After turning 18 almost 2 years ago, I started collecting tattoos exactly 20 days after my birthday. It’s truly brilliant just how much tattooed people don’t care if you’re not tattooed, but that doesn’t stop people from expressing their disdain for the way I look.
It’s not meant for you
This doesn’t mean you should be asking why I didn’t choose a more private way of memorializing my deceased grandmother. I’m really not concerned about anyone else’s opinion when I’m in the middle of clenching my teeth, breathing like I’m in labor, and squeezing a stress ball half way through my tattoo session.
I like the way it looks
Emphasis on the word ‘I’. Believe it or not, I have to spend a hell of a lot more time looking at my tattoos than you do. I wake up and see them, I look in the mirror and see them, any time I briefly look in a downwards direction, I see them. I never get tired of seeing my tattoos, and it makes my black strapless maxi dress look ten times more badass, and that’s really all that matters. And for those of you who I know are going to ask, I’ll still think I look badass in my 70’s, even after my cheesy lyrics turn into a black pancake on my back.
They mean something to me
All of my tattoos have sentimental meanings. Granted, most all of my tattoos were put on my body only a short amount of time after coming up with the idea. However, if you were to politely ask me about any of my tattoos I’d be delighted to share a brief story. Such as the story of how I was originally terrified of the first film installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but it ended up becoming a huge part of my life offering me an escape from reality for a couple of hours… (And because I’m a closeted nerd that was typically on a relatively daily basis.)
I like getting tattooed
This one probably sounds weird, and to some I might sound down right crazy. But after spending a couple excruciatingly long days with my conservative extended family last Christmas, I got tattooed and left the shop completely stress free. I read on a tattoo shop’s website that people tend to get a “runners high” while getting tattooed because the body releases hormones meant to help you cope with the pain. I don’t do drugs or drink, so instead I get tattooed. And instead of crying vodka and regretting a drunken text to my clingy ex, I gain a piece of artwork and a cool story to tell my future kids.
Kids think you’re the coolest person ever
I like kids a lot more than I like adults, kids are a lot more honest than adults in their opinions. It may just be because of the part of the country I live in, but I’ve never met a child that felt unsafe in my care or thought of me as lesser than, because I have a tattoo. They think you’re tough (I mean who am I kidding, I sit under a pulsing needle for hours at a time, I’d like to think I’m pretty tough), they think you’re interesting (tattoo stories are a great fallback when the conversation grows dull), and they think you’re going to treat them like adults (I’m not entirely sure of the correlation, but it probably has something to do with being seen as cool = more lenient in terms of rules [which isn’t true]). It makes you feel really good about a decision you already feel good about.