Doesn't Anybody have Press-On Tattoos Anymore?

A Tattoo Adventure WITH or WITHOUT Mom

If I had a tattoo for every promise I ever made, I would hardly have any skin remain untouched except for my eyelids!  I am famous for bringing out paper and pen at or after every New Years’ Day, birthday, wedding service, Sunday church service, graduations, to just recommit, rededicate or reinvent myself to be what God intends me to be….but, to ink my body to commemorate each event? Sheesh, I’d be outta room.   

I’ll have to get a few more gray hairs to settle on just ONE tat.  About 15 years ago, I used pretty darn good removable tattoos that were hearts and “tatted” my legs to cover up my varicose veins, but now….they just would look pretty purple and over decorated.  These last few years, I have only seen tattoos in the gum vending machines at dollar stores and the “Pokemon” look is not the one I am going after.  I must have been ahead of my time or out of step…I am not sure which one.   The real tattoo parlors  (I guess they call them parlors now) don’t offer henna or anything temporary.  No surprises there.

Getting a tattoo to commemorate a life event is but one reason to ink a body.  Divorce, death of a loved one, and falling in love are pretty good reasons to pick out something to last a lifetime on your body  Yep, it is the lifetime part that gets me.  I am fickle.  OK, chicken too.  I hear they hurt quite a bit. 

My son got his first tattoo (with his Eagle Scout money) that I went ahead and paid for because he had his money in savings.  We went to an establishment (they open at 2:00 pm.)    My son made his selection at home after researching tattoos on the internet, and said he would find a tattoo parlor with or without my help or with or without my consent.  I decided to make it a family outing…It will be “fun”   I found a great place on a recommendation from a woman at work who had a nice tattoo.  It was a dragonfly tatted after her divorce.  My son’s  tattoo says “God gives me strength” in Kanji letters on his torso.  It looked pretty good too.  Clear, dark, mysterious. It took him forever to make up his mind and then we had to do more research to make sure it didn’t say something else.  You know,  “Kick Me” or “I am with Stupid”.  When we went to the Tattoo Shop, House, Parlor, Place…I am not sure the name??   We had asked for “Earl” on the recommendation, but were told he was not there and had gone to the “Big House” they thought.  Another Tattoo establishment?    Noo.  The Big House as in prison.  “oh”  The tattoo artist asked me if I let my son smoke and drink too.  Sigh.  I am getting a little uneasy.  Would someone else be available?  A woman spoke up that she was available.  I felt inclined to ask a few, brief questions.  “Are you a really good artist?”  “Do you stay in the lines?”  “Did you sleep well last night?”  “Do you have a steady hand?”  How long have you been giving tattoos? “May I see the package the needles are coming out of”  I did not ask her name.  After answering my questions a little bit flip.  I filled out a bunch of paperwork.  I could tell my son was mortified now but settled in.   Discovering a sample book on the counter, I eagerly looked through it while I was waiting.  Miss Personality had a portfolio book.  Not bad work, but I discovered that her name was not a name, but numbers.  I said, “Your name is 666?”  She said “Yes, it is.”  Hmm,  my hands started to sweat, and I got gas.   Too late now, my son was getting started and would only have a partial tattoo if he stopped now.  I had really embarrassed him earlier, but we were the only customers in the shop.  The place was really, really getting crowded now. 

Other kids (everyone is a kid to me)  began lying down on the tables and the whizz of the instruments began.  I was dying to know if “666” had given the tattoo on the gentleman’s knees that was at the register.  She would certainly have been and artist if she did that one.  I did not mention it in the shop, but told him that she may get a lot more mainstream business if she changed her name.  He said it would not make any difference if her name was Petunia. 

Anyway, after about an hour of skin tinting, he was finished.    It looked great though we did not tell the grand parents for at least a year.

I thought we were finished at one, really good, really interesting tattoo.  Then, after Padwan went to college, he came home with tattoo Number TWO.  Jerimiah 29:11.  “For I know the plans I have for you.  Plans to give you hope and a future.”  He wanted to always believe that God’s plan would not harm him.  OK, How can you go wrong agreeing that every time you look over your shoulder, one can be reminded of God’s love.  He did say he looked it up in the Bible one last time before getting inked just to make sure it did not say “And then Joseph and Mary went to…” and that he remembered it as his significant verse. (I picked it out for him to remember as his Senior HS graduating verse~~who knew he was actually listening to me.    I thought it was pretty much settled that he’d end quietly at tat Number Dos.  I prayed.  It all turned out good, no infections. (Aqua Phour is a secret).  Great pick.  I thought it was settled he’d stop at two. 

I was driving his car a week after he went back to college and found some papers.  One little and the other enlarged.  Uh. Oh.  I have seen what these are used for.  I asked him that I was curious about them.  He said that he hated to tell me but that he got another tattoo. Uh oh.  Was it the really big Chinese one and to please tell me and that If I didn’t notice it before he left for school where on earth could that one be??  Where exactly ARE you putting them?  “Were you drinking?”  “Was there no one around to talk you out of BOTH of them?”   “Did you go see Petunia?” He said they were under his arm (you can see it, but not with a long tee shirt….it is slightly bigger than a bar of soap).  A celtic knot.  (Which looks like a Picasso maze to me.)  Whew.  “Please just tell me you stopped at three, tell me that you’ll stop at three, and that you did not shave your arm pit hair!”.  He said,  I think I have some more bad news.”  Uh. Oh.  I knew what was coming.  “You DID shave your underarms?”  “No, I did not,  I got a fourth one….under the other arm.”  Yikes!  This one was a native bird.  (which will look like a floppy terradyctal when he is 50 if he doesn’t keep up those guns). We may have to do some research to know what exactly it is, but it looks pretty cool.   We have a bit of Native Indian Heritage in our family, and I am proud that he is proud. 

“OK, OK, please stop at FOUR, ok?,”  I said.  “You are starting to over decorate, please don’t be an overachiever! 

The recommendation that I heard after someone asked him after his first tattoo was “ Don’t get One.”  Now we are at number four.

I do not have a tattoo and  personally favor paper and ink to make lists of vows to do in my life. Although, I have really gotten off track more times than I would like to admit on keeping vows, the “til death do us part” marriage vow is one that has not been broken; however, my husband is on double secret probation THIS week.  (Just teasing!!!)  I do not need to ink my shoulder, ankle or back…my  vows are written on my heart.  

If I had a gen-u-ine tattoo, what would it be?  I took a Facebook quiz that asked me a battery of questions to discover my Indian name.  After answering a multitude of seemingly random questions like what is my favorite color combination, my Indian name was discovered.  I am Thunder Horse.  Hmm.  I guess that one is not bad.  It beats Thunder Britches.  Thunder Britches was a name we gave our son when he was little…OK, maybe the name stuck a little longer when he DID get bigger too. (Snicker.)  


Thunder Britches' tattoos look good.  I’ll keep him in my prayers that four will do for him.  We still have Alaskan Inuit and Samoan symbols left.

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