Saturday, May 2, 2009

Tattoo Day

This morning I got up early (for the weekend) which to my kids means they should wake up early too. Ugh. I promised them last night we would have a breakfast picnic since we got home too late from grocery shopping for them to have a picnic last night. I planned to have some kind of non-messy breakfast food (like apple slices or pop tarts) for this, but when we went to choose what they wanted, they chose Cheetos and cheesy rice cakes and fruit snacks. Sadly, since I still needed to get myself ready to go, I just let them eat that for breakfast. I resigned myself long ago that I'd never win a mother-of-the year award, so.... whatever.

Sara and I both got tattoos today. Our appointments started at noon and we were scheduled for three hours each. This means we spent the entire day at the shop. And by entire day I mean it was after 9 o'clock when we left. It is slightly annoying, that it seems impossible to get tattoos in a reasonable period of time.... but you tend to forget about that because it really is incredibly interesting to spend an entire day in a tattoo shop. I've heard people say an airport is great people-watching, but I don't really get that. Airports are just full of pissed off people hurrying to sit and wait and then be herded into over-crowded airplanes. Tattoo shops, on the other hand, provide a vast array of people to observe, talk to, or talk about. Here is a sampling of the people we encountered today:

View from inside the shop

A mom who brought her 14 year old daughter in for a belly button piercing. When told the minimum age is 15, the woman proceeded to whine about it while her daughter demanded "Fine, Mom. You're still getting me something today." Yeah.... because no one should ever have to deal with disappointment.

Lots of other people came in for piercings too. The most memorable was a lady all decked out in a super tight black skirt and a 50's style blouse. Her hair was enormous and crazy and she had a little black hat with netting perched on the side of her head. She came in to get some sort of face piercing. She seemed like a funny and interesting person, but it was impossible to really focus on anything other than the hair and the hat.

A parade of barely legal girls came to visit the guys working at the shop. I'm not saying it's my place to tell these 30-something guys how to spend their free time, but good call not going to the party at her house while her parents were out of town.... even though she is mad at you now and only came in to talk to you for a few minutes instead of however long she usually stays.

A mother and daughter came in to get matching tattoos. Chinese symbols of their last name. That's fine if that's what you like. But then we got to hear all about how the daughter already had a tattoo and it didn't hurt at all and all the guys in the shop told her she was weird for not feeling how bad it hurt. Oh, and next week she is coming back to get a tattoo of Elmo. I have nothing nice to say about that so I will move on.

Some people came in to make appointments for some interesting (and some for common) tattoos. One lady was trying to decide on some type of bird. One girl wanted a pink ribbon with a scripture reference. One wanted some stars and swirly things. A guy came in to get a cover-up of a name on his arm. He wanted a black cross. Thankfully the artist he was working with managed to convince him to wait and think about what it would be like to walk around with his entire upper arm covered with a giant black cross.

It's funny to watch the artists interact with people. You can tell the people they like. They spend a lot of time talking with them and joking around with them. You can tell the people who come in with ideas that annoy them. But they do seem to try to work on every client's ideas to make them translate into a tattoo as well as possible. And they try to talk people out of absolutely terrible ideas, which is really great to watch.

We also encountered a very strange guy at a nearby coffee shop. He made fun of my new tattoo, saying I couldn't really call it a tattoo because it was more like a quarter of a tattoo. He also made fun of Sara's tattoos (she has her daughters' names tattooed on her wrists) and then tried very awkwardly to show her the unfinished tattoo he has on his back that he considers a real tattoo.

People are funny and weird and scary and annoying and fascinating. It was a pretty good day. Despite that almost all of it was spent people-watching in a tattoo studio.


  1. I love this blog..Thanks for posting about all the crazy people too.

  2. I'm sure I left some people out! I was trying to remember them all but it was 1AM and I was tired. What a fun day!