Before I got my first tattoo, I was fully aware of the general opinion. You either had loads, or you had none. You either hated them, pretended to like them or loved them. Me? Well I’d never really known anyone with them in all honesty. My next door neighbour had two on her ankle, a dolphin and a star I think. I remember when she first got them and she kept complaining about how itchy they were… I think I must have been about 10 at the time. She wasn’t a particularly rebellious kind of woman, you wouldn’t imagine her in prison but you wouldn’t expect her to be in a nice apron in the kitchen. We didn’t get that sort on my estate…
I was 16 when I first considered getting one. Though I can’t remember what I wanted, and it’s against the law to get one before you’re 18 anyway. I remember my friend gave herself a tattoo, with a pen. It was some homophobic comment scratched into her skin, looking back I’m amazed she didn’t get ink poisioning!
Last year I finally got one though. I remember discussing it with a friend who’d been considering getting some gang tattoo. He’d said that though his dad would flip, his old man was more likely to give him the money for it to prevent him getting an awful one. Mine was a split decision, I decided on it the night before, was straight to the tattoo palour at 11am the next day and was booked in for 5pm. Wow, it was really happening. I honestly think I spent the rest of the day in shock! But I got it and it wasn’t anywhere near as I was expecting.
My first was “Believe” on my collarbone. It’s not a particularly original thing in all honesty. I wanted to get it in memory of my nana and an old friend. Both had pushed me more than anyone I knew, and as you know from my previous posts about my laziness academic, I was amazed that they believed in me more than I could. Mum freaked obviously, but thankfully I wasn’t seeing her for another few months.
My second was the butterfly design on the back of my neck. I knew that I didn’t want another one that I would see every day, I never had the intention of being a tattooed kind of girl or anything. This one was a butterfly design, but it was patterned rather than the typical picture. It’s another motivational one I guess, but it represents how much I think I’ve grown up since coming to university. It’s pretty too.
But the funny thing is, I’ve never had one person say they hated my tattoos until last night. My mum was a bit put off, of course, but she’s my mother. A collegue at work laughed about how she’d never “ink her skin” but she’s 65 and very set in her ways. Even she admitted it looked nice. But my friend last night was drunk, and I was telling him how I’m getting my third tomorrow: an Alice in Wonderland themed quote, “We’re all mad here.” He visibly flinched. I’d never known he had a problem with my tattoos, though he never knew about my second one- admittedly, my first one is essentially on show every day.
I just remember going: “you don’t like my tattoos? We’re gonna fall out… very quickly!”
And he jumped up with “No, we’re not falling out, I’m leaving!”
The fact he feels weird about them bothers me of course. Not that I could change that I have them, not that I ever would, but it’s the first time I’ve been confonted with that opinion since I got them and I was shocked it was from such a good friend! It’s probably a sign of how much I’ve changed in the past few years, prior to my 13 year old emotional rebellion I doubt I would have ever considered a tattoo of any kind.
Guess I’m a bit more rebellious than I give myself credit for!