Tattoo Tuesday – They Don’t Like My Ink

Marvin by Tom Armstrong

When it comes to personal forms of expression tattooing your body is as personal and as expressive as it gets, but we don’t live in a bubble.  People are going to see your tattoo.  You may be thinking, oh, I will get it some place where no one can see.  My personal opinion is what’s the point, but regardless, unless you never plan on taking your closes off in front of anyone every again.  Someone, at some point, somewhere is going to see it.  So, do their opinions matter?  I guess it just depends.

When I got my first tattoo, my parents were not thrilled about the idea.  But, they weren’t exactly surprised about my decision, either.  I have always been the one in the family that was a little different.  I have a long history of stunts that pushed the boundaries on their patients under the guise of self expression (I once shaved my head in high school, but that is another story for another day).  When I told them I was going to get a tattoo, they tried to talk me out of it.

I heard all the typical excuses: your to young, what you like now will change, tattooed people are delinquents, you will regret it when you are older.  I didn’t care. I had made up my mind and I was not going to be dissuaded.  On a family vacation to New York, I broke away from the group, went down to The Village and got may first tattoo from an Asian guy named Sammy.

And you know what, my parent got used to it.  Don’t get me wrong, every time I show up at home with a new tat, my mother still gives me that look, but it is worth it for the opportunity to express myself as I see fit. After all, they were the ones that raised this strong willed, independent, and a little crazy sometimes daughter.  It’s all their fault anyway.  Shout out to my supportive parents.

When you got a tattoo, how did your people react?  Did their opinion effect what you got and where you got it? If you don’t have one, but want one, is this the reason why?  

I am always looking for great tattoo stories.  If you would like be featured on Tattoo Tuesday in the future, let me know.

Thanks so much to Kate for being my first Tattoo Tuesday friend.  Check out her book inspired tattoo, here.

Oh, I almost forgot.  I have a special treat for you next week.  Guess what, I am getting a tattoo.

Tattoo Tuesday – Personal Statement

Marvin by Tom Armstrong

See, they are starting out young.  But, Marvin is right.  A great reason to get a tattoo is to express your own personal statement.  But, figure out what your personal statement is, first.  I wouldn’t suggest you get a chef’s hat tattoo and then discover you can’t boil an egg or worse, getting a ‘Thug Life’ tattooed on your stomach when you grow up on a farm in Wisconsin.

My personal statement at the time of my first tattoo was to continue to be the kind of person who was always up for trying new things and having new experiences.  I was on a journey to have experiences that altered and heightened my consciousness.  I read a book in college by Andrew Weil called The Marriage of the Sun and the Moon.  If you haven’t read it, check it out.  Some people use drugs and alcohol, some use coffee.  There are guys in the mountains of Mexico who eat hot peppers to capture that high, if even for a minute.  Andrew’s journey to find the ultimate state took him to the mountains of South America where he witness an eclipse; a marriage of the sun and the moon.  That image was my first tattoo.

To a certain extent it is still my personal statement.  It is why I love to write, why I love to travel, why I love food and why I love getting tattooed.  These are experiences that alter my consciousness and are safer then drugs and alcohol.

What is your personal statement?  Do you think it is tattoo worthy?

Spoiler alert, they hurt and they don’t wash off, so you better be sure.

If you have a great tattoo story you want to share, let me know and I will feature it on Tattoo Tuesday.