Yesterday I mentioned that I was getting a new tattoo soon-ish, and a couple of people asked me what I had/what I was getting. So here's the rundown of what I already have and what I'm planning/wanting to get in the future.
I know not everyone is a huge fan of tattoos (hi mom!) but for me, they're like photographs you can't ever lose. Physical things are so tangible - I've written about loss here before, and I still feel it deeply quite often. But a tattoo is something I can look at and remember a good time, or a person or thing I loved, and I'll have it forever.
Plus tattoos look cool.
Mine do anyway.
So here are the two I have:
*My first tattoo, February 2007. It's a quatrefoil, one of the Phi Mu symbols. Also, seeing the back of your own ears is odd...
**Also, yeah, I'm a Phi Mu. No one should be surprised by this.
*It's also weird to look this closely at your own foot...this is my stake (Mr. Pointy, to be exact) from Buffy on my right heel. My BFF from college, Courtney, has a matching one.
Also, let's just look at how I was a total child in 2007 - seriously, I was a baby!
*Eating at the Flying Burrito in Fayetteville, AR. Yum.
So those are the tattoos I have. No skulls, no flames, no dirty pictures, no cursing. A sorority symbol and a stake from a show with one of the strongest female characters ever to be on television. Not too shabby.
But even though I hate piercings (I passed out after finally working up the nerve to get my ears pierced at 19 - and it was the worst pain I've ever felt. Never again.) and needles (no but really), I love tattoos. They don't hurt particularly bad, and, like I said, they have meaning for me. I would never get one that I didn't really care about.
So there are a few I've been thinking about for awhile.
My next one will probably be the hamsa I've wanted for ages - I got this keychain in Prague at the Jewish Cemetery, which was one of the most emotional and painful places I've ever been, and that pain, combined with the experience of traveling alone, really alone, for the first time* made it a really memorable and profound experience.
*Yes, I was basically in Paris by myself, but I was staying with someone else and we did do a few things together. I knew NO ONE in Prague, and didn't speak the language to boot, which is kind of a scary thing in a lot of ways.
*I'm undecided on if I want color or just black and white outline. This used to have the Traveler's Prayer in Hebrew on the back, but I've worn it off - not sure if I want a word or anything under or in it. Opinions welcome!
**Also, hooray Lilly Pulitzer Phi Mu print!
That one I want on top of my right thigh, I'm pretty sure, about 2 inches tall. Not too big, not easily seen in professional situations, but a reminder of an amazing experience.
I'm also a huge fan of literary tattoos. I've thought about getting one of my favorite lines from The Neverending Story (the book not the movie - gross): "I wonder what's in a book while it's closed," or from Alice in Wonderland, the "How doth the little crocodile..." poem. But I'm undecided enough about both of those that I'm not getting them anytime soon.
The literary tattoo I probably will get, which is very similar to my friend Kirby's, is one like this:
*via tumblr. I just want my left wrist though, and smaller, and more centered.
I love Harry Potter, and the books, and the movies, and the entire universe - it's not the first set of books that really drew me in, but they are the books that made me want to write. To create a world that dense and amazing, even if it's a world of history that I can teach to my students or create in my own research.
I also want another star tattoo - this one of my zodiac sign, Pisces:
*via astrologyweekly.com. I don't want the lines, and instead of dots I want little stars, almost like the Harry Potter ones. Basically when you look at it, I want it to take a minute. I sort of like explaining my tattoos. :)
**I think I want this on my right hip. I won't ever get anything on my left one because of a birthmark I have, and I want to see my tattoos - that's my only regret about my neck one.
I've also thought about lines from songs, like "Hopeless Wanderer" from the Mumford & Sons song, but that's not on my immediate radar.
My main concerns with tattoos, the things I have to have to get one, are:
1. It has to mean something to me.
2. It has to be someplace I can cover up (under clothes/shoes/watch) or is small enough people won't notice it - I think tattoo acceptance is growing, but I'd like a job someday.
3. It has to be something I can see - no more tattoos that I can't ever see.
4. It has to be in a place that won't change dramatically if I lose/gain weight, since that happens to me (on purpose at this point) and just as people age.
*This one, via a busted link on Pinterest, breaks 2 of the rules (I can't see it, losing/gaining weight) but I love it. It's by Albert Camus, and says "Au milieu de l'hiver, j'ai decouvert en moi un invincible ete" - "In the midst of winter I discovered in me an invincible summer." There are a couple of translations of this, but this is the one I originally read.
So we'll see. Tattoos are expensive, so I don't get them very often, but, for me, they're investments in something I will truly cherish. My last one I went to Trilogy in Memphis:
*Everyone there is really great - it's on Highland, right next to the Stratum and Wang's Mandarin House.
Trilogy does have a $50 minimum, so even my little stars will be $50. But they do a great job, are super friendly, do touch ups (they even did one on my foot after it healed where the line was a little light), and most importantly, are SUPER clean.
Opinions welcome on tattoos - and who wants to come with me to get the next one?