"Change, when it comes, cracks everything open."
Dorothy Allen

Sunday, October 17, 2010

You will regret it when you are older

This week, I did it again. 

I got a tattoo.

I am up to 14 now.  As I progress down this path, I am getting designs that are more fun, and less meaningful.  I have moved away from the commemorative and more towards the fun, and the interesting.

Inevitably, someone ends up asking me why I do this to myself.  That I will regret it when I am older.  No one likes an 80 year old with a band of zombies tattooed around her thigh.  It's a waste of money, effort, time.  People will judge me, I will never get a job.  Etc, etc.

At one time or another, every one of those comments has come out of my dad's mouth.  *shrugs*  I forgive him.

Celtic Bat- Top middle of my back
So, I have been thinking lately about why I do it.  Why do I love them.  Why do they make me feel good.

I have always had self esteem issues.  I don't think that is a surprise to anyone.  With the tattoos, people look at them first, and not at me.  It's nice to hide behind.  When I have the wrong hair, or the wrong clothes, or I'm not fit and skinny- people always look at the tattoos first.  I like it that way.

I don't care about people judging them, or me because of them.  It is fun to surprise people that think I am stupid, or uneducated because of them.  I like to prove how smart I am.

I already have a job- a good one.  I make good money (I won't say how much).  I earn the respect of people around me, that I report to, that I work with.  I am a hard worker, diligent, dedicated.  And I dare anyone to judge me based on what it on my skin.
Dragon, on my foot.  A first anniversary present from Geoff
So- do I like the pain?  A little, yes.  I like the challenge of toughing it out.  I like that I don't flinch, or whine or bitch.  The worst one I ever got was the zombie band, and the inner thigh was the worst.  I had to do labour breathing to get through that one. :)  Justin, of course, had no sympathy, and told me it was my own fault for asking for a band.  He's right, it was my bad.

The other questions I get- Why do you chose what you chose?  And when will you stop?

The "I am" was from the Molson Canadian campaign that was big in the 90's.  It reminds me of a time when everyone felt proud to be Canadian.
I chose what I chose because they are designs, pictures, ideals that I like, love, or want to be.  My very first tattoo is the fairy on my shoulder, that  Bob Paulin did in 1999.  I always knew a fairy wouuld be my first.  It symbolizes my faith, my belief in what isn't before my eyes, but exists in my heart.  It reminds me to believe in what I want, not only what I can see and touch.  My second was a Canadian flag, done by Bob 3 days after the first one.  Yeah.  I was hooked from the start.

Fast forward 11 years.  I just got a bloody machete on my leg.  For kicks.  Because I wanted to.  Because no one- NO ONE- is going to tell me not to.  It is my "fuck you" to everyone that wants to voice their most unwelcome opinion.

What do you know?!?  I guess I still have messages in my tattoos, after all.

Will I stop?  Yes, eventually.  I know that makes my mother happy.  There are a few more that I want.  And I am sure that I will think of more.  I do want a chest piece.  Preferably with the word Wicked in it.  I want one focussed around the word VooDoo- one of my favorites.  I think I will let Justin have free reign with this.  I also want a large portrait of the Crow on my back.  Eventually I will get sleeves on each arm, one for Sebastian and the other for Sawyer.  That's my immediate plans.  Whatever else I might think of, who knows.  :)  I get giddy with the thought of all this.
Celtic Cross.  For my Irish Grandma
Right now- I am happy with what I have.  I had a shower yesterday, and looked down at my leg.  I felt a little flip in my stomach, seeing that much ink in my skin.  Happy.  Content.  Maybe junkies feel that way when they see their track marks.  But I think it is more like a writer, when they see their half finished novels, printed and waiting for the next chapter, and the next and the next...

Geoff has promised to photograph my tattoos.  I am excited for that.

But for now, I will help my leg heal.  I will pretend not to see the stares, and I will laugh when people ask me stupid questions and say hurtful things.  Because I really don't care.  I love them too much to care that no one else does.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for needles.

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