04 November 2023

Permanent Nerdery

 After waiting for two months, I have two tattoos!!!  

I've wanted one for quite a while and had tentatively set a goal for a Significant Birthday then that birthday happened right at the beginning of the pandemic.  Then my mother-in-law passed and it just compelled me to follow through with it.  I wanted a Doctor Who tattoo originally but then I found the tribute tattoo that I wanted.  I found it on the ticktock app actually.  (Bunami Ink)

I found the shop I wanted and made an appointment.  Unfortunately, it was going to be two months away.  But as happens in life, those two months flew right by.  Originally I was scheduled for 5:30 pm on Wednesday, right after my sister-in-law got hers. (this is where I whisper "this was my idea and then she did it too")  Then the artist phoned about noon and asked if we could bump it up and I was all SURE, with a little flutter of anxiety.

The shop is in the historic part of town and is kind of funky.  They're super nice and of course, a little edgy.  ALL WOMEN staffed.  Paige is the newest artist, thus the two-month wait versus six months wait that is standard, I discovered.  She felt like talking to one of my nieces; like a daughter-figure, in a good way.  The shop is separated by booths, kinda, ten feet by ten feet; and it was surprisingly cozy.  Everything you see on television is open air settings and like a group effort.  I was relieved that it was a one-on-one setting.

We sat down and got cozy.  She decided to do the Doctor Who one first because it would take a little bit longer. She measured the templates again to make sure placement and size. Because, you know, this is permanent.  

During the consultation when I first saw the Doctor Who one, it reached from my hand to my elbow and I was way "That's too big!"  She agreed, especially as the wrist where the veins are is very tender.  She sized it down a little bit and had to close some loops in it in order for the tattoo to look good so it might not specifically say "I will love you through all of space and time"    (this will make you giggle in a minute, keep reading...)

Also, she placed them so if my arms are hanging "loose" at my sides, they're not obviously visible.  Not that I was worried about it, but I appreciated the attention to detail like that.  I work from home now but who knows what the future holds. 

She started to begin then hesitated "You're good, what do you need?" she asked very kindly.  I said "Just do it, don't hesitate, don't tell me about it. Just do it."  She laughed and was all "Okay" and ZAP.  Like Swistle explained, the first few were AAACCCKKK then the body acclimated.   The soft "underbelly" of the arm is Super Tender.  I had to breathe through that for a few moments and near the crook of the elbow and aforementioned wrist was pretty SHARP feeling.  

It was EXACTLY how Swistle described so I was sitting there thinking "Swistle said it would feel like this..." and I'm eternally grateful to know that ahead of time. Then about a third of the way into the first one, my brain/anxiety suddenly went "Um, okay, so this is REAL. We're doing this" so I had to breathe through that a little bit.  Then you just kind of lull into the zone, just as described.

I will say that one of my friends at the coffee stand was incredulous "You got TWO!?! On your first time!?!"  I guess I didn't think about it that way.  

The tribute one is on my left forearm, closer to my elbow than my wrist.  The Doctor Who one is on my right forearm and is nearly the length of it. I don't know if they're big or just seem bigger because  my vision is wonky. A determination can't be made until the dermshield comes off and we can really see them. They look Really Dark and that will fade with the dermshield removed and with time. I'm not disappointed at all, despite that previous paragraph.


Did I tell you that the Doctor Who tattoo was a surprise for Kevin?  What had happened was the mom tattoo wasn't going to come close to the 45-minute allotted time and when I was browsing through the tattoo examples on my phone, she saw the Doctor Who tattoos and got very excited.  She mentioned that she could do that one too and it wouldn't cost much more at all due to the time it would take. Basically, it was a buy one and get one free.  I thought about it for a second, realized that my follow-through is not good and what the hell, let's do both.  So, I didn't tell Kevin that I was getting that one.  He knew it was on the list for the future/maybe but he was expecting just the flowers.

It's is Galifreyan, the native language of The Doctor.
It says "I will love you through all of space and time"

After I was done, I met Kevin at a restaurant for dinner.  As we were waiting to be seated, I told him "Sorry that took so long, you'll see why in a minute."  He looked a little panicked so I shrugged my arm out of my coat and showed him the flowers.  Then I put my arm back in my sleeve and started to shrug off the other sleeve. "Wha...what did you?" he asked.  I showed him the other and he said "That's Doctor Who, right?"  I said yes and "It means I Will Love You Through All of Space and Time."  He smiled then did that expression where he realizes he married a crazy person.  I've seen that expression many times.

Indeed, Kevin was very touched, first by the mom tattoo then about his.   Then he joked "It doesn't have my name or anything, that could go for any guy."  LOL   Then he also said "You got one for me so you know Brother is going to be all WTF, my wife didn't get a tattoo for me" which made me really laugh.

The next day it was so ITCHY.  I chose to have the dermshield tape on it because I didn't want to risk infection or complications.  It makes the skin wrinkly, which is disconcerting because your brain sees it and says OLD LADY SKIN! Moisturize, for the love of god.  It hurt with heavy sleeves, like a hoodie but otherwise is just kind of tender.  Each day is better but itchiness is still a thing.  

Also, this is where Surely was reminded that Surely has sensory issues so having TAPE on her arms has made her a little fussy.  I'm actually counting down: Today is Day Three of Seven.  I can take off the tape on Wednesday morning.  Also, I got prescription Allieve for my knee and am super happy to report it takes the edge off my arms as well.

I have zero regrets.  Will I ever get another?  Not sure.  I can't think of anything that I would like and these are exactly what I wanted.  Originally, we were going to try to incorporate a dragonfly into the flowers but they were going to be so small that it would just look weird.  I'm not sad about that.

OH! Wait, I'm a little bit of a liar.  Right before my appointment I saw a tiktock where the guy got a tattoo then used his phone on it - like a QR code - and it PLAYED A SONG.  It's a real thing and you get the code from Spotify.  THAT is intriguing!  but I would never be able to choose just one song.

I showed my father in law the next day and he said "You girls sure must have loved her to do that..." which was so sweet.  I told him "Well, I'm not getting a tattoo for MY MOM" and he laughed.

The Doctor Who took about thirty minutes and the flowers took twenty.  I asked hundreds of questions so I had something else to focus on.  Here are the highlights:

*Has she ever seen Asian symbol tattoos that were wrong and she said yes.  Only once has she explained to the person that it was wrong.  The girl thought she had "Family" and she had "House".  It required a second symbol to mean family. As in, add the people symbol because the house with the people symbol means Family.  She said she told the girl and she was "Okay, thanks" then never returned. Lolsigh.  

*The most stupid tattoo was a camel on a guy's big toe.  I didn't get it then she said "camel-toe" and I was OMG.  Because: omg on all the levels.

*She's never done private areas, if you will.  She said it's not her thing and it would have to be something very meaningful to even consider.  Never on a man though.

*She is picky about what she will tattoo because she's new to the field and "building her brand" and she admits, even after she's established she'll probably still be picky.

*She said other artists will tattoo everything/anything.    She did say they have "drop in" tattoo availability and "joked" about me coming back for something else on a whim.

*She said men are the WORST.  The worst.

*I always thought it was a law that if you're drunk, you can't get a tattoo but it is one of those Moral vs. Legal things. She said she won't do it though, because drunk people.

*Finally, there isn't a thing like "Tattoo School"  This surprised me a little. Typically, a person will apprentice in a shop for year(s) and learn by observation then work their way into actually tattooing.

So, it was a fun experience and I'm happy that I did it.  Kevin likes it and is curious to see how it turns out once everything is healed.  Maybe I'll do another one but probably not.  Would I recommend it?  Yes, I would.  

Also, I got a cute sticker: