My tattoo story

Since I had a post about Pe’a tattoos the other day, I figured it was only right that I share my own tattoo story. No need to worry, Mum and Dad, you’re not about to discover I’ve been keeping a tattoo hidden from you all these years.

When I was 19, a good friend of mine moved to South Africa with her boyfriend (she was a few years older than me.) The last time we hung out together in London, we decided we had to do something to commemorate the occasion and mark her departure.

So we decided to pierce our belly buttons. That is how you say goodbye to a friend, isn’t it?

We picked the first tattoo and piercing parlour we found. It was a small place, underground, but it looked clean enough and the guy inside had an Irish accent. Everyone knows the Irish can be trusted, and at the time that seemed enough of a guarantee that we’d found somewhere suitable. My friend went first.

I waited, flicking through a book of tattoos. I came across a photo of a guy with tarantulas tattooed in his armpits (why?! Seriously — why!?!) I kept on flipping, and thought about the tattoos I’d considered getting. An eye of Horus on my ankle, and…. I’m really quite embarrassed to admit to this next one…. A black panther, ready to pounce. On the top of my right bum cheek — yes, on what is now effectively my muffin top.

I know. I know. What can I say – I was 19. I also didn’t realise at the time that I would, one day, have muffin tops.

I wasn’t as fussed about the eye of Horus as I was about the panther. And the more I looked at other people’s tattoos, the more excited I got about the idea. It would look so cool (or so I thought at the time). It was such a bad girl thing to do and I had never in my life been a bad girl. Maybe on top of the tattoo I’d get a leather jacket and a biker boyfriend.

So after my friend came out with her piercing, I went in for mine and spoke to the Irish guy about my tattoo idea. I just wanted a small panther, I told him. Maybe 3 inches long.

“Won’t work,” he said. “It’s too small and detailed. It’ll blur into a black blotch in five years or so. You either need to make it big, like over your entire bum cheek –” (I paled at the thought) “or just do a big panther head.”

I hesitated. A full bum cheek tattoo was much bigger than what I had psyched myself up for, and I didn’t like the idea of a panther head.

“If you’re not sure then you’re not ready for a tattoo,” said the Irishman.

THANK GOD!! Can you imagine if I now had a frigging black panther tattooed on my arse? I’d be making strippers look classy. Don’t get me wrong I’m quite partial to tattoos, some are beautiful pieces of art. But a black panther on my arse?! That was such a narrow escape from my own stupidity.

If the tattoo artist had just seen a way to take money from a silly girl and not cautioned me, I might have gotten it. And I’d now be bankrupting myself with expensive laser removal sessions. All I can say is that clearly the decision to trust in the Irish turned out for the best.

But, the fact that I even considered a black panther tattoo tells me I am not the kind of person who should be trusted to get inked. Hence why to this day I remain tattooless, and will probably remain that way for the rest of my life.

Oh, and do you want to be grossed out? The tarantula tattoo looked something like this:

spider-3d-tattoo-on-armpit-for-men

Seriously — why????

 

 

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29 thoughts on “My tattoo story

  1. This gave me a giggle! I like the idea of a little treble clef tattoo on my shoulder blade, but my partner is dead set against tattoos for some reason (I’ve never quite got a good reason for it from him) so I don’t… I have told him that if we were ever to break up, a tattoo would be my rebellious post-break-up new-start thing, though.

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  2. Hmm…I can’t say I’d care for a panthered arse myself.
    I once thought I’d like to get my astrological symbol on my hip bone, you know, the Archer rules the hips, but I can honestly say, 20 years and 2 kids later, that is NOT the place to highlight. No no no.
    I wonder if I will ever want a tattoo. I suppose something meaningful enough to want on my body could manifest, but as of yet, I got nothin.

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    • Haha, ‘a panthered arse’. I like that turn of phrase. No, as it turns out I do not care for a panthered arse either 😉

      I know, when you’re young it just doesn’t occur to you that some day those hips are going to be a different size and covered with stretchmarks (at least mine are).
      I think if I get a tattoo it will be when I’m old and everything is already as stretched or sagging or whatever else as it will be. Then it won’t matter. And if I get something I decide I hate later, I won’t have to live with it for too long. Plus it would be fun to be an eccentric grandma who gets a tattoo at 70-odd 😉

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  3. Good for the tattoo artist! I remember overhearing a couple kids talking about tattoos once in class. The girl knew a great tattoo artist who refused to tattoo names of significant others. He’d tattoo children’s names or parents’ names, but not GF or BF. I found that discussion fascinating.

    I’ve never wanted a tattoo. It’s permanent. There’s nothing I’ve ever felt strongly enough about to want it branded into my skin forever.

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  4. Wow, that tarantula tattoo is both amazing and disgusting at the same time. Amazing artwork, which then makes me want to run away screaming. Mission accomplished, I wonder?

    Also, I’m chuckling over the idea of a big panther head tattoo. Good thing the tattoo artist was Irish, or who knows what might have happened. 😉

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    • Maybe that’s what he was going for: the ability to lift up his arm and have women running away from him screaming 😉
      And I’m definitely thankful that tattoo artist was Irish. Sometimes I tell myself that I would never have gone with it even if he hadn’t talked me out of it but I don’t know. I was pretty dead set on it. One to put down to experience I guess 😉

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  5. I just don’t like tattoos at all and have never understood why people have them. I do think the artwork can be amazing and there are lots of very talented and skilled people out there, but it’s so permanent. Maybe it’s because I’ve never felt so passionate about an image that I’d want it on my body for ever!

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    • I agree, the permanence of it is off putting. I do like the idea of those transfer / press on tattoo though. That would be fun to try, mainly because if it turns out to be horrid it can be scrubbed off in the shower!

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  6. As for the tarantula, I’m with you–why??? (But that artist did great work.)
    Glad the tattoo artist saved you from something you would have wished you could undo.

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    • Yes, that tarantulas has definitely been beautifully rendered — as far as a tarantula can be made to be beautiful. But why, and why in the armpit?
      I’m very glad I was saved from my tattoo as well, it would have been an absolute shocker!! (and I most definitely would not have been telling that story – far too embarrassing!!)

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  7. Just practically choked on my coffee at you and your (almost) panther. Thanks for that!
    It’s not so much the fact that it’s a tarantula for me, it’s the fact that he used his armpit. What a weird place to tattoo. I have never had a tattoo. Even if I wanted one the pain would put me off. I’ve heard too many gross tales.

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  8. Thanks for taking me into the world of tattoos, Celine. That’s as far as I will go, thank you. I don’t mind that others have them, as long as they are tastefully presented. I don’t like the all-over-the-body presentation. For Samoans, since it’s their culture, and those tattoos are artfully done, I suppose that’s OK. And, if I could tolerate the pain, well, it might save me having to buy a wardrobe.

    I have been away from blogging lately, because my computer is still down. I could write a book on what fresh excuse my computer tech has today. So, I am using this little notebook computer. Susan Scott nominated me for the 3-Day-Quote blogging challenge. So I will post my first of those either today or tomorrow. AND, I have nominated you to take up the challenge. I know we bloggers get blogged down, so if you don’t want to take the challenge, that’s OK; but I wanted to give you a shout out.

    Now, I am looking forward to your book. Congrats! I will email you.

    Samantha

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    • Haha, yes that full body Pe’a tattoo could be a nice replacement for capri pants. Although only in summer! ;-p

      I’m so sorry to hear your computer is still down – what a nightmare! I really hope it gets sorted soon, I don’t know how you’ve had the patience to bear with the tech guys for so long on this…Looking forward to seeing you back on line.

      Thank you for nominating me for the challenge, I’ll definitely take part! Might be a little while as I have a lot of posts lined up but, I’ll take part for sure.

      And very glad to hear you’re looking forward to my book – that’s very kind of you to say!! 🙂

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  9. I don’t have any tatoo, but my sister has one and a few of her friends has tatoos as well. So I can tell you that tatooists are usually quite considerate. They will see if a person really wants a tatoo, is ready for it and what kind of tatoo is right for them.

    For example, one of my sister’s friends (a woman) went to get a tatoo, a swollow on the side of her neck. The tatooist told her, I wouldn’t do that, love. That’s the tatoo inmates get when they’re nearly done with their time.
    So she went – as the tatooist adviced – with a ‘traditional rose’

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  10. Hehehe, that spider tattoo is wayyyyy too freaky. I do have a tattoo. It’s the kanji for forest in Japanese, since my maiden name is Mori, the Japanese word for forest.

    I don’t know of anything else meaningful to me that’d work well as a tattoo.

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