Friday, December 02, 2005

Not So Soft

Okay, no more music posts, I promise. Man, that one went over like a lead balloon.

Okay. I talked in my previous post about a story I was going to tell everyone about when I went and got my last tattoo(s).

I went on the evening of my birthday, because there is nothing interesting to do on a Monday in January in my town. My local tattoo parlor, or at least the one I go to – we have several in town, is in a little strip center in the middle of town next to a head shop, a leather store and a health food store. (In theory I could treat myself to a tofu burger, a new pair of leather pants, a tattoo and a hookah and incense to calm me with after I get it done all in one trip. Note: I do not smoke a hookah, just sayin’) You cannot make an appointment there, you just have to show up and hope.

I got there at about 4:00, at the time I got off at 3:30. I got there just as another guy and his buddy did. The guy looked really tough. His buddy reminded me of a human version of an Alaskan Malamute. Tall, shaggy black hair and cuddly. Tough guy wanted to get a tattoo with big gothic letters across his back. I settled in for a long wait.

Tough guy was apparently not so tough. 5 minutes into his work he stopped the artist and said he thought he was going to be sick. The artist kicked over the trashcan without blinking an eye and went back to work on him. Every five minutes for nearly half an hour this guy stopped the artist, claiming he was going to vomit.

In this time I learned several things. First, a group of about 6 “soccer moms” came in, looking very excited. And sober. (which surprised me) I learned they were a breast cancer survivors group and they were all getting pink ribbons tattooed on their chests or ankles.

I also learned from Malamute that Tough Guy had his nipples pierced and had passed out when he got it done.

Well, true to form, Tough Guy passed out just as the outline finished. When he came to he dashed to the back and threw up. We could hear it. Ick.

The soccer moms were looking a little concerned over the idea of tattoos now, because of this big baby. I told them they could watch me get mine and see that it wasn’t a big deal. I of course knew this meant I couldn’t move the entire time that I got it done, but sit there nicely and chat playfully to them.

Now, I won’t say I am tough, and I won’t say I have a high pain tolerance, but I managed to make it through with only one incident.

The one time I flinched the artist had hit a ticklish spot on my spine. I had him pull off, to the worried glances of the SM’s. Then I cracked up. It tickled so bad! I am not kidding! They looked a little puzzled and the artist said he had never seen someone laugh at getting a tattoo, but I made it through.
I even stuck around afterwards to watch he soccer mom’s get theirs done. It was a lot of fun.


HistoryGeek said...

The tattoo artist I went to the first time said that she has a harder time with men. She thought they have lower pain tolerance. Of course, I have to wonder if women getting a tattoo feel like they have to prove something about their ability to manage the pain that maybe men don't.

But I do have a pretty wicked ability to deal with pain (not that I love it...). I did walk for about 5 blocks on a broken foot once. So when I'm not handling pain well, I know it's bad.

red one said...

Ouch! I am hopeless at pain. You wouldn't catch me volunteering for a tattoo. I'm not even good at blood tests...

Good story, though.

LB said...

it involves a needle and potential pain.

*faints into dinner*

Pepsiqueen! said...

Hello Alecya G!
So tell me about the tatoo you got (and the others you have). I have a needle phobia. It improved a little with having two c-sections (the iv's and all that). I will occasionally give blood, but even that gets me super woozie. Not pain so much, just the needle and sight of it. Yes I'm a mom, but my girls aren't old enough yet for soccer. Ha, I think I'm still a little bit cool, I don't drive a mini van or have a short/trendy hairstyle.

swisslet said...

I was fascinated by the whole process when I got mine done... really mesmerised. My tattoo artist was brilliant - this was in amsterdam - and he and his colleague chatted away to me about how they liked my t-shirt and stuff like that, and just got on with it. The whole experience was also enhanced by a guy bringing his girlfriend in to have her first tattoo. My guy looked them up and down and says to the guy "Let's see it then". It turns out that he had tattooed this bloke over a year ago and wanted to see how it looked. I thought that:

a) the fact he remembered the guy


b) the fact that the guy thought highly enough of the whole experience to take his girlfriend

were both very reassuring.

I love my tattoo and the whole thing was a really positive experience for me. I'd maybe have another one done. I was thinking of the footprint of a bear. Maybe. C. wants one done too - a salamander on one hip.

What have you got AG? I'll show you mine if you show me yours!


(I still haven't been able to break the news to my parents though - after more than 2 years. I'm not sure how they'd take it, and I'm also not sure why I still care!)