I got a tattoo during finals week of my sophomore year of college because I read this article. At least that’s the most direct cause. I had wanted a tat for probably around four years at this point but for whatever reason (stress, school, and life probably) I decided I wasn’t going to wait any longer to do the things I want to do. So I made an appointment, called my dad and told him, and then went to get it.
Now it wasn’t like this life changing experience changed the way I saw the world and made me realize the cure for cancer. I literally sat there on a table holding my friend’s hand while my other friend snap chatted the whole thing. The guy drew four lines on my ankle and I was done.
Having a tattoo, however, did make me realize a few things that I never expected. The biggest one being that people fall into three general categories in their reactions to tattoos: They either don’t notice, don’t care, or think it’s amazing.
That being said here are a few of the other things I wish someone had told me before I got tatted up.
1. It’s not as big of a deal as people told me it would be.
It was a big deal the day of my appointment at the tattoo parlour and the few people I told ask about it but it wasn’t like the world freaked out. Most people looked at it said that looks amazing, asked what it meant, and then moved on with life. No one told me I ruined my life, no one freaked out on me, or cut me out of their life. There really wasn’t any crazy consequences of it. I’m still more or less living the same life I was before.
2. You really should eat before you walk into the tattoo parlour.
I got my tattoo during finals week which means I was stressed out, sleep deprived, and running late. We were running late because we accidentally took a nap that lasted longer than planned so decided to just eat after, no big deal. Well apparently they recommend eating before so your body doesn’t freak out or go into shock. Bottom line I may have nearly passed out and scared the shit out of my friend. Oops. We went straight to dinner after so don’t worry, all’s well that ends well.
3. People are going to ask what it is and what it’s for.
This is hard for a couple of reasons. Most of the time tattoos aren’t just simply images with one meaning. They have multiple means with a lot of different emotions behind it, so it gets really hard to explain without telling this person you just meet your whole life story. That being sad I’ve learned to say the simplest reason and if they ask more go into more detail. You don’t want to be the person who goes off on a thirty minute tangent about your two-inch tattoo when the person asking about it was just trying to make conversation.
4. It costs a lot of money.
Tattoos are not the cheapest. They are literally pieces of art, quotes, images that are being scarred into your skin for life. Most parlours have a minimum of $60 or $80 and if your tattoo is intricate, it’ll be more. Plus, you’ll want to tip your artist! Save up for your tattoo, and remember that a lot of parlours only take cash.
5. It does really hurt that bad.
Depending on where you get your tattoo depends on how much it hurts. Ribs will hurt more than a fleshy part of your thigh, fingers more than a tramp stamp. If you’re getting tattooed on a bone, it’ll hurt. Mine is on my ankle and I literally didn’t even feel it until the second line which is close to my actual bone. If you have a low pain tolerance, definitely keep this in mind when you go in for your tattoo. No pain no gain though. It will hurt for like fifteen minutes maybe and then you’ll be done. So it’s totally worth it in the long run.
6. You are going to want more.
Yes I already have my next six tattoos planned out. Just go check out my Pinterest. If one of my friends came up to me and said let’s get tattoos tonight, I won’t even think twice about it. I probably won’t even blink before saying hell yeah. The only thing that is currently standing in my way is that they are semi expensive.
With all of this being said, I regret nothing. Sure a couple of these would have been nice to know beforehand but you live and you learn. Plus now I not only have a tat but also a great story to go with it. If you are considering getting tatted up, I hope this helped you in some way. I was very fortunate to have people in my life who supported me living my own life even if they didn’t all the way agree with my choices and I realize not everyone has such luck so take that into consideration also. The biggest thing to remember is that it’s your body. It’s your life so do what you want with it but keep in mind you only get one.