Week 3: Tattoo me!

Oh man, it’s been a painful couple of days. Because my week 2 challenge (waxing) happened on a Saturday, and my week 3 challenge (a tattoo) happened on a Monday, my body sort of hates me right now.

Long ago, when I first thought about getting a tattoo, I promised myself that I would have to absolutely love something for one whole year before getting it permanently inked into my skin. Over a year ago, I saw a friend’s tattoo of the world map on the tops of her feet and decided I had to have it. (Side note: I just realized this was also Natalie, the girl from the aerial class. I promise I’m not obsessed with her and copying her every move.) Thirteen months later, here we are.

I went into BluGod in downtown Toronto last week for a consult, and met with John Russo, my tattoo artist. He had been recommended to me by a heavily tattooed friend from work, who insisted that Johnny was the best person for what I wanted. I think Johnny had just woken up (my appointment was very early for artsy folk, at 11am), and it was a brief and to-the-point consult. I was pretty sure I was ready.

I went down again today and signed yet another waiver! Although, the girl there said that if a tattoo parlour doesn’t make me sign a waiver, I should probably walk away. Good point.

John and I discussed the placement of the tattoo, what thickness of needle he would be using (to balance detail with staying power), and how big the image should be. After my mis-communication with my waxer, I was not afraid to be vocal with my tattoo artist. He made a stencil of the image and placed it on my feet. I was getting very excited.

“Do you have any other tattoos?”

“No, this is my first”

“And you started with your feet? Why?”

Oh shit. Was this a bad idea? I told John about quitting my job and my challenges challenge and how I had gone for a bikini wax a few days ago, so this couldn’t possibly be as bad as that. John just laughed a little. But he also told me how he used to be in construction and quit that a few years ago to pursue tattooing.

Here’s how I chose to look at it: women get brazilian waxes every few weeks, but I only have to sit through a tattoo once. So really, who’s smarter? Except I had both in a matter of 3 days, so maybe this isn’t the best way of looking at things.

The needle started and I took a deep breath, and it wasn’t that bad. Just like the waxing, there were parts that weren’t so bad, and there were parts that were quite bad. I quite enjoyed the northern countries, but did not care so much for the southern hemisphere. John was nice to talk with; I imagine many tattoo artists double as therapists.

One of the other employees is a very nice person named Kat. She has more piercings and tattoos than I can count (and I can count pretty high). She walked by the room I was in during a particularly painful country, and just stood there and laughed at the expression on my face. I’m glad I amused her.

After less than 30 minutes under the needle, I was done. I got the instructions for touch ups and after care, got a big black bandaid, and was on my merry way. Because of the location of my tattoo (on the top of my feet), I wore flats. This was a mistake. I hadn’t worn these shoes in a while and they ripped up the backs of my feet, making the commute home much more painful than piercing my skin repeatedly with an inky needle.

I am very happy with the results of my tattoo, and I can completely understand why people get addicted to them. I think I get a discount if I go back for a facial piercing, which would be really cool. Just kidding, mom.

My cool new foot tattoo! (Red lines are just pen to mark the middle of my feet)

My cool new foot tattoo!
(Red lines are just pen to mark the middle of my feet)

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