Rule 356, Chapter 7: Consider everything before having a tattoo

When I was at uni, many moons ago, my bestest buddy Lou bought me a tattoo for my 18th birthday. Wandering into a tattoo shop in the backstreets of Cardiff (classy, I know), I pointed to a star design on the wall, and proceeded to have myself inked. Just below the left hip bone, so that only I knew it was there. Β Well, me and Lou. Certainly not my mother.

As the years went on, it became like wall paper; I ceased to notice its existence. When I met my husband, he had a half finished Koi carp on his back – a massive piece, which is not only beautiful, but must have hurt tremendously. A Chinese dragon adorned half of his chest, and more tattoos were scattered on the tops of his arms, each representing a journey for him throughout his life. It was fascinating listening him to talk through why he had each piece done and where and when and how they all linked together.

mart tat

I shyly showed him my little star. He physically baulked when he saw it. ‘You’ve got a pentagram on you. An upside-down one. …? Erm…is there something I should know?!’. Only, my darling, that your future wife is an idiot perhaps? And that a star on the wall of a Welsh tattoo shop isn’t quite what I thought it was.

Of course, I didn’t believe him at first. Then I did some research, and have since then, tried to tell myself that it’s a symbol of pagan fertility. Which is still ironic, as I’m not really a fan of kids…

Anyway. You’d think that this lesson in getting something ridiculous on you would have stuck. But alas, I got another tattoo.

However. This time, I spent ages thinking about what to have and where. I did my research. I decided I wanted text this time, words by an old fave of mine, Sylvia Plath. Part of a phrase that, for many reasons, meant a lot – it saysΒ β€˜And I listen to the old brag of my heart’ and ends ‘I am, I am, I am’. I just wanted those six words. On the right hand side of me. A heartbeat, echoed.

I got it done.

Although what I forgot to think about this time, was the font. So when I looked in the mirror, expecting a whisper of a tattoo, I got ‘Jam, Jam, Jam’. Wrong script for the capital ‘I’. Foolish girl. The chap I got to do it wasn’t so great at text either. Apparently it ‘wasn’t really his thing’.

jam jam jam

So. I did some more research, on people who could do good cover-ups. And I decided to stop messing about with a little ‘star’ here and some ‘words’ there. I was going to get something proper. And frankly, I needed to to cover up my Jammy mistake. Luckily, Santa Perpetua came to my rescue. She’s simply amazing (see her work here) and I now love my side piece. It’s ink black and scratchy, with type and splodges, and, for someone who has worked in newspapers all her life I now also have some print in my skin to also underline who I am. I am. I am.

new tat

So, what of this lesson, Rule 356 of Chapter 7: Consider everything before getting a tattoo? Well, unlike me, consider the basics, like what and where and what font. Do some research on styles you like, rather than just wandering into a tattoo parlour. Check out who you might like to ink you – and if they’re good at what you want them to do. Ask the big ‘why’ question too. If it really represents you, your journey. If you really, really want one. Because its pretty permanent – apparently removal hurts like billy-o. And, of course, whether you need to hide it somewhere so an incensed parent can’t shout at you, regardless of your age.

That said, I really hope my Mum isn’t reading this post….

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30 thoughts on “Rule 356, Chapter 7: Consider everything before having a tattoo

  1. I couldn’t help but laugh at ‘jam jam jam’. What a wonderful post. This is a life lesson! Brought back fond memories of my tattoo nightmare.

    I had ‘immerse your soul in love’ engraved on my right foot. And somehow over the years, the ‘love’ started to look like ‘dove’. And dove is a rather popular soap brand here. πŸ˜πŸ˜„

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is brilliant!!! Love and Dove is classic. ..how could you have ever known that was going to happen?!! Although I guess it makes sense. You’d have a super clean and fragrant soul at least! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s true, even I got ink unplanned, went for small combined sign of all religion but as my artist didn’t had that I ended with something girlish a butterfly, thinking if I didn’t go for it today will never go for inking then, and ironic is my friends who came to company me there choose that for me, in starting days I use to wonder wish I had chosen something more meaningful, But now with each passing day I am loving it more, reason I start admiring butterflies more for the wings and colour they have in their life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the fact that you’ve embraced the design you weren’t mean to get originally, but now you love it! That’s brilliant! I love my cover up…and in a way, I guess I wouldn’t have got it, unless my first tattoo was rubbish. So I guess there’s always a silver lining – right?!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you liked my post and it was well timed! I think your tattoo sounds cool, and it obviously means something personal to you – just make sure it’s absolutely right before going for it. As I said, jam jam jam was not one of my best moments….! Thanks again for commenting πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. LMAO! Good tale of, “oh shit now look what I’ve done!”. Here’s the deal on the pentagram. Get an eye right in the centre of the two triangles. You can tell people it is the triangle and eye of the Illuminati and you’re doubly sighted. Let them figure out what that means.

    I designed a 2nd tat for myself, text. Been looking for someone who can meet the standard I demand for mine. Blood red with a fine black outline. The search goes on!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! Thanks for your very useful comments! I hadn’t thought about a cover up to the, ahem, ‘star’, and your idea is a good one. Although I quite like the fact it reminds me of how I should try not to be foolish again…! Good luck with the tattooist search. Sounds like it’ll be a goodie when you find the right person. Keep me updated!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Simon! Yes. Fingers crossed the mother hasn’t found this blog yet. And I’m a fan of tattoos, so I’d say be brave and get one….but just make sure you’re super sure of what you want inked on you!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is brilliant, I have to confess to having a lot which all in their own way mean something. Like your partner I too have some large koi, to which one of my friends once said “you must really like fish!”. πŸ˜‹

    Liked by 1 person

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