Sunday, May 24, 2009

Newly Inked

So I guess I have kept you guys waiting in suspense long enough about what my "secret" is. Well, without further ado, my "big, exciting news" is that . . . 

I got a tattoo!
Taken today.

Yep. That's right. Me. A tattoo. OK, that was probably not what you were expecting me to say, but that's why I said on Friday that it was "big and exciting, to me anyway." (Though I appreciate Amber's guess that I received a promotion at work and so wish that was true! That would have been sweet! But alas, not the case.)

I'm sure you can understand now why I needed to wait to tell my parents first before posting a pic since I didn't consult with them before making this decision. Figured it would be better to bypass that whole convo and just do it.

But trust me when I say, I didn't just do it. I had been thinking about this for years and only now finally worked up the courage to "just do it."

Are you wondering what happened when I told the 'rents? They had a meltdown! No no no. I'm kidding. They were surprisingly cool about it. Disappointed actually. You may have seen my mom left her first (and probably last) comment on Friday's post wondering about my secret. When I dropped by my parents' house yesterday to break the news, she told me that she had bought champagne because she thought I had landed a magazine job in New York! Oh, mom. I was like, "Really? That's what you thought? What planet are you living on!?" Haha. I told her I would have called right away if that was true. But I figure her slight disappointment in my "big news" is better than her being angry. Right?

My mom also remembered that I had talked before about getting a tattoo, so she was like, no biggie. I kind of figured that would be her reaction. The whole, you're an adult, it's your body, your decision type thing. I was more worried about my dad. I thought he might freak. I could tell he wasn't thrilled (he worries that I am going to get AIDS or some other disease) but he wasn't mad either. He just told me not to get any more. And both my parents told me not to get any on my arms. No promises, but point taken.

About the tat itself: I got it done Thursday afternoon by a friend that works at MD Tattoos in the valley (that's the San Fernando Valley for those of you who don't live in So Cal). It took about an hour and a half to complete. And yes, it hurt! Before we started I was pretty nervous but at the same time I didn't really know what to expect. I had no idea what it would feel like. Katie, the tattoo artist, told me that it feels like a cat is scratching you. Well, yes. But I liken it more to someone dragging a nail across your skin. In addition to that, the foot is one of the most painful spots you can get a tattoo. Lucky me. (I didn't cry, though, like I thought I would.) But I figured you shouldn't choose a location for your tat, which will be on your body forever, based on where it hurts less because it hurts everywhere.

I had my best friend, Marielle, come with me to get it done. I needed some moral support and someone to distract me and she did a fabulous job on both counts. She is the best! The boy came too but he showed up a bit later, about halfway through and he mostly just sat there. I think he didn't know what to do or say and was maybe a bit weirded out by the whole thing? Anyway, Marielle rubbed my back, talked American Idol (even though she doesn't watch the show) and used my camera to document the experience. Check out the photos below.

First touch. Here we go!

The face says it all. Marielle thought I made hilarious "pain" faces throughout the whole thing. Sometimes, I even chattered my teeth. I don't know why. Usually I just yelped, "ow, ow, ow."

Trying to look cute (and happy) through the pain. FYI- There was a guy getting a huge roaring grizzly bear tattoo on his upper arm right next to me and he just sat there like a stone. I think my squeals of pain and photo taking probably annoyed him but, oh well!

Halfway there. Got the black outline of the swallow, heart and initials done.

Katie working away. I affectionately called her my "purveyor of pain."

Some color is done here. The red heart and some purple on the wings.

Almost done!


It was a pretty surreal feeling after it was done. Like, this is here now forever. I, of course, knew that going in but it's just funny to see this thing on your foot that wasn't there before. But it's three days in and I am getting used to it. 

There is meaning behind the tattoo. I got it in memory of my brother, Jeremy. That's his initials, "JW," underneath the wing on the side of my foot. I wanted to get something pretty, simple but meaningful, that when I look at it, I will think of my brother and smile. Because he was into music and I am too, I was originally thinking of getting some music notes trailing after the bird. I still might go back and get them. But for now, I am happy with my little birdie. And, though it wasn't really intentional, the colors of the bird are sort of Laker colors-- Jeremy's favorite team!

Originally I wanted to get the tat done on or close to the anniversary of his death on April 26. But it took awhile to get my ideas together and settle on a tattoo artist. Anyway, ever since April 26, I have been hearing this country song on the radio by Alan Jackson called "Sissy's Song." Even though it talks about a "daughter, wife and mother," I think of my amazing brother and the chorus has made me cry in the car more than once.

She flew up to Heaven on the wings of angels
By the clouds and stars and passed where no one sees
And she walks with Jesus and her loved ones waiting
And I know she's smiling saying
Don't worry 'bout me

For me, this tattoo is a symbol of a fact I already knew: He is in my heart. Every step I take.


Andhari said...

Your tattoo is so gorgeous. I always qish to have one in my back but I'm such a wuss with needles.

Salut! chou chou said...

I love that your tattoo carries so much meaning for you. I really is beautiful!

Amber said...

Oh I LOVE it! And is that a dove? At first I thought it kind of symbolized your blog name, but that is just so touching that it symbolizes your brother! I think it's a REALLY cute tattoo! I have one tattoo on my ankle and one on my shoulder and the one on my ankle hurt SO much, but the one on my shoulder barely hurt at all! I've heard that feet tattoos really hurt but I think it's a great place to get one. So easy to hide if you want too!

That is SO cute that your mom got champagne for your big surprise, haha! And I love the pictures your friend took. The one of your "pain face" made me laugh out loud at work!!! LOL

Carissa said...

@Amber: it's a swallow, actually. and thanks for your kind words! I didn't know you had tattoos. would love to see them or know what they look like!

Elizabeth Marie said...

I love it! I dont have any tattoos because I just cant think of something meaningful enough to have on my body forever. I love that yours means so much, it's so precious. Every step you take! And go Lakers :)

trishiekoh said...

Oh my, you're so brave, i could never stand the pain. And it's a great tattoo, by the way.
Just wanted to let you know, I gave you an award!

kirstyb said...

Tattoo looks lovely xoxoxo

Emz said...

Haha, I really don't know anybody who asks their parents for permission. That is a really cute tattoo though!

Sara Christine said...

It's so cute! You are one bad-ass blogger now! :) I am a complete needle-phobe, so I applaud your bravery.

Boubou said...

wow love the tatoos !! im so jealous !
well if you wanna be inspired by my collages or just dreaming come and visit my blog:)
a bientot !
boubouteatime xx

Lauren K said...

Lovely tattoo with such sincere meaning behind it! I have a dove on my inside heel (weird and horribly painful spot). I can say after 3 years, I don't regret it. If it means something, it will always be enjoyed :)

Shoshanah said...

I don't know that I could ever get a tattoo, mainly because of the pain. But also because I'm too indecisive to decide on something I want forever.

I do thinks yours is pretty, and I am way impressed that you dealt with the pain. And I do think the fact that it means something is probably the best part of it.