So, I feel like you guys and I have known each other long enough now for me to ask you some advice. (There are actually a crazy amount of people reading my bookish ramblings and looking at my geeky t shirts these days and that fact makes my heart go weee, like super weee, and I kinda feel like I love you all a little bit.) Here’s the thing, I sort of a little bit maybe am considering getting a tattoo. But I’m also sort of a little bit maybe talking myself out of getting one.
So, I’m being sensible and taking my time, because I don’t want to go and get one and then be like… Oh. I don’t really fancy this any more, but at the same time, I don’t want to spend so long thinking about it and not actually doing it that I get to fifty and then am like, well. I already have grandchildren and they’re already inked up. No point in me doing it now. So, because I am hugely indecisive, I am turning to you, my trusted friends to help me out with this. I’m assuming that at least one of you at least knows someone who has a tattoo or two and can help me decide whether or not this is a good idea.
See, both my parents and my brother are inked, many of my good friends are, I know it isn’t like a huge deal or anything (one of my friends has more tattoos than she does digits in her age, so it’s definitely not something that’s frowned upon in my corner of the world), but I don’t think any of them have really told me the truth in regards to the pain.
I have an irrational fear of pain. And needles. And dentists. And clowns.
Thankfully, unless I entire some kind of circus themed tattoo shop or come across a moonlighting dentist, I’m only going to have to face two of these fears if I go ahead and do this. The pain is the thing that’s really holding me back. So really, I just need someone to tell me on a scale of say, one to OH DEAR GOD I’M DYING just how much does it really hurt?
My mum (lower back) has a ridiculously high pain threshold, she tells me it just felt uncomfortable. My dad (shin and forearm) has a really low pain threshold but maintains (because he’s a man) that it didn’t hurt at all in the slightest. My friend (shin) told me that it felt like sun burn. Another friend (heels and hip) told me that it felt like being scratched by a cat over and over again. Now sunburn and cat scratches I can deal with, but another friend (back) told me it was the worst thing that had ever happened to him and he wanted to pass out. Is he the only one that’s telling me the truth? Because honestly, I don’t think I want one badly enough to warrant extreme pain for like an hour.
Now I know everyone has different levels of pain and that nerve endings are at different points in your body, but if someone could just honestly give me the low down, I’d be really grateful. I’ve been doing a lot of research into this – way more than when I decided what university course to take – so actually making a decision shouldn’t be too far away. I just want to be completely and utterly informed before I go in.
I’ve researched which artists in my area are the most recommended, I’ve researched after care, I have pretty much decided what I want it to be and where, but I’m still fine tuning a few things… All of this is down, but I’m still not one hundred percent…I think this might work better in list form. I like lists. Lists are good. So, reasons why I’m thinking a tattoo is not a good idea:
- The pain.
We’ve sort of been over this. But yeah, I really, really, really am proper scared of needles and pain. And painful needles.
- The forever aspect.
So, I’m told that laser removal surgery hurts more than actually getting a tattoo in the first place, so that’s something I definitely want no part of. But, guys, I have a problem with commitment, it’s why I’m terminally single, I can’t commit to another person any more than I can chose a favourite cereal, so the idea of having something permanently on my body (the underside of my arm specifically) is blowing my mind a bit. Like, am I still going to want something there in five minutes let alone in five years? I’m not fussed about being eighty and having a design on my arm that has aged with me, seriously, at the moment, I’ll probably be the only person in the care home that doesn’t have a tattoo and really, if I spend my life not doing things in case I regret them when I’m older, then I would never do anything. So, I’m not worried about it growing old with me, more the fact that it will be there until my skin physically erodes from my bones and that’s a really long time to stay with something. So, I kind of have to be absolutely one hundred precent sure that whatever I pick is something that I am going to love forever.
I’m lucky, my current employers are pretty awesome and don’t care that I have blue hair, so they really aren’t going to bat an eye lid about me turning up with a tattoo, but I might not be so lucky in the future. As much as I love my job, I don’t know if I want to be there forever (see above, I am a proper commitmentphobe – I need another commitmentphobe to date so I never have any pressure) and if I move onto somewhere else, how are they going to feel about it?
- I’m anaemic.
My iron levels are constantly low and I don’t know if having a tattoo is even safe. I don’t really want to put myself in a situation where I am going to get ill just because I sort of maybe want a picture on my arm. Does anyone have any experience or advice for this?
- I want to make sure that I’m doing it for the right reasons.
- The pain.
Did I mention I’m not good with pain?
But then, there is this list:
- It would be a way to express myself and would serve as a reminder of certain things that are quite important to me, even if they don’t mean anything to anyone else. And if I was ever in a situation where I didn’t have physical reminders any more, unless something quite extreme happens to me, I’m not going to lose my arm.
- I don’t want to regret not doing it. Like I said, if I keep umming and ahhing for the next God knows how many years, will it even be worth it? Will I be sat in a care home thinking, man, I wish I had gotten that tattoo so I could catch sight of it in the mirror and smile about how good life was.
- Not trying things and not taking risks isn’t living, it’s existing and I want to live.
- My parents have them. My parents cannot be more rebellious than me, that’s not how it works.
Ok, you get the general idea.
Basically I am stupidly indecisive and a little nervous, if any of you have tattoo stories, horror stories, nice experiences, thoughts, opinions, anything, I want to know about it, I want to be as informed as possible when I finally make a decision on this and I can’t do that on my own.
(For potential advice, following me in general and for being you!)