That time I got a tattoo.

Sometime in September of 2012, fall of my third and last year of undergrad, things happened that caused a tiny mental break so I decided the best way to cope would be to get a tattoo. Now, I’ve been explicitly forbidden to get a tattoo, by my mother, in a sentence laced with a lot of expletives. Since my mother was 1184 miles away (I checked) and couldn’t get to me for at least a few months (I checked again), I decided now was the time to get a tattoo. I texted Desiree and asked if she wanted to get one too, and initially she said yes, but since her parents were twenty minutes away instead of 20 hours, she didn’t end up getting a tattoo. Sometimes plans are thwarted by big giant plot twists, sometimes by mothers with a big giant paddle.

I made the appointment, and Des agreed to go with me. The studio (Think Ink in Norman, Oklahoma) was nice, painted an interesting shade of green with actual framed art on the walls. The guy doing my tattoo, Brendon, was out front smoking when we got there, and when I said I was mildly allergic to cigarette smoke he put out his cigarette and ran around the parking lot airing out his clothes before he came in he was super sweet during the whole ordeal, even checking like seven times to make sure the needles didn’t have the slightest trace of nickel in them, since that is another thing I’m allergic to.

He started slow, making a few dots that could be cleverly disguised as freckles in case I chickened out, just to let me gauge how bad it was gonna hurt. Not too awful. Not gonna lie, I made Desiree hold my hand. And then when her fingers were bent and bruised, I held her knee. And might have dug my nails in a little. True friends let you claw their skin off when you’re getting ink needled into your skin. It took maybe about an hour total, and afterwards I was a little shaky because I’m a total baby, so Brendon gave me juice and Desiree took me to Orange Leaf to get frozen yogurt.

It didn’t take long to heal, because it was pretty small, and it’s just near my elbow on the inside of my forearm, so unless I’m twisting my arm around, you can’t really see it. Which is great for when aunties are afoot. Half the time I forget I have it, and get startled when I see it out of the corner of my eye, thinking a bug has landed on my arm. I don’t know if I’m going to get another one, but if I do, I’m sure as hell not telling my mother.