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Tattos... They used to be taboo. The common conception used to be that only sailors and bikers had them. Only the outcasts had tattos. Back when they had freak tents, a common attraction was men and women that were covered with tats. Even now, some people, mostly those of a conservative generation, consider them... inappropriate.
I appreciate people with tattoos. When I was a lifeguard at a major casino, I saw a lot of tattoos. And every so often I would see one that captured my attention to the point that I wanted to ask the owner about it. I knew better though, I could have lost my job. But, I always swore I would never get one. Not because of misconception, but because I am chicken. The idea of the pain kept me from getting piercings or tattoos. And that made my conservative 40-something Cuban mother very happy.
Until recently. My husband is proudly tattoo-ed; he has both ears and his tongue pierced. We met four years ago at college. He was always going on about me getting a tat, or a tongue ring or a belly-button ring. And I always said no thanks. But I did start thinking about it. But logically. What if I had a job that I needed the tat to be covered? Where would I put one? It's permanent, what would I get that I wouldn't be sick of after five years or ten? It would also be something I wouldn't be embarassed to talk about or explain to my kids later. So I thought long and hard about it.
And then we had kids. My husband put our daughter's name and birthday put on his right forearm, and our son's name and birthday on his right forearm. I liked the idea of a permanent homage to our children. So I decided I wanted a tattoo too. And I finally knew what I was going to get and where.
It took a lot longer for me to get mine. But one day, a friend of mine called me up to see if I wanted to go with her when she got hers finished. So I did, and I was in a "now or never" circumstance. So I chose the now. I decided to get my children's names put on my shoulder blades. I wanted it done mexican gangster calligraphy style, but that cost a whole more than I was willing to spend. So I chose a very pretty calligraphic-style font.
They came out gorgeous. And since we didn't plan on having more kids, it was perfect. But now I am pregnant again, so I'm stuck trying to decide where to put her name. I'm starting to think maybe in between the other two names, but below them. It's as much to maintain my personal sense of balance as it is to maintain aesthetic beauty.
But here's the question: do it now, or wait until after the baby is born? My husband is suggesting to wait a few months after she's born, so my body has time to adjust. But I'm thinking to do it now so I can go to the same tattoo parlor that did my first two so I can keep the font style consistent.
I also have another tattoo idea. I like to watch those "reality" shows based on two popular tattoo parlors. A common tatto is a commemorative one, for either a family member or a friend that passed away. And I started thinking of getting one in honor of my grandmother. She is still very much alive (knock on wood), but I think I would like to have it done now so she can appreciate it. But is it too much? I have yet to decide. I'm more concerned about the one for my upcoming child.