appointment coming up. I could have had it done by now, but apparently it’s recommended that you wait three to four weeks (WEEKS!) before submerging your tattoo in a bath or swimming pool or allowing it to be exposed to sunlight, and that would put a serious crimp in my end-of-summer enjoyment of our pool membership and trips to the beach. Looking at the forecast from now through Labour Day, though, I’m not sure I’ll be missing much pool-worthy weather if I do hold off, so I keep waffling on whether to wait or go ahead.

Funny, though, that in the same way everyone seems to have a white car when you buy a white car, I am seeing a LOT of chatter about tattoos on the web lately. I thought this post was pretty funny: Why You Should Never Ever Get a Tattoo (But Having a Baby is Fine), but it did make me wonder – do people really still think like this? If the 40-something moms I know are getting tatts, how taboo can they be? I figured tattoos these days are about as risqué as double-pierced ears – and yet more than one person has asked me if I’ll be getting the tattoo in a place that will be easily concealed at work. Hell no! If I’m going to bother, I’m going to show that baby off as much as I can! Mind you, I’m not talking about a full sleeve or something that wraps from my neck to my hipbone. At most, it wouldn’t be larger than a post-it note, probably on my ankle but I did seriously contemplate the inside of my wrist for greater visibility.

And no, I’m not sharing my tattoo design just yet. I need to save that for a big bloggy reveal! 😉

Inevitably, since I started talking about getting one, the boys (well, let’s be honest, the middle boy, my teenager in waiting) has asked if he can get one. Ha, I laughed at him. Of course not! Talk to me when you’re 45, babycakes. Although he then changed directions and started talking about an earring, which I am pretty much fine with – but that’s a conversation for another day.

So talk to me about tattoos, bloggy peeps. Are tattoos still risqué when the moms at the schoolyard pickup are sharing tattoo aftercare tips? Or do they still send out a negative impression in your opinion? Are tattoos mainstream, or do they still make people judgy? Do you have one? How and why did you choose your design? Do you have any regrets about having – or not having – one? You won’t talk me into or out of getting one, but I’m fascinated that there are still such divergent opinions out there on this!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sara August 12, 2014 at 12:00 pm

I have never found tattoos to be tabu in any sort of way. I always thought they were a great way for self expression. I wanted one since I was 13 and travelled to Ottawa for the first time and saw the tattoo I wanted. I waited until I was 18 to get it done.

There are three well thought out places of ink on my body with plans for more. I think long and hard about what I want and the place on my body where it will go. I think about how long I will like the tattoo I am getting, will it look okay when I am 80+ and wrinkled or is it appropriate if others happen to see where they are placed. I have a dolphin on my lower back (my 1st), a fairy on my right ankle (2nd) and a camera on the side of my wrist.

I do not approve of children under 18 getting tattoos. My 14 year old step-daughter has one because her mom let her. My oldest son wants a tattoo so he can stop wearing his medic alert bracelet and I told him, he can get one when he is 18. That is only 10 years away…eek!

One thing I wish I had done was more research into the tattoo parlour before I got my first tattoo but that was before Google had a ton of information in a nanosecond at our fingertips.

I commend other women for having the gumption to get full sleeves or more of artwork put on their bodies. I don’t think any more or less of moms who do or do not have any ink. It is their choice and having ink doesn’t change anything about who you are as a person.

2 Mary @ Parenthood August 13, 2014 at 7:33 am

I’m not opposed to tattoos on other people (not my family!) but I find it amazing that people tend to give me flack for keeping the same hairstyle, clothes and not using nail polish while at the same time applying random designs that can’t be altered and look bad when they get old to their skin. Plus sometimes parts of your skin don’t take pigment evenly & you don’t find this out till too late.

When temporary tattoos can be custom designed and some last up to a month I have no idea what the attraction of injecting dye under your skin is. But clearly it is a thing now, and I don’t think it is risqué in Ottawa at least.

3 little red hen August 14, 2014 at 3:36 pm

I got a tattoo for my 40th birthday (almost 9 years ago, eek). I thought long and hard about the design and the placement. And I tried to envision what it would look like when I was 85 and being bathed by the nursing home staff and if I would regret the decision then. I think getting one that means something to you, maybe something you’ve designed yourself and not just some random design out of the artist’s book for the sake of getting a tattoo is the way to go about it. I’m pondering another design for next year’s milestone birthday. Good luck.

4 Jenny August 17, 2014 at 7:31 am

I have a lot to say about tattoos and mom’s with tattoos. I’ll try and make a post soon on my blog and link to it here. But in a nutshell, I’m a mom and have a lot of tattoos. I got my first tattoo when I was 21 and about to live on my own. I still “asked” for my moms permission, because I wanted to stay on her good side. She said I could get one, as long as she got one with me. It was a first tattoo for her too. The way she describes it, it’s just a mark on your envelope.

Speaking of shooting stars, when I went for my last tattoo, I was debating between getting one of Silverstein’s “Who Polishes the Stars” image or of a doodle frame. When I make that blog post about tattoos, you’ll have to see which one I picked.

I don’t think tattoos are as taboo as they used to be. Lots of people are getting them. I think it’s great that mom’s are getting them. It’s special. Where are you going to get your tattoo done? Can’t wait to see the results.

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