I have lots of experience taking care of my tattoos—first to heal them and then to keep them looking good.
I love being tattooed—it's a form of creative expression that has really helped me explore who I am and become comfortable in my own skin. When my friends jokingly call me the "Tattooed Lady," it makes me smile. It's part of who I am and has led me to some weird and wonderful places and introduced me to some amazing people. For the most part, being tattooed has all been upside...except for those occasional annoying moments.
The Random Grab
I am not what you would call a touchy-feely kind of gal, so when complete strangers enter my bubble and randomly grab me it irks me. Perhaps I missed the memo saying it's okay to touch strangers so long as they are tattooed. This happened to me not so long ago when I was shopping with my eldest daughter in a mall and I found the whole experience super uncomfortable and annoying. Here I am trying to teach my daughters that no one has the right to touch their body unless they say so and this wackadoo grabs me and wants to talk about my tattoos. If I had followed the advice I give my girls I would have kicked this butthead in his privates and given him a poke in the eye for good measure. My advice to future tattoo admirers: HANDS OFF!
Prison and Drug Assumptions
It shocks me that I still deal with some pretty ridiculous preconceived notions about being tattooed. I used to think it was a generational thing; for example one of my husband's much older business associates asked me if my tattoos were from a previous life, inferring that I had been to prison. I laughed it off because he was in his 60's and any tattooed women from his generation were either inmates or circus performers. However, I was more surprised when a new acquaintance who was slightly younger than me asked if the butterfly tattoos on my forearm were to cover up track marks. So to clear the air, once and for all I am neither a junky or a criminal, just a quirky tattooed lady who likes to march to the beat of her own drum.
Silly Questions Get a Silly Answer
Not a week goes by where I don't get asked one of these questions. I wish I could say I take the high road and answer politely, but that would be no fun.
- Did they hurt? No, not at all. It feels like being kissed by hundreds of tiny wood nymphs. Needle, pushing ink into your skin! What do you think?
- Do you think I should get one? Sure, I just met you, but I feel acquainted enough to tell you whether you should or shouldn’t have something permanently etched on your body.
- What do you think I should get? Again, I just met you in this grocery store lineup, but perhaps a Tasmanian devil wearing a neon pink thong would be appropriate.
- What do yours mean? Nothing, I am extremely shallow and like pain. This is not the case, but it’s kind of personal and I am too polite to yell “None of your G.D. business!” I do like to tell people that the two kanjis on my left inner wrist mean peanut butter and jam though.
- How much did that thing cost? One million dollars! I really don’t know why this question riles me up so much, but it does. Again it feels overly personal for complete strangers to ask about financial details. If they keep pressing for details I usually say I forget then feign narcolepsy.
Words of Advice
In re-reading this article, I realize I may come off as a total tattooed grouch instead of a blissful tattooed lady. Sorry, that is so not the case. I am a colourful mama full of lightness and love thanks to my inky beauties. And I wish for this kind of happiness for anyone else who wants it. Just don't ask me what yours should look like or pull down your pants to show me your "duck butt."
© 2012 Catherine Taylor
Tess45 from South Carolina on January 10, 2013:
Duck Butt! People always ask my daughter and I, "did that hurt?" Her answer is, "Well, yeah, it's a tattoo!" Or people will say what does it feel like? I say, ever get stung by a bee? "Yes." Ok now imagine getting stung by hundreds of bees for hours while sunburned. (But it's so worth it!)
Karen A Szklany from New England on September 15, 2012:
KarenCreftor and Thunkermama ~
Yes, the henna is probably a good trial for now. We have gotten henna done twice already...and may continue to do so, at least once a year or so..until we are ready to take the plunge into more permanent "etchings." :D
Catherine Taylor (author) from Canada on September 15, 2012:
Kaz, thank you so much for reading, your lovely comments and the share. I would love to go to Brighton. My husband is from England and I think I'll have to convince him a road trip is required.
Karen Creftor from Kent, UK on September 15, 2012:
Hahaha I love this!! You are spot on.
I love body art :D I only have one small ink and a nose ring, but plan to get others.
You are so right about the attitude~ especially the lack of personal space. I think body art is a wonderful expression of creativity and individuality. If you ever come over to the UK, please do visit Brighton, it's a wonderfully creative place where every other person has body art of some kind.
@Seafarer~ you should go for it! It's your body. If you are uncertain maybe try a henna tattoo first. You could get one with your daughter, so she can learn if she likes it or not and make an informed choice when she's older.
Voted up, awesome and shared.
Karen A Szklany from New England on September 07, 2012:
Fun hub, Thundermama. I've often entertained fantasies of having a tattoo done, but I know that I am a powerful role model for my daughter, and my husband is concerned about her having one when he thinks her appearance is perfect as it is. So, for now, the idea is tabled. Since I love otters, I may have one done...who knows? It's fun to think about and not get one, too. :0)
Catherine Taylor (author) from Canada on September 06, 2012:
Thanks SRae, just a bit of a rant really. And you are so right, you can never just have one.
Shelia Wadsworth from Central Pennsylvania on September 05, 2012:
I love how you cleared up some misconceptions about tats. I am proudly tattooed as well and would LOVE to get more, after all you can't have just one, lol. Great hub. I loved it