David Beckham has a bunch and he’s married to Posh Spice, who I sexually fantasized about as a second grader. I’d dream of canoodling her in a shared sleeping bag, and in the morning she’d leave behind naughty photos to savor while she was away on tour. This was way before Snapchat, mind you. It’s amazing what seven-year-olds can come up with when left to their own devices.
Anyyyywho, let’s fast-forward sixteen years. No Posh Spice. No nude photos.
Coincidence? Hardly. And so it’s decided: I will get the ink! But in what design? On which limb? And in what font? Oh no. I haven’t thought this far ahead. So many options, so little time. Such permanence.
Maybe I should treat tattoos the same way I treat new restaurants. I’ll just walk in and ask for the most popular item on the menu, choosing from a selection of traditional fare like barbed wire, tribal oblongs, or perhaps a hopeful sparrow. Sparrows are so lovely. A sparrow would be a good place to start.
Or maybe a songbird? Are they the same? Christine McVie liked them. Beautiful. Wait! A song lyric! Yes – that’s the ticket. Something about todays or maybe tomorrows? Wait wait wait, that’s all wrong. That weird book everyone tells you to read says you’re supposed to focus on the now! Live in the moment, they say! Hey, that’s not bad. “Live In The Moment”, done in a teal blue Comic Sans. Yes! No! Franklin Gothic! And make it bold!
But wait a sec.
If I’m always busy looking down at my “Live In The Moment” tattoo, I won’t really be living in the moment at all, will I? I’ll be too distracted by my sexy forearm art. I’d get nothing done. I don’t think I’m comfortable with something so profoundly hypocritical.
What am I even saying? This is stupid. I should get a giant dragon. It should look like a parade float and wrap around my lower hips. And if that doesn’t work, maybe a portrait of my dead dog? Yup. That’d be phenomenal. Can you spell b-a-b-e, m-a-g-e-n-t?
Oh my god! Is that your puppy!
Well, he used to be.
Ohhhh myyyy gawwdddd.
Placement is another confounding issue. One thing’s for sure: I don’t want it anywhere that creates a bias towards certain seasonal wear. For example, people with calf tattoos wear shorts well past the point when it’s meteorologically appropriate to do so. They’re trying to get their money’s worth and I don’t blame them, but Canadian winters can get particularly nasty and I’m getting the R.L.Stine goosebumps just thinking about it.
They still do em’ with needles right? Jesus. That’s going to be a real treat. Can’t wait for some rubber-gloved stranger to impale me and stain my skin for a few hours. Surely, there must be a better technique out there somewhere. It’s twenty-damn-fourteen, dagnabbit! The world of dermatology has come a long way, with their skin grafts and hair transplants; melanoma treatments and that weird Japanese thing where they inject a bagel-shaped saline blob into your forehead (Google it). You’d think we’d have found a better way by now, but the tattoo sector doesn’t seem to be in much of a rush to change things. It’s an industry in need of their own Steve Jobs, if you ask me.
One of the many other things I’m worried about is the healing process – that critical recuperation period spent bandaged and avoiding contact. I just know I’m going to bang it up right away thanks to my incurable case of the clumsies. I’ll leave the parlour with a beautiful cheetah on my forearm, but within 10 seconds someone will give me a freaking punch buggy and turn it into a blob of tiger tail ice cream.
This is suddenly causing me a lot of anxiety. Maybe I should reconsider. After all, what are the odds I’ll still like this thing ten years from now? Even five? It’s not like I have anything particularly profound or meaningful to tribute, no statements to make or dues to pay. It’s possible tattoos just aren’t for me. I might be better off with a new sweater, or a crazy haircut…maybe even a piercing! Yeah! A piercing would be lots of fun!
But what kind should I get?