Catch me at work and you would never know that I have tattoos. You probably wouldn’t even realize that I love getting inked. But I do. Oh boy do I love getting inked! On Friday I decided it had been long enough. My last tattoo was in 2010 and the banner still had not been filled. So I called up the last place I went to, Freaks N Geeks, to set up a consultation. I was very pleased that Tiffany could see me the next day. I set about putting to paper what I wanted. I figured since it would take all of five minutes to fill in the banner, I would get some other minor work done. I sat with Tiffany yesterday and instantly liked her. She is bawdy, foul mouthed, and all about girl power. She was also straight up honest about the fact that one of my tats would not work out well (I was aiming for a finger tat on the side). I was furthermore pleased that she could squeeze me in about 3 hours later. Normally you got to wait a day or more to get in for the actual work. And I was anxious to get this stuff done.
I came back and we got to work. The first one she did was a fehu rune behind my left ear. This one didn’t hurt. Some discomfort but mostly the machine was loud in my ear making it difficult for me to carry on a conversation. I chose this because it’s associated with Freyja, my matron.
Since I was getting two on my head, we moved on to the next one. I chose three stars, each one representing my children. I have long wanted something done for them and I finally have it! The stars hurt. It was right on that bone and oh my did it hurt. But just like childbearing…..it hurt but not enough to keep me from wanting another. I would be game to doing another one on a bony spot because now I know I can deal. Except for the spine. That one is just too intense.
Lastly, I finally filled in the banner. This tattoo was a fundraiser for Haiti in 2010 and I knew that whatever went into the banner, it would have to be in Haitian-Creole. It would be wrong to put anything else in it. I spent many hours trying to figure out something to put in there and I finally settled on “strong priestess”. But I am going to be honest with you, I am not 100% sure that the phrasing is proper. Fo means strong and pretes means priestess. I thought long and hard before going through with it. Bottom line, if I am wrong I will own it. I can survive if a Haitian yells at me.
I have often said that getting a tattoo has a high that comes with it. And getting work done on your head has a longer and stronger high than any of my others on my body. I took a few min before driving but about halfway home it hit me and I was quite the loopy chick. And in this loopiness I was struck by the realization that I can understand and relate to cutters. Whenever I get work done, I am in a state of being overwhelmed with emotions. Most often it’s something negative and really wearing me down. The process of the tattoo gives me a release from those emotions and I get the endorphin high shortly after. At least I have beautiful work to show off (when I am not at work) instead of dealing with the shame that so many cutters face.
As I age I am also faced with a stronger need to not have to worry about where my tattoo is. I would love some work on my wrist, ankles, forearms, and even neck. But I can’t as of now. All I can do is setup a retirement plan strictly for tattooing the hell out of my body once I retire. Or hope that one of my children will be a tattoo artist when they grow up and guilt them into some free work.