I’m a wuss.
With a pain tolerance so low, I went weak in the knees when I had my ears pierced.
So why was I even pondering this question?
Tattoo or not tattoo?
My daughter, Katie, reminded me that my firstborn, her brother, was a whopping 10 lbs. 7 oz. So I should be able to suffer through anything, right?
Yeah, well, that blessed event was made possible with an epidural.
So, when Katie and I walked into the Allentown, PA, tattoo parlor, naturally I asked if I could have an epidural.
Our tattoo artist, Matt Kramer, owner of Mind’s Eye Tattoo, grinned.
He thought I was joking.
It’s a mother/daughter thing
Our mother/daughter tattoos had been planned for months.
Katie, at age 23, is an old pro with seven tattoos. But I waffled for a while about getting one of my own.
I mean, I wasn’t dying to get one, but she talked me into getting it, a feat she still can’t believe. Truth is that Katie could probably talk me into anything with a Berner on it.
We decided on a tattoo that featured our youngest Bernese Mountain Dog, Ziva. The image was based on a photograph I had made of her.
We decided she should wear a crown of purple flowers. Purple has always been a favorite color of mine. My mother loved purple, both of my kids have always loved purple.
And purple is my favorite color ribbon when it comes to the show ring. It means “winner.”
OK, you first
So it was finally tattoo day. I was brave … I said to Katie “you go first.”
After placing a stencil of the image just above Katie’s right ankle, Matt began to ink the outline of Ziva.
Katie remained stoic through the entire process and that gave me confidence. And I got to watch the process and ask questions.
Her tattoo was done in 1 ½ hours. I wanted to make sure everything was cool with it before having the same image done. I could make changes if I wasn’t in love with hers, but hers turned out great, so I went all in.
Wary of the unknown
Yes, I was nervous, wary of the unknown. Would I get halfway through and not be able to tolerate the pain?
That would be pretty embarrassing, right? No way could I back out.
I heard the machine start and waited for what I thought would be machete stabs in my forearm.
Here it comes! I will die!
Matt began to ink the stenciled outline on my arm.
I could feel little stings from the tiny needles, but they were minimal.
Little pinches and some pressure. I expected more, any minute. The machetes were coming!
But they didn’t.
“So, when are you going to start,” I asked Matt.
Once I realized it wasn’t going to be awful, I was able to relax and watch as Matt worked his magic on my five-inch long masterpiece.
A few places on my arm were more tender, producing a grimace or two … near a bone and close to the crease on the inside of my elbow. But mostly, it felt like minor vibrating stings. Your mileage may differ, but I found it tolerable.
Matt called them “kitten kisses.”
Katie was proud of me. She lifted a camera and took pictures of the process as the image of our smiling puppy, Ziva, gradually became part of my body.
I was falling in love with it minute by minute. When it was done, I chose a picture of my new ink and made it official on Facebook.
Life is about taking chances
Many of my friends commented that I was brave.
Trust me, I’m not all that brave. I merely stepped out of my comfort zone and did something I never thought I would do at age 61.
Life is about taking chances.
There are no tattoo conventions in my future, but I’ve become a fan and appreciate great art when I see it.
And now to figure out where to ink Teddy & Merlin!
I won’t be needing any epidurals.