Hello my beauties, today this #TattooTuesday is going to be the story of my very first tattoo. It’s a bold one, so please have patience and try not to judge me too much.
I was 11 when I went to high school, and I was one of the youngest in my class; the baby if you will. But on so many occasions I was dubbed “The Mum” for wanting to look after people and for having that highly organised streak that every mother has. I was one of the maturest, despite my age, and I loved everything that made me feel more mature and older than my age.
I was ahead of people in maturing attitude, outlook, ambitions and growth. I was desperate to become an adult and get away from all the immature brats I was forced to learn with each day. (Please note that this never actually changed on my journey throughout high school.)
Ever since my first year at high school, I’ve been obsessed with tattoos. I’m not entirely sure where why or how my obsession started, but I just remember always loving the unique individuality tattoos gave a person; and how every tattoo was different – there was never two of the same tattoo. Tattoos piqued my interest – mostly because it was one of those things (like drinking alcohol and driving a car) that you could only do once you reached a certain age. And because I truly believed I was more likely to convince my mom to let me get a tattoo than a fake I’D, I thought that tattoos were my best route to pure maturation.
In all fairness, this is the only thing that has changed since I got my first tattoo. It didn’t make me more mature overnight, it only made others view me as being more mature.
So, on approach to my 15th birthday my mom’s friend happened to drop into conversation that her friend was having a tattoo party and she was going to attend. Now, I’m not entirely certain what was running through my mom’s mind the following day, nor is she as a matter of fact as nowadays she’ll dramatically admit that she had no idea what she was thinking of and as soon as it was over she instantly regretted her decision.
However, the day after my mom’s friend’s bold announcement my mom took me for coffee and began quizzing me on my love for tattoos and my own tattoo plan. She knew that I’d been searching for almost an entire year for a tattoo parlour or a tattoo artist that was secretly known for tattooing underage kids and so she wondered what it was exactly I was so desperate to have tattooed.
After I told her my plans, she then broke the news to me that she was taking me to a tattoo party the following day, and with complete excitement and surprise and glee, I agreed not to tell my friends until after it was done, in order to make it a surprise.
I now realise that my mom’s aim was to keep as little people knowing about the tattoo party, the tattoo artist and my underage tattoo for as long as possible in case of over-crowdedness or intervention.
So, the following day I dressed in an outfit that would make me look older; a chiffon blouse, jeans and high-heeled ankle boots; before travelling miles with my mom to the party.
The adults; seeing that I was younger; allowed me to go first as I was beginning to look a little peaky and had fallen into a coma of silence in order to keep myself from passing out or throwing up with nerves.
Once I was taken into the room, the “artist” and his “accomplice” let me choose a stencil for the font of my tattoo and after drawing it up there was a brief argument between myself and the “artist” as he claimed he wouldn’t be able to do the tattoo in the size I was hoping for; just a small bracelet-like band around my right wrist. So, after much debate he drew up the template in a size three times that of what I’d hoped for, and then marked it onto my wrist.
Immediately I fell in love with how it looked.
Now, I was no newbie to the stencils of tattoos; I’d drawn up quite a few of my own after a kids-class I’d taken when I was 12. And every day I’d come home from school with my ideal tattoo drawn on my left wrist; due to the fact that I was right handed and couldn’t draw it on my preferred wrist.
So, after seeing the stencil as I’d -sort of- pictured it; I eagerly agreed and positioned my arm on the rest for the man to begin.
He lit up a cigarette, resting it on the ash-tray on the table beside me before completely forgetting it was there.
This, rather annoyed me as I’m asthmatic and that point completely detested everything about cigarettes and smoke and smoking in general. I grew annoyed and anxious as the smoke continually blew in my face; and throughout the entire fifteen minutes I was in the room for, this was the main problem.
Now I understand that the cigarette was a distraction from what was about to happen, but I also now know that I didn’t need a distraction at all.
My mom took my left hand into both of hers and stood by my side as the man propped his gun and began tattooing me. At first I didn’t feel a thing, I disbelieved he was even tattooing me and waited on the cameras popping out and my mom laughing saying “HAHA I tricked you! As if I’d really let you get a permanent tattoo on your body!” But then the needle travelled over a vein and suddenly it wasn’t my mom squeezing my hand but agony squeezing my vein. I say agony, but really it only lasted a split second as he moved onto the next letter and another part of my wrist.
It’s hard to pin-point what number of pain you suffered when it only lasted for half of a heart-beat.
The rest of the tattoo went by pain-free and at the end once he pulled the gun away I looked at him in confusion.
“Is that it?” I said rather rudely – but I was confused, I had no idea what was happening. Not only had I felt no pain, but there was a mass of black ink on my wrist; I couldn’t see my tattoo for love nor money.
He merely smirked and turned to his “helper” on the bed behind him and the pair chuckled.
He then brought out some kitchen roll and wiped the mass of ink from my wrist; showing me for the first time my very first completed tattoo.
The sight of it brought a tear to my eye; I’d done it, there it was, my much-anticipated, longed-for-for-years, own-designed tattoo.
I thanked him over and over and he merely chuckled and thanked me back, telling me it’d been an experience. He called me a “Tattoo Virgin” when I’d entered the room and I joked and asked if it was really that obvious. Afterwards he explained that as soon as he’d seen me he’d expected me to pass out or throw up or cry or squeal or writhe in pain. He said he was so surprised that a “petite and fragile looking, dainty, girl like me” could withstand the “pain” or “discomfort” of a tattoo. I merely smirked and in my head thought he was being ridiculous. He had two entire arms covered in tattoos himself; surely he understood how little the “pain” of having a tattoo really was?
My mom paid him (my pocket-money which I’d given her before we’d entered the house) and we left, and I continued to chant the instructions in my head as we went home. He told me I had to wrap my tattoo in cling-film before i went to bed, and wash it with cool water the following morning. He told me that Savlon worked best for the scab, and that I wasn’t to pick or scratch it (because it would be very itchy, like a healing wound) because this would take the healing ink off and my tattoo would be left un-completed and chipped.
Less than a week later my entire wrist was itching me beyond belief and I had my entire group of friends in an agreement to hit me any time I reached for my wrist, in case I would accidentally pick a part of it off. That’s when one of my friends explained to me that Savlon wasn’t the best idea for a tattoo and that the baby nappy-rash cream Bepanthen was. That same afternoon her boyfriend met her at the school gates and gave her the miniature travel-tubes of Bepanthen he had left and she passed them onto me with a smile.
The next day I was so tearful when I saw her as I felt no itchiness at all and the difference in the tattoo scab was unbelievable. In just one day the scab had almost completely disappeared along with the itch and my amazing-looking tattoo was in it’s place.
Almost four years later and I still smile whenever I tell that story – even though I grow embarrassed and blush – it’s a good story to tell, but it’s also an embarrassing one; especially considering at the end of it I have to show or explain the reasoning behind the actual tattoo.
Well, here I go. But please do not judge me. The words themselves are a quote from a Disney book – and no I am not telling you which one –
For those who cannot read in fancy scripture it reads: “True Love Never Dies”
And before you ask – yes I really do believe that.
I was grilled for years on what it meant and why I believed that, and yes even though it’s a quote, it’s still one of many beliefs of mine.
I do believe that true love never dies. For instance; my parents are divorced now, yes? But even though they’re divorced, I believe that they will always love each other, no matter what’s happened in their marriage or between them in their lives. They can deny it all they want, but I know better than that. I know that they love each other still, even though they will never get back together and admit it. And I am more than okay with that; believe it or not I don’t want them to get back together, but I realise that they’ll always love each other; because they were together for a long time, and because they had me. They had their miracle baby they’d wished for for years. A love that strong doesn’t die. It may fade, but it doesn’t die.
My parents are just one example, but I really do believe that if you fall in love with someone; real, pure, strong love which in that moment you can’t ever imagine loving anyone else ever again; then I believe that love will never leave you. And that isn’t a bad thing, it can be a sad thing maybe, but it isn’t bad. It symbolises strength, and courage and life. Because you’ve lived your life so fully that you’ve loved fully. And to love fully is a privilege.
It may be extremely cheesy, and I may get embarrassed anytime someone asks me about it or anytime someone notices it and they get that “oh she’s young, what does she know what she’s talking about?” look on their faces.
But it’s one of my beliefs, and any time someone gets that look on their face or scoffs and laughs at it, I’m actually offended.
So think before you scoff at someone’s tattoo. They may laugh it off and make fun of it themselves; but it means a lot to them. Do you really think they’d pay money to have something permanently showed on their body if they didn’t believe in it, just a little?