Tattoos and Level-Headed Thinking

I’m 19, of course some (most?) of my friends have tattoos. Some have multiples, some are haunted by a choice to beg their parents for a cartoon ankle tattoo at 14. A lot are memorial tattoos, as parents always seem to allow those to commemorate late family members, some are quotes, and some are just ugly flowers.

I have nothing against tattoos. I spent most of my pre-teenhood perusing the pages of BMEzine, planning my next self-piercing or future body art, even entertaining the validity of suspensions and all that weird stuff. In the period of a month, I went from two lobe-piercings I begged my mother to let me have in second grade to more than 10 piercings in my ears alone. Being able to fit a q-tip through my left ear piercing was a serious accomplishment.

I always dreamed when I turned 18, like every other weirdo pre-teen, I would get a tattoo. It would be awesome, and I would forever be a bad-ass because of it. (The legal consent age for piercings in 16 in Ontario, so they were old news).

And then I turned 18, and then 19, and now nearing 20. Still no tattoo. Could it the fact that there are so many failed and poorly planned tattoos that a rather successful website has started? Could it be that I’ve already seen some regretful friends get even worse cover-ups for their bad tattoos?

Hey, who needs a future, anyways? Amirite?


Maybe I’m just over-thinking it. Idea #1 was a nice, colourful swallow on the top of my foot, near my toes. I’ve drawn it out a few times, but it’s a tricky thing to get right. My biggest problem is that it’s a rather common tattoo, although I suppose it’s better than nautical stars. Would I get it too small and the ink would bleed together over the years? Would I find myself in a business situation and my heels would expose it?
Idea #2 was a small, Canadian maple leaf somewhere on my rib-cage. Not straight from the flag, no, too symmetrical. No black outline, just red. But flat colour looks amateur, could they add some shading? Or should I get a realistic and non-stylized maple leaf? Would it be weird to get the leaf from the Globe and Mail logo as a tattoo?  What if my red maple leaf looks like a huge blemish on my ribcage after a while? I don’t even look good in red!

You know what?  I think I’ll give it a few more months.


4 responses to “Tattoos and Level-Headed Thinking

  1. My Canadian friend got the maple leaf on her ribs! She got it with red and a little shading- it looks fantastic! I too have pondered the terrifying bog of Tattoo World, yet have made no permanent decisions. Who knows if I’ll like it in 10 years?! I’ve always wanted a detail from a painting I have fallen in love with, but honestly the details of tattoo decisions are far too complex to stress with- thusly, no tattoo!

    Thanks for the relevant and hilarious post!

  2. A nice post! I think everyone (at least most girls I know) go through this phase. I have been thinking about this for a very long time (I’m also 20) and I have yet to come to a conclusion. Money and the permanent nature of the tattoo is making me hesitate.

    I totally agree on thinking about this until you’re 200% sure. Most people suggest even when you have the artist’s sketch of your tattoo to sleep on it for another week then.

    Good luck!

    • Oh yes, I’d rather save up and pay a few hundred for an excellent tattoo than 20 bucks for a crappy one.
      That’s a good idea, sitting on the design for a little while.
      Thank you for the comment!