My dad was always one of those parents that gave me free reign because he trusted me and my decisions, but he never would let me pierce anything but my ears, and absolutely NO tattoos until I turned 18 and could get them by myself. The moment I turned 16, I knew what I wanted; a nautical star on my right wrist, a tad bit off center. I had several ideas about other things that I wanted, but I changed my mind after waiting for months. But the star was always there in the back of my head.
In Spanish one day, I was drawing a nautical star, and I ended up making it a bit more girly, with tips that curved around instead of going straight up. That was my star. I stuck it in a picture frame, and it hung on my wall above my head while I slept.
Fast forward a few years, and it was November 2. I had done my research, found my artist, and after school, I gathered my friends and we went to the shop. I was shaking almost the entire time. I hate shots, and I hate needles. Just the thought of getting stabbed hundreds of times made me feel sick to my stomach. I was excited, but I was also endlessly terrified. When we pulled up in front of the shop, the lights were off. The hours were listed on the door. They were closed on Mondays. I was crying almost instantly. I wanted my tattoo that night; I had told everyone at school that I was getting a tattoo, and I would look like an idiot if I went to school the next day without one. I called shops all over the place, but all were closed. I had to go back home. I literally cried myself to sleep, and wanted to skip school the next day.
I ended up going to school, and no one even said anything about the tattoo, or the lack thereof. The friends that had gone with me the night before weren’t able to go this time, so I took my brother and another friend. The shop was open.
I was terrified and almost didn’t go in.
We walked in, and A.J., my artist, bid me to sit down. I almost started crying, and I stood back up and about left. I kept saying, “I was wrong, I don’t want a tattoo.” Finally, my friend stood behind me and told me to sit down, shut up and get the damn tattoo (in much more colorful words).
He got his tattooing machine out, and when he turned it on, I almost jumped out of my skin.
I was expecting this horrible pain, horrible enough to sob and pull my arm away, but it wasn’t nearly that bad. It hurt, but it was bearable. With all of my research, I knew that wrist tattoos hurt, but mine wasn’t that bad. I’d read stories of people passing out from the pain, but if I had passed out, it would have been from the nerves leading up to the incident.
The whole thing took maybe 10-12 minutes (at the end of which I vowed to never get another tattoo), and with the $10 Tattoo Goo (which was a great investment), my total cost came to about $65.
As soon as I left the building and was driving away, I wanted another.
This is the tattoo that itched the most. It drove me crazy with the itching. When it flaked (as tattoos heal, they push ink out, and that turns into either a scab or flaky bits), I had to bite my other hand to keep from scratching at it. But, even after that, I ended up scratching it, and when it was finally all healed (which took maybe a week, a week and a half), there were bits that were messy looking because I had scratched and pulled ink out.
After getting it touched up (will talk about this in the next post), it looked beautiful, and I knew better than to mess with it. It’s as beautiful now as the day I got it (it’s the one that always draws people’s attention), and I will always be a little more attached to this one than the others because it was my first.