Oh hello there. Another entry into the world of my skin ink (skink? can we make that a word?). This one’s my least favorite. As someone who has tattoos, you spend a lot of time defending your choices, so it feels very vulnerable to admit that I don’t really like one all that much. It doesn’t mean that I regret it or would ever get it removed. I just wish it was in a slightly different spot and a little better.
Moving on, here’s the story. I was 18 years old, the summer after high school, happily in love with a very sweet boyfriend who was the perfect antidote to the vicious asshole I dated before him. I got my first tattoo when I turned 18 and was dying for another. My friend wanted her belly button pierced before beach weather was in full swing because that was the cool thing to do (now I’m wondering if she still has it…will have to ask). My other friend recommended a tattoo shop based on piercing experience and their tattoo work was pretty reputable, too, so we booked our appointments once I figured out what I wanted to get.
My first idea was a line from a poem I wrote myself: As I dry each eye, I seem to cry longer, but every time I cry, it makes me stronger. Good lord am I glad I didn’t go with that. It was going to go around an Egyptian type eyeball….of course. UGH. I knew myself well enough to know that I might not like that down the line.
I had a couple different words I wanted to represent on my body in picture form (cue the foreshadowing). I’m not a big text-tattoo type of person and I would never get anything in Chinese or Japanese, even though it was ALL THE RAGE in 2004. I wanted tattoos to symbolize my strength, independence, pride in myself, ability to grow and change, stuff like that. I don’t remember which came first – this is a chicken and egg situation. My anniversary with aforementioned boyfriend was the 4th of July. He asked me to be his girlfriend while we watched the fireworks from his parents deck. Because of this, I realized that I’d always loved fireworks, they are used to celebrate the U.S.A.’s Independence Day, and I could use them to represent my own independence. Yeah, it’s a stretch, but what the hell.
I sketched out a rough idea, brought it to my appointment and declared that it would be going in the middle of my back. They pulled down my pants and put a marker between my butt cheeks in order to line up the tattoo with the exact center. When I approved the location, it looked much higher than it is because my pants were much lower. My dad declared it a tramp stamp when I got home. It’s not the best design, either. The lines are wobbly because of the exploding fireworks, but they just look poorly done.