I didn’t want to over exert myself as I haven’t written in so long, but today I was inspired so I thought…hey why not!
So my current favourite movie is ‘We’re the Millers’… I remember when the trailer first came out I was so desperate to see it that I actually had a count down on my phone for when it was released, then on a date night with my Habibi we decided to go see it. During this period in my life I was working an average of about 62 hours a week, plus I was going to University full time and College part time so I was always EXHAUSTED. So that night we went and sat down at the cinema and I watched most of it before I fell asleep! So let’s just say I didn’t get to enjoy it as much as I thought I would. Then the DVD came out and I was still busy so even though I purchased it the day it was released I didn’t get to watch it…after a few failed attempts to watch it from start to finish I decided I’d leave it for a better time…
Finally I’ve watched it and despite the starting and stopping previously, I actually loved it…like you know those corny vows that someday on my wedding I’ll be using where the bride/groom says to their new spouse…”I knew I loved you before I even met you” well that’s how I felt about this movie! I was not disappointed…Jennifer Aniston’s strip tease had a lot to do with it…kidding…well…
But that isn’t what this “story” is about…this is about another part of the movie that inspired me to write this…
That character Scottie P really reminded me of one part of my personality when I was a young delusional kid… The one that thought she was so cool, so clever and knew everything there is to know about everything. At some point I was the sort of kid that thought I could do anything and never have to deal with the repercussions of my actions… And in a somewhat hilarious outlook… I thought I could live with…
Yes my friend…this story is about my tattoos… All 7 of them to be exact.
Because I am the poster child for big mistakes and poor judgement.
When Scottie P in We’re the Millers, displayed his tattoos so proudly it made me think back to when I had mine done and back then I was so happy with them… Despite being warned that someday I would regret them or want them removed I just laughed and continued to get them, each time thinking that my life was so interesting and that each tattoo was going to represent them in their own unique way. I thought that by the time I hated tattoos or no longer found them cool (god forbid) that I would be too old to care. I was 16 and so clueless and ignorant that I never thought that at 22 I would come to hate them so much that I’d be embarrassed to see them, or that I’d have cringe worthy tales behind them that I could render a whole conference room full of people paralysed with laughter.
1) I’ll start with my most bearable tattoo, which I would say would be the only tattoo I’d even consider keeping. It’s this beauty located on the back of my shoulder… The reason I can keep it is because it isn’t garish or gaudy or big…. it’s just a cute little butterfly that also looks like a four leaf clover that at the time I thought was perfect because I just had to get an Irish inspired tattoo so that all the Irish people could see how much I love them…at the time I only knew about 4 Irish people and they were all from the same family so…that kind of gives you an idea about what kind of impulsive person I was…This was my 5th tattoo and for some reason I just loved it so much… I guess it’s the one I like most now but not for the same reason I did when I first had it done, but just because it’s cute… No other deep meaningful reason other than that.
2) After the first one I mentioned it all kind of goes downhill from here…in fact I don’t even know what tattoo I should mention next because they’re all pretty awful. I guess the next one would have to be the tattoo on my rib cage…It’s my family saying written in Ilocano (my mothers dialect in the Philippines) ‘nagsamit ti biagen’ that means ‘life is sweet’ I’m not even 100% sure that’s how you spell it, and on the day I had it done I was probably about 40% sure. But either way, that’s how it is spelt on my body, inked for all of eternity… Anyway the sentiment behind the phrase is sweet; you just got to trust me on that one… But on the day I got this tattoo my 4th one… I also got a tramp stamp a few minutes before. I was so eager to get both tattoos done on the same day, back then I was ALOT ‘lighter’ so I could feel the needle on my bone quite clearly… And I still felt a bit weak. From the first one so the tattooist gave me a lolly to get my blood sugar up (you’d think I was doing something so noble as giving blood or something). And by the time the outline was done I felt so sick that I had to tell him to stop…I couldn’t take another second of it and we had to leave it there… And no…I never went back to get it finished… I never went to another tattoo parlour to get it covered up or anything… It remains the outline of a tattoo I “desperately” needed to get that day… If anything it’s actually a little smudged (who knew that could happen?!) and faded but still a glaring reminder that my pain threshold is embarrassingly low and that I never learn from my mistakes.
3 and 4) You know when people tell you not to get tattoos that can make you look trashy? Well as a teenager I thought tattoos were artistic and would be a healthy way for me to release my creative personality and show people just how spontaneous I was (because if truth be told, I never thought about what tattoo I wanted for longer than 10 minutes even when I was in the tattoo parlour…most if not all were decided on the day, in the shop, a few minutes before the tattooing would commence…it’s not like it was “permanent” or “forever” or anything!) Well one day when out shopping with my best friend we decided to go to a tattoo parlour which her boyfriend (at the time) worked at. An innocent drop in just to say hi, turned into me getting moderately sized kiss marks on my cheeks… Not on my face cheeks that would be insane and low class! Nooo…. on my bum cheeks of course (because that was any better?!) At the time I thought I’d always laugh every time I saw it…it never occurred to me that I hardly ever gazed into the mirror staring at my butt… But like I said at the time it seemed like a good idea, one last hurrah before goingto Uni, something I could share with my best friend (because that was normal) and because I thought… Why not! I’ve got a bum, here’s a tattooist… And as if one wasn’t bad enough, the tattooist said he’d do it cheaper if I wanted two…well I couldn’t pass up a bargain of getting a buy one get one free tattoo could I? So I got them done, I had a good giggle; I stained my bed sheets with red blotches because I constantly forgot to cover the tattoos. The kind of guys I dated at the time were not exactly presentable, clean guys either… (That’s a whole ‘nother story…) but I did remember telling myself that my next “guy friend” would love it and think I was ultra sexy and adventurous… But unfortunately and in another sense fortunately I met my Habibi soon after and it just so happens he hated tattoos and piercings… So yeh… GOOD ONE. You may count them as one but I think they’re probably 2 mistakes on their own.
5) They say you should never get tattoos that link you to other people because you never know what will happen in life… friendships end and relationships turn sour so it’s best to think long and hard about what tattoo you’re going to get before you decide to stamp yourself forever… Well this is the tale of my tramp stamp. Growing up I had a group of friends who I loved so much, over time our group grew bigger and we became closer… The girls of the group decided we were going to be friends forever so what better way to cement our friendship than to get tattoos… One of the girls designed it and we were all so excited, we met some back alley (literally) man who agreed to tattoo us in his kitchen…. Despite the fact that he had the design, traced it so we could all have the exact same one…they all came out completely different… I decided to put it on my lower back and despite the fact that I saw him do it on my friend and it looked wrong…messed up… Not quite right, I still decided it was a good idea to go along with the group… Because it wasn’t like I was the only one making the mistake right?! I wouldn’t have to suffer in silence…that was the only reason why agreed to get the tattoo…(don’t worry as I write this I’m screaming at myself) and as life would have it, some tiny problems turned into major issues and I now actually only talk to 2 of the girls and 1 of them is only because she’s my sister!
6) This one I won’t dwell on for too long because it does truly upset me. Yes, idiots do have feelings too! This one is one of the biggest tattoo mistakes people make all of the time… Inking yourself for someone you “love”… Because at the time I thought I was so crazy in love…when I was probably more crazy than anything. And things transpired to make me think that by getting a tattoo I’d always be reminded of the happiness and the laughter and the joy…I’d remember the stories of a better time, a different me that existed so long ago… But like everyone (but me) knows…life changes and having something like a tattoo, something that can potentially be with you for life may be good for reminding you of good times (if you’re lucky) but more often than not it can remind you of all the pain and the sadness and those nights of feeling so down and out, like the hurt will never end… Those feelings might go but the memory remains. And every time you look at that tattoo you’re transported back to that day/night/time…it’s so rare for you to mark a painful time in your life and be reminded of a happy time… It’s not even worth the risk.
7) The final tattoo mistake, my first tattoo at the ripe old age of 16 and probably the biggest mistake of all. The one story everyone loves to hear, everyone loves to laugh at, and the one I probably have enjoyed telling the most… At 16 I thought myself as a little rebel. One day before work I had an argument with my Dad, I remember thinking “screw you, I don’t need you…in fact I don’t need a man in my life because I’m my own saviour”. Something I never told anyone before, until now, was that the night before said argument I had watched, the Cheetah girls movie and the song Cinderella (“I don’t wanna be like Cinderella, sitting in a dark, cold, dusty cellar, waiting for somebody to come and set me free, I don’t wanna be like someone waiting, For a handsome prince to come and save me, On I will survive, unless somebody’s on my side. Don’t wanna depend on no one else. I’d rather rescue myself.”) Really inspired me…I loved it! So after the argument I was angry and had to go to work, on my lunch break I was still pretty heated and decided to take a walk down to the tattoo parlour where I asked for an appointment, they asked what I wanted, I shrugged because I hadn’t thought about it… I thought they’d ID me because I was 16 who looked about 12 never mind 18 (the legal age to get a tattoo). Well they didn’t ID me; in fact they booked me in right there and then. I finally decided I was getting the word heroine tattooed on my neck…(classy girl) it would symbolise my strength as a woman, it’d be a metaphorical middle finger to my dad and men in general, and my favourite song then (and now) is Hero/Heroine so I thought it was meant to be. I was more excited about the fact that they didn’t ID me than to worry about details… And I was determined to seem so grown up that even with the warning signs I didn’t care… There sat around me were 4 women all with playboy bunny tattoos wanting them covered up… And one of them even said to me “why is such a sweet girl like you wanting to tattoo yourself with that?” I immediately thought, at-least I’m not trashy like you getting a playboy bunny covered up! I quickly replied with “it’s my body I can do what I want thank you.” And angrily followed the tattooist to the room… The man explained to me I was in safe hands because he was the owner of the tattoo parlour and I felt naively at ease…it was over within half an hour and I left feeling happy. That night I slept over my best friends house and she helped me clean it up, in my excitement I sent a picture to my friend. The reply I got wasn’t what I expected… It turned out that my tattoo was spelt wrong… NIGHTMARE…but as if that wasn’t bad enough, the tattooist had spelt it not as heroine the female version of hero… But heroin, as in the drug! From there it went from bad to worse, not only would I have to wait 3+ weeks in order for it to heal before I could get it sorted, but the design was pretty close together that getting an extra ‘e’ would make the entire tattoo lopsided, uneven and I would also have to make it bigger which meant inside of looking feminine and delicate it would look big and manly… I cried. For several days… until I found it funny… When I finally got it fixed I was so miserable and felt so sorry for myself. The tattooist who sorted my tattoo for me was a different man who was a friendly giant and comforted me as I cried…he told me that the owner of the shop was rubbish and everyone complained about him and that I was unlucky because he was hardly ever in and I must have caught him on the one day he was in…that part didn’t make me feel better at all. But hey. The only blessing was that he did say that I could come in and get free tattoo touch ups for life but to be honest after the mistake, I had decided aside from getting it sorted for free I’d never step foot in that side of town again. But if you ever want tattoo touch ups for free then just get something spelt wrong tattooed on your body (even better if it’s a class A drug) and you’re set!
I’d like to say I learned from my tattoo mistakes but as you can see from my first and quite possibly worst tattoo mistake, I never did…if anything I continued to make mistakes until I ran out of barely visible tattoo spaces I thought would look good… I have however, learnt the art of patience and how to be less impulsive (when it comes to tattoos) but it has also given me the opportunity to think of good lessons I’ll be able to tell my kids someday… Because tattoos are a big commitment and you have to be able to commit to them like you would a marriage, if not more. When done right they can be beautiful but it’s all a matter of preference. I’m no longer the person I was when I was 16 and it’s only been 6 years, if I don’t have them removed soon it may be a whole different story in say 20 years… I realise that getting a tattoo as a reminder of the weaker points in your life does not benefit you, if you really want to get a tattoo then it should be something empowering, something you can smile at when you see it rather than make you sad. Getting tattoos for boyfriends/girlfriends/friends is a HUGE NO NO! But if you must, then get something to symbolise them instead like a star, a sun, a heart, just nothing that completely identifies with them…you just never know how the future is going to turn out and it isn’t worth the risk. I know you’ll probably ignore my warnings because chances are you’re a 16 year old girl wanting a tattoo and if I didn’t listen back then, then why should you now? The temptation to create a persona for yourself through tattoos is so tempting but at such a young age there is still too much happening in your life to make such a big commitment. There is still so much to see, so many people to see, so many places to go and so many, less permanent, less damaging mistakes to make before you ink yourself for life. Because you can’t use getting them removed as a safety net… It’s more expensive and more painful getting them removed than getting them done. Out of all the lessons I’ve learnt from my tattoo nightmares, the biggest one would have to be patience…. There’s always going to be a time, and a place for you to get a tattoo, so don’t make the decision on the spot, don’t think just because all your friends are doing it then you should because they might be the ones regretting it later on… If you have to get a tattoo let it be because you wanted it, under your terms. They make temporary tattoos now in most places so trying that is less damaging, give it a good thought over and really know that you do truly want it for the right reasons because it’s hard to undo once you’ve done it! Trust me you don’t want to be sat there 6 years from now pretending to laugh at your tattoo horrors when really you just want to shave your skin off (maybe not so horrific but you get what I’m saying)!!! Love your body because you only get one 😉