Sunday, June 3, 2012


I got my first tattoo at the end of my senior year year of college. In fact, my boyfriend at the time and I got matching tattoos (the Chinese symbol for "peace." Although for all the Chinese I know, it could be the symbol for "silly white girl"). It's on my left hipbone:

Although I have never regretted mine (I mean, peace? Who's not into peace? Assholes, that's who), I often wonder if the boyfriend got off as easily (his was much larger and in a more obvious place). I hope he doesn't regret it. And for all you crazy kids out there reading this (Shut up. You don't know my demographic. I'm down with the young peeps of today, yo!), don't go out and get a matching tattoo with your boyfriend. It rarely works out as well as it has for me.

As soon as I got that first one, I knew I would get more. There is something addictive about tattoos. I mean, I'm not going to end up with a sleeve, or a Mike Tyson special, but I definitely get the appeal.

Years later, I was out one night with friends and we all ended up at a tattoo place on the Lower East Side (as one does), everyone watching while I had an ankh (an Egyptian hieroglyphic that means life and love) put on my ankle:

When I was maybe twelve, my father came back from Cairo with a necklace for me, an ankh on a chain. I loved it, and wore it every day for years until the chain snapped and I lost the ankh. When I found myself in a tattoo parlor at 2 AM, I was 25 and my father had recently died. I figured that this was one way to get a replacement ankh I couldn't lose.

Ignore the Imprints of My Jeans on My Leg From Sitting Indian-Style for 4 Hours Straight
It was a long time before I went any further, tattoo-wise, although I thought about it often. By the time I was ready, we had moved to the country. But luckily, I came across a tattoo place one town over in Dobbs Ferry (I know! WTF?) ) and went with T-Dawg to check it out:

It might not look like much from the outside, but it turns out that a tattoo parlor is a super fun place to hang out, especially when the guy who does the tattoos looks like this:

Matt, the Dreamy, Talented (and Taken), 22-Year-Old  Tattoo Artist at Tattoo Me
So we ended up making several visits to Tattoo Me before I decided on my next installment of body art.  I went with my zodiac sign in a circle on the inside of my left wrist:

I loooove both my birthday (December 15th) and my sign (Sagittarius) and figured I'll be a Sagittarius forever. I mean, it's not like my birthday's going to change, right? So I'm safe. WRONG! Literally the week after I get the fucking tattoo, the powers that be decide to REDO the astrological calendar and ADD a sign. I shit you not. As a result, not only am I technically no longer a Sagittarius, I'm now some phony-baloney made-up sign (Ophiuchus? Seriously? Fuck that noise). So now I have the wrong sign tattooed on my fucking wrist! My response has been to ignore the whole change and pretend it never happened. Which seems to be what everyone else is pretty much doing, so at least that's working out for me.

But I never planned on this small circle being the only tattoo on this wrist - I pictured a few circles, touching, with different symbols inside them. But tattoos are not free, and what with our new budgetary strictures I had to save up. For some reason, Ted doesn't see tattoos as falling into the same category as, say groceries. Go figure. And Matt was unwilling to accept sexual favors in return for his work. Again, go figure. Also, I had to find something I liked enough to put on myself permanently. 

I really wanted something that meant "joy." I feel like joy is something that we could all use a little more of, right? But you'd be surprised how few symbols there are for joy. And I didn't want another Asian character, figuring I had that covered already. But then I found something perfect, just perfect - a Sanskrit symbol that stands for "the joy within you.":

It's purple in a black circle, my first foray into color, and I love it. And I love that it stand not just for joy, but the joy that we all have inside of us, that is so easy to forget about.

But I wasn't finished. I knew that I needed a third one to balance out the whole design. So when Ted and I changed our Memorial Day plans, deciding to leave for the shore later to avoid traffic, back I went to Matt and Tattoo Me. 

Except I forgot to mention any of this to Ted. So at about 5:30 my cell phone rings and Ted's like "Where are you? Still at the office?" and I'm like "Oh no no, we got out early, so I went and got drunk with Theresa! And now I'm at the tattoo place with Chris getting a new tattoo!" Ted was like, "Um, OK! You having fun? Great! See you when you get home; I love you!"

Yes, I realize how lucky I am to have found quite possibly the only person on the planet who could be married to me and think that HE's the one that got lucky. 

As for the new tattoo I chose a Viking rune that means strength. Green in another black circle:

And for now, my right wrist is finished. Well, "finished" in the same way that my office (or any other room in my house) is "finished." Which is to say, who knows what changes I'll be making? Stick around and see :)

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June 3, 2012 at 6:41 AM

I love the symbols in the three circles.
You're way more cool than me -- I haven't gotten any tattoos....yet.

June 4, 2012 at 11:24 PM

Are you really thinking about it??? You should totally get one. All the cool kids are doing it! I kid. But I really do love my tattoos and have never regretted any of them. Go for it! What would you get?


June 5, 2012 at 6:15 AM

I don't know what I'd get! That's the whole problem!
It would have to be meaningful of course....but I'm always on the lookout.

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