Monday, February 25, 2008

Great Tattoo Moments in Context

So I have recently had this fascination with fake tattoos. I don’t really know where it came from, or what has stirred it up so much to it’s prevalence in my mind, but I am really into them of late. It has caused reflection in terms of the greatness of tattoos, and the fun that can accompany such body art. As a disclaimer, I should note that I don’t really ever want to have a tat. (I like calling them that because it seems so faux pas and cheesy.) I actually think they are rather shortsighted and selfish, not to mention passé. Nevertheless.

-Junior year of high school, my best friend, whom I love for her radicalism and basic über- liberalism to a comedic extent got it into her mind that a tat was just exactly the kind of statement she wanted to make a permanent part of her presence. We talked it over a lot, and she thought it out for a few months, then decided to go get it done, but she did it sneakily and without telling me. I was surprised when she showed up at my house with a “surprise” to me of a little swirly design on the back of her neck. It looked pretty good, and I liked it more than I had thought I would.

-September, 2006, I was taking my first semester off of school in a long run of semesters taken off…living at home was getting tiresome, and I sought to make my life more interesting by pushing my parents to see how much they would take from me. I’m not sure of why this particular night was so sweet, but for whatever reason, the whole family was ready for my shenanigans. My mom and I were at the grocery store. She works with autistic children, teaching their families to cope with the behavioural difficulties that accompany the disorder. Therefore, she always goes to the toy aisle in all grocery stores to look for things that will stimulate the children in a healthy way. As we were so perusing the aisle of tacky goods, I cam across a pack of “Big Money” semi-permanent tattoos (their phrasing, not mine.) I had to have them, and for some miraculous reason, my mom bought them for me. These were the really high quality ones- with real glitz built in, and they were supposed to last like a month! The designs incorporated the use of golden dollar signs, $1000000 bills, and gold- studded coins. Just what we needed. When we came home, for inexplicable reasons, the climate in my normally conservative family was just right for a little bling. Everyone had one, and laughter and fun floated through the house as everyone applied wet washcloths to the back of paper. My mom had a giant blinged- out dollar sign on her chest (yes. It took up a good portion of her chest, which… is…not…small.) my sister had a flower shaped out of gold coins and rolled up dollar bills on her inner thigh. My little brother opted for the phrase, “BLING KING” on his calf, and my dad got a miniscule $1000000 bill fastened to his arm. I went all out and applied a gold and diamond crusted watch with rubies on the face place to my wrist. We were rollin dirty.

-January of 2007, I had returned to school form a weird hiatus and begun working at a sandwich shop a few blocks from my house. I came back to school feeling a little friend-less and so I clung close to the friendships I had forged previously. One day, while over at friends’ house, I discovered a little pack of tattoos of the famous Idaho potato. But this was not just any tater- no. This was a potato cowboy. Yes. I said cowboy- he had boots, and a ten-gallon hat, and gloves if I remember correctly. So we did the obvious, applying the little details to our bodied in the most hilarious locations- mine was precariously placed on my left breast, scandalously near my nipple. Hehe. It makes me laugh just thinking about it. Now I thought this was so funny at the time, that when I went to work the next day, I could not contain myself but to laugh about it and tell my coworkers. They were not impressed. Partially, I think, because of my inept description of this phenom that is the potato cowboy. This thing was incredible, and endlessly entertaining- I wish I could do it justice in my description. So when all the customers left the store, I took my co-workers aside and showed them. Yes. That means that I bared my breast to them. Either because I was flashing them in the middle of the work day and they hadn’t come to work expecting such a show, or because of the avowed awesomeness of the little guy, they were all in tears. So incredible.

-October 2007 I was home, yet again. And yet again, my best friend from high school had the hankering for a tat. Now, since we’d been away to college, she has added impressively to her body- a rib- piece, an entire sleeve, a partial sleeve on the other arm, and two calf pieces, not to mention three facial piercings, and some others that shall remain nameless here. I think she’s smart in her choices, and she has a good rapport built with the guy who does her work, and she trusts him. I’ve voiced my opinion on the subject matter more than once- I’m not really a fan of the art form, but as I said, I feel like she smart about it, and in one of my verbose bouts of rambling, she invited me to come with her to get the next one done. Her grandmother, with whom she was very close, had passed away a year previous. She had decided to get a permanent reminder of their bond adhered to her body in form of a yellow/orange hibiscus on the inside of her upper arm, very symbolic, as her granny always collected the flowers which grew in front of their house and placed them around inside. She would never let me leave the house without three or four buds to decorate with and by remember her by. So I went. I’m kind of squeamish and squirrelly when it comes to blood, so I was really nervous as we went into the shop. The guy was so nice, and I could tell that they had a positive relationship going. He started in on her, and little droplets of blood welled up on her milky skin, mixing in with the yellow to make a meat- smelling mixture of deep red-orange. I felt my pulse in my hands and toes, and I had to sit down. Everyone joked around with me about my discomfort. It was a really good experience for me to overcome my welling fear of blood, as well as a basically magical bonding experience with an amazing friend.

-November 2007 (technically this one shouldn’t maybe count, but the idea is so great, I feel I have a responsibility to include it.) I came back to Provo for my birthday. At lunch on the blessed day, Keri and Dani and Kayte and I got to talking and came up with a list of 22 things I had to do before the day of my birth was over (22 because it was my 22nd… you get it). The list included lots of silliness, things like telling at least 22 strangers it was my birthday, and speaking a foreign language for 22 minutes straight. The real relevant one for this story was that I had to get 22 tattoos in 22 various locations on my body. We went to Honk’s $1.05 store and made our selection: unicorns, hearts, balloons, and little boys with word bubbles that said “Happy Day!” I was so happy about them, but the day got really busy and crazy, so unfortunately, the idea was never seen through to fruition. Maybe next year.

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