Monday, April 23, 2007

The Great Tramp Stamp Experience

Let me just put this right out on the table so that everyone can get a good look at it, point, and laugh:

I'm not terribly hip.

That being said, I won't apologize for being one of the only people on the planet still getting tattoo'ed.

SO not hip. Thie first time, I was that middle-aged large-ish white woman trundling into the tat store (parlor? den? haven? what the heck are those places CALLED?) clutching a piece of paper in her hand on which is printed the tat of her dreams, the one that took her 4 YEARS to find as "just right," the one that will tell the world that she is a little bit crazy of a person who thinks the having an ink-filled needle shoved into her skin multiple thousands of times is a pretty darned good idea.

That was 2 years ago.

I purposely waited to get tatttoo'ed until the in crowd of tribally-adorned youngsters was clearing out of the various houses of pain, waving their indistinguishable fashiontats at one another, high-fiving themselves and all their clonally-decorated buddies on their edginess and bravery. Yup, that was my moment. THAT'S when I went in.

I think the word to describe me at the time would have been "anxious." Or "determined." Certainly not "hip."

That first time, I (and Oldfriend) were the canvases for a Guamian dude named Nelson at Red Dragon tattoo in Richmond. He was nice, patient, considered, and fun. He'd stop piercing our flesh with the vibrating needle of tatdom if it seemed like we were in pain, told stories about his worst experiences, asked us about ourselves, and generally made what could have been a nerve-wracking experience into something that was, actually, kind of fun.

Put it this way - the instant we walked out of the shop, we were ready for more. What a high.

Soooo, as luck and a certain amount of determination would have it, we recently once again found ourselves a-thinking of tattoos, and made tentative plans to go get one this past weekend, when I was a-visiting. Previously, I had identified a graphic that I really wanted to get, and after much interwebs searching we came up with it once again - a representation of a Frank Lloyd Wright stained glass window, as such:

Pretty, right?

Oldfriend found herself something too that she liked, because she was gonna get inked too. Her "something" was also a FLW stained glass piece, which was a very cool thing to find out about her, what with the liking of the genius artist/architect and all.

I was so pleased to have found something I really liked, and that she was going to get done too, and was excited to get the work done.

I was pleased and excited UNTIL, that is, the guys behind the desk at Red Dragon started looking at me kinda funny, and taking to one another in the back rooms. I gots me a baaaad feeling about their conversations, I'll tell you that much right now. I thought maybe they were mocking me, or laughing about how the old lady wants a stupid tattoo, or something other horrid thing.

Instead, they were discussing the relative merits and demerits of the proposed design, and trying to figure out a nice way to tell me that the massive number of straight lines in the graphic PLUS the not-so-straight lines of my particular human body (read: fulla swoopy bits and not so much with the straight lines) would make this tat not only BIGGER than I wanted it (if it was going to work out at all), but would make it prolly not look nice and straight, especially since I was going to put it on my right butt cheek.

Le sigh. Le moan. Le instant of indecision. Le walk over to the wall o' flash to pick out something just "pretty," and not necessarily "special."

Because I was going OUT of there with a tat, of that much I was certain.


Good grief this is getting long! I'll finish tomorrow, with tales of glowing and oozing and pain to entertain you.

Feel free to talk amongst yourselves in the comments if you're so inclined.

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