Last Thursday, Boyfriend and his little sister wanted to go to Art Machine Productions tattoo studio a little bit away from us in Philadelphia. Boyfriend got a larger tattoo on his leg within the last year and was back for a consult on a coverup and his sister wanted to set up an appointment for her first tattoo. As someone who has wanted several different tattoos and wanted them for several years now, I decided to go with them to see even a bit of the process. Then throughout the day, I had been thinking about it and ended up getting my first one done as a walk in that day.
At work that day, I was passed over for an opening – worse though, I was the only in house person to apply and I wasn’t even granted an interview. Since I have been holding the position in the interim (1 month and counting so far), I was devastated and I feel very much taken advantage of – I’m good enough to do it simultaneously with my current position for more than a month but I’m not good enough for a conversation?- these are not employers I want to be with much longer. Back to job searching and that pretty much closes that chapter of my life at this job. My employers amid all this though did grant me an extra dollar per hour raise. Since I know my direct supervisor pushed for an extra $2, this adds insult to injury but hell – I’ll take the dollar and it will mean I’ll have a little excess cash around.
So why mention all this? – it pretty much adds up to my deciding not to keep making excuses and just go ahead and do it.
I was a nervous mess driving to Philadelphia. Sick to my stomach thinking it was a mistake. When we got there, it was about 2 hours before Nick – one of the tattoo artists- was ready for me. That was 2 hours of a whole, whole lot of nerves. I could hear and see others going through their tattoo process and freaking out. But I made it this far, I wasn’t leaving without my tattoo.
I knew I wanted to get 3 beach waves along the top of my right foot and I looked up some suggestions on my phone while we were waiting. Of the tattoo ideas I was considering, I showed a couple to Nick who came back with the drawing of what he’d be doing. Real real simple – “couple of squiggly lines” as Boyfriend kept saying but exactly what I had in mind. He headed back again to get everything set up and I went back to just freaking out.
Seconds later it seemed, Nick was ready for me to head back. He cleaned the area and added the stencil to my foot. Someone else walked by during this part and said “damn it’s gonna hurt” – like thanks asshole, I hadn’t realized and been freaking out about it. But I sat up on the table/bench and it was time to start.
Damn near everything you will read about placement of tattoos will say that the tops of the hands and feet are very high up on the most painful places. By the time he finished the black line of the waves, before even starting the bit of blue I requested, I didn’t doubt that for one second. At the beginning I didn’t think it was as bad as I was expecting but by the second middle wave, I was extremely grateful to be getting something pretty small. You know how your feet and hands have the little bones and tendons closer to the skin? Well the curve of the second wave in particular was irritating one of those bones something fierce.
I couldn’t watch just looking at Boyfriend or his sister and asking them to just keep talking to me about random shit. Boyfriend’s Sister kept thinking of scenarios that hurt and asked about previous times I’ve been in pain and said it probably wasn’t as bad. I used to have my lip pierced and one time the backing got stuck on a glass; the ball in the front of the piercing ended up pulled into my lip. Without a doubt the most painful experience I’ve had and still is to this day – the tattoo didn’t come close to as bad.
Not long after we started and Nick was finished. Maybe 15-30 minutes total. Boyfriend joked that “see – you lived” and Nick joked “or did we?” completely straight faced. I appreciated the joke since ten with it as short and easy, I was more than a bit shaken. We went over the process going forward on how to keep it clean and healing. I paid ($100 -shop minimum- plus $20 tip) and headed out.
Off to Walmart to grab non-scented soap, healing ointment, and lotion. Got home, whipped off the plastic wrap and:
It’s great. Looks really good. Just what I wanted. Now a week and half later, I think it’s healing nicely – I have no frame for comparison but Boyfriend tells me I’m right on track. It still can be a bit uncomfortable wearing shoes – my only sneakers don’t have laces but rather elastic on top. That causes pressure and rubs against what is still an itchy patch.
I’m so happy with how it came out and am really proud of myself for just going for it and not continuing to find the excuses why I shouldn’t…and for not freaking out even worse.