I have a tattoo. Most people who first see it are shocked and will look at me very skeptically and say, "YOU have a tattoo?" Why, yes, yes I do.
I got 'inked' in February of 2008. It was after a trip to Childrens Hospital in Boston. My first trip that I took without my hubby. Just me, The Toots and Buh, which meant I had to drive in Boston. Gulp. For an island girl that is really quite a feat. And it really made me feel empowered as silly as it sounds. Hence the tattoo.
I was clearly on an endorphin rush that stemmed from my driving in Boston and getting out alive. I was drunk with power. High from the thrill of realizing that I could drive in one of the most nonsensical of city driving situations that man had ever created and not only hold my own but manage to cop an attitude that would have made any Masshole proud. I could do anything!
Which is why we're back to the tattoo.
Buh had already gotten a tattoo a few years earlier and had been trying to talk me into getting one for quite some time. I always held firm that I was not a tattoo kind of girl. Besides, any tattoo is bound to lose it's luster with age and weight fluctuations if you know what I mean. Plus, my hubby does not like tattoos. You leave this world the way you came in is his motto. No weird piercings and no tattoos.
I totally agreed. Until Boston.
So really, it was his fault, right? If he had been there like he always was in the past on our trips to Boston, this would never have happened. But for some crazy reason he thought he ought to stay home and go to work and try to support his family. What can I say? Sometimes there's just no reasoning with him.
Okay, back to the tattoo. Buh finally talked me into it and so I drew up a little design because I wanted it to be special and unique. After all, this would be the only tattoo I would ever get so I wanted it to really mean something to me. I ended up with a grouping of four stars that were connected by lines that made the shape of a rough heart. Inside each star was the first initial of all three of my girls plus my hubby's. I thought it was perfect. Tiny and perfect.
Back in Rockland the next day, Buh went in to the tattoo parlor and made our appointments for two hours later. I decided to get something to eat so I wouldn't faint if it hurt. Buh did not. She was a pro at this, remember? Never mind that she had a phobia about needles. Never mind that she popped a valium before going in (in case she had a panic attack she told me). She was so smug. Teasing me because I was nervous, giggling like a school girl and flouncing around the tattoo parlor picking out her ink. Remember what Karma is...it caught up with poor Buh mighty fast.
But I am getting ahead of myself. Remember, we had the Toodle Bug with us so what were we supposed to do with her? We couldn't just leave her in the van and our appointments were both booked at the same exact time so naturally we wheeled her in.
Well...the looks on the faces of those poor tattoo artists were just priceless. I think they had to literally lift their jaws up off of the floor with their tattooed hands. I mean really, think about it...in comes Buh...cute, young, flirty, funny and right behind her me...not young, not so cute, not gonna flirt, all business and oh yeah, pushing a severely disabled little girl in a wheelchair. I don't think they had any idea what to make of me.
Anyway, they regrouped pretty quickly and I explained that we had to bring The Toots in with us. No problem they assured me. Then The Toots ripped off a toot that would have put an old man to shame. I mean LOUD. And an odor the likes of which can only be replicated by evil cartoon characters twirling handlebar mustaches in lab coats with beakers and bunson burners boiling away. One of the guys jerked his head toward The Toots and the other tried to politely turn away so we couldn't see him laughing?/puking?/ take your pick. I quickly apologized and told them that this would happen frequently and I could leave if they preferred. Without missing a beat the guy who had jerked toward Tessie said, "we've definitely seen and smelled worse in this place. Great big men have fainted or puked or both. Whatever she dishes out we can take." Okay...
I get into one chair and decided that my tattoo would go on the top of my foot. My logic was that it would not stretch with age or fat and if I ended up not liking it I could cover it with a sock. The guy informed me that I had picked the most painful place on the body to get a tattoo. I told him that I had been through natural child birth three times and had just driven by myself in Boston. Let's go.
Holy sweet shit, that hurt! I'm talking pain that you almost can't believe is happening. I actually started chanting inside my head "you're good, you're okay" over and over.
Meanwhile Buh, the old pro, was in the chair right behind me. She was getting a lily on her back and after about ten minutes I heard a very weak, "you gotta stop. I'm gonna pass out or puke or something."
We all stopped and looked and she was as gray as a cloudy day. I'm talking walking dead gray here. I thought she was going to faint for sure. The guy that was working on her handed her a great big gumball and instructed, "chew!" Buh was so weak she could barely chew the gumball and I was afraid that she was going to choke on it. But she managed and finally, after about twenty minutes or more, she could sit upright again and the guy got back to work on her tat.
The Toots just sat patiently in her wheelchair staring at us with a look that clearly said, "WHAT are you two up to now?!"
By this point my tat was all done and who do you suppose was the smug one then? I was laughing so hard at Buh and, yes, it was probably a teensy bit mean of me but come on...after all that teasing she had done to me before her near fainting? I just couldn't resist.
At any rate, an hour and a half later we rolled The Toots out of there and were on our way to the ferry. As we left the tattoo parlor the guy said to me, "Come back when you want another one." "Thanks, but this is it for me." I said as I went out the door, my foot all bloody and wrapped in saran wrap. "You'll be back! They're addicting. Nobody ever gets just one!" He called after me. Okay buddy, I thought to myself. Nobody has probably ever rolled in with a kid in a wheelchair either, but I did. One is all I need or want.
All things considered, my hubby took it pretty well that I had gotten a tattoo. Especially when I assured him that it was a one shot deal. He even said that he liked it.
This year I will turn forty. We are getting a group of girls together to go to New York City to celebrate. I'm thinking that it might just be time for another tat...
Something special. After all, this will be the last one I ever have. Right?...