I wasn't ever going to get a tattoo. I didn't think they were for me. I loved them on other people, but I thought that marking myself was a big decision I would never be prepared to make.
I should start by saying. “I love my Mom”.
When I turned thirteen, one Saturday morning at breakfast, my dad had gone to play golf, I casually brought up the subject of me getting a tattoos.
No . . . the first word out of my mother’s mouth wasn’t, "NO!"
That’s because she has tats and loves them, at least the ones she willing to show me. It was a wonderful conversation; I don’t remember all the rabbit trails we went down, which is typical for us, but the part I remember were these four sentences:
Remember Amber, tattoos are permanent.
As long as they mean something, then it’s worth pushing past the pain.
Be smart and try a hidden one first.
Don’t forget to Google tattoo.
Very wise words, now that I look back, eleven years latter. (Oops. If your good at math, you can now figure out my age)
Within minutes, I Googled tattoo. Please don’t do that until your 99.9% ready for a tat. The short version, without much detail read: Marking the skin with indelible patterns by making tiny punctures and inserting pigments.
I like Google; it helped me decide to wait till I was older and more mature; so when I turned 14, I decided to get my first tat, in a hidden spot, because I knew it was permanent.
Since I was a tattoo virgin, and had heard too many ‘Miami Ink sob stories, I wanted to be 99.9% sure I was getting inked by the best artist I could find, and of ccourse at that age, it had to be a woman; no way was I going to trust a guy with my first ‘near death inking experience”.
Funny side story: I’d heard of an inker who considered himself a fine artist and he always demanded that he sign his work. Not with tiny initials, but with his full name.
Vincent Van Went. I don’t think it was his real name.
My first tat was tiny, about the size of a quarter so I could test my pain threshold. It took her all of a very long 15 minutes and cost me twenty bucks out of my own pocket. But the most important thing was, that tiny HEART, will forever remind me of my Grammy Buckley who served me a big slice of Love every time I saw her.
And now we come to the story behind the story you were waiting for, or maybe you had forgot there was a story behind the story.
I was having a nice dinner with my boy friend, Darius, and after we finished eating, I asked him, “How would you like a tattoo of my name for dessert?”
He’s a cool guy and said, “That depends where you want me to get it.”
I said, “We can discuss that when we get back to my apartment."
He’s very tattoo savvy. He has, “Fight for Something” inked down his left bicep which comes alive when he flexes his muscle and on the inside of his left wrist is written, “Nothing is Random”, which sounds kinda dumb if you didn’t know he’s a physics major, and is also going for a minor in a certain brunette math major named Amber that likes to write poetry.
I saw him get his first tat. I was amazed; he either he feels no pain or he hides it well. He was telling jokes while watching every puncture and eating a glazed lemon-filled doughnut at the same time.
And now to wrap this up, I came out of the whole experience, years later, knowing tattoos can be pretty divisive for some people; but very often they can open lovely encounters and conversations, when you realize, they are like: little keepsakes or scrapbooks of your life that can remind you of where you’ve been.
So the next time you encounter someone with a tattoo, ask them about it. The worst thing you can get is a no, but you might just get a wonderful story behind the story.