Katherine Got Ink! « Shoot Me Now

Shoot Me NowKatherine Got Ink!

Katherine Got Ink!
Published on Thursday, August 6, 2015 by

tattoo inkIf I had gotten a tattoo thirty years ago I know I would hate it today. I’m not the same person I was that long ago. But this year I turn 50, which means it is time to check off some things on the bucket list. The way I figure, if I get a tattoo now I don’t have that much longer to live with it… am I right?

For months I planned. Agonized. Researched tattoo artists. Stopped people on the street asking, “Who did your tattoo?!” This was quickly followed by the biggest question of all. “What did it feel like?”

When people described what a tattoo feels like, I heard the following:

  • It feels like a cat scratch.
  • It feels like something is burning your skin.
  • It just feels like annoying scratches over and over and over.
  • It feels like a razor blade cutting your skin in the same spot continuously.
  • Some people LIKE the feeling!

Which description wins? On tender spots it is VERY much the razor blade. No way around it.

I couldn’t decide on a design that would hold real meaning to me. But once the idea hit me I knew it couldn’t be anything else.  Furthermore, I researched tattoo artists for months and found the be all and end all Chris Garcia, who is not only talented but listened to what I wanted while making me feel extremely calm through the entire process.

My good friend Joan offered to sit with me. In between warnings of, “You KNOW it’s going to HURT” came, “I’ll be there for you!” “Joan, could you PLEASE stop telling me how much it is going to hurt!?!”

There is so much more to this story. Suffice to say I stressed for a month. We will just leave it at that.

My appointment was at 7:30 p.m. The butterflies in my stomach became bats as the time approached. Then came the call. “Chris is running about half an hour late. Can you come at eight?” AHHHHHHH!!!!  But that was OK, because I knew he would give me the same careful time that he was giving the client before me.  By the time he came out I had gone to the bathroom about eight times and was ready to cancel the whole thing.

When I entered the room, all I could smell was rubbing alcohol and cleaner.  Vodka and chocolate would have been better!

first tattoo

I birthed three babies… two without medication. It was fear of the unknown that had a grip on me. After a few design changes and a second placement of the stencil, the moment of truth was at hand.

Up on the table I went. I held on to Joan’s hand as the buzz came towards my ankle. Bzzzzzzzzzt! “Is that ALL?” I asked with a huge grin. My friend replied, “Just. You. Wait.”

ocean waves tattoo

When something hurts I ask for banter around me. Joan did not disappoint. I cannot repeat the things we talked about in that room. Not here. Not now. But conversation went from the bizarre to the absolute outrageous.

Did I mention there are very good looking YOUNG gentlemen who apply tattoos?  WELL…. Let’s just say that one of these good looking gentlemen came to talk to the good looking gentleman applying my tattoo and then left.

Just as he stepped out my friend exclaimed, “Your FLY is open!” Yea. My fly was open. The only time I had to tell my artist to stop was because I was laughing so hard my leg was shaking. If a faded woman like me can’t laugh at her open fly, when CAN she laugh?

I was fine for the most part. But when he hit the soft spots and the back of my ankle my friend recognized the sweaty palms. “Time to get in the zone, Katherine. You are on the beach. Close your eyes. No, don’t laugh. CLOSE YOUR EYES.”

So I closed my eyes. She began to trace a finger up my forehead while she rubbed my hair. I imagined I was on the sand feeling rays of the sun on my back. God bless her, my friend got me in the zone.

Then, just like on TV I heard those words. “It’s all done.”

“WHAT!? DONE?!!! REALLY!?!?!?! CAN I LOOK!?”

Standing in front of the mirror I turned my leg this way and that. “I love it. I LOVE IT!”

tattoo reveal

Salt water runs through my blood. Just as I asked, my artist gave me peaceful, flowing waves. In between the waves are three pieces of seaglass. Each piece of glass represents one of my children. My design is who I am, through and through.

ocean theme ankle tattoo

*Note to self.  I discovered a new curse of the redhead.  Freckles show through tattoos!

It was after 11 when it was all said and done. My tattoo artist said I did really well.  I hugged him and then hugged my good friend in the parking lot. Girlfriend got me through it.

As we drove home my friend began to scream out the window, “Katherine got INK!” I kept saying, “STOP! We are going to get pulled for drunk driving and we never even drank!” It was a night I will never forget.

Sure, lots of people don’t care for tattoos. And yes, I may be judged.  Also, people who don’t collect seaglass might question why I have colored blobs in my waves.  But I chose a placement that can be hidden at any time. Lucille Ball had it right when she said, “I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.”

Getting a meaningful tattoo with the support of my dearest friend? Now THAT is something I will never regret.

ankle waves tattoo

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