After watching Daniel Day-Lewis in “The Last of the Mohicans” one too many times, I very nearly had double bracelets tattooed on each wrist.
Instead I used a permanent marker to draw them on, just to see how I liked them. I LOVED them, but my boyfriend at the time...hated ‘em. So I delayed the tattooing. For which I am probably pretty glad now. Although I still think they look cool on Daniel. Yes, I call him Daniel. We’re like THIS.
I promised myself when I completed my first triathlon that I would get a tattoo of a shark on my hip. I have always loved sharks – I love the way they look, and I love learning about them. I would not care to meet one in the water, but gosh, they’re just so sleek and powerful and beautiful.
If I have a totem, I would like it to be a shark.
The Shark Totem
Sharks are viewed stereotypically as dangerous. Singly, and when they are not hungry, sharks tend to be quite peaceful.
[Check. But when I am hungry, watch the hell out! Bringon the buffalo bites!]
They can be trained to do simple tasks such as distinguishing certain objects from others in the water...In large groups however, they can become unpredictable and may frenzy.In order to remain calm and centered shark medicine people require time to themselves. If they do not have time alone they can become irritable, anxious and aggressive in their behavior.
Sharks have incredibly sensitive noses that can smell one drop of blood in 50 million times as much water.
[H says this is true of me. But then he’s spent ten years fighting with me. I don’t mean all ten years, I mean that over the course of ten years…oh, never mind.]
They can feel the pressure waves made by a struggling fish and are sensitive to electromagnetic currents...The shark has no swim bladder and must swim perpetually to keep from sinking to the bottom. Water has always been associated with emotional transformation...
[I like to swim. Uh...]
In the course of our learning we can attract events and people that are disharmonious. Working with shark medicine gives you the power and confidence to drive off negative elements or eliminate them completely.
[Yes! Complete elimination! Sweet!]
Ok, but apparently I? Am a bat. (Which, looking at it, WOULD make a cool tattoo. If I were really a bat. Or, um, felt some sort of affinity with bats. Which I don't. Other than being proverbially blind as one.)
What is your totem animal?
Your totem animal is the Bat! You are definitely a night person. For you the day begins at sundown. You have a energetic attitude and are always on the lookout for some new thrill. Like the Bat, you are listener, you never judge someone until they open their mouth.
So, all right, then, I like bats. And Bats mean Bacardi, and I like Bacardi. Oh, ok, that works. Gimme a bat tattoo! (And no, I am NOT bats, I am A bat!)
Of course SOME people think
I am A WOLF!
“I’m a wolf? You run to the wolf! That don’t make you no lamb!”
Or, oh yeah, A BEAR! AN EAGLE! A DEER!
Anyway, I was ten weeks pregnant with Segundo and decided that now was not the time to get a tattoo, and especially not on my hip. Looking at the state of my hips today, I see I made an excellent choice.
So over the past few years I have convinced myself that the threat of hepatitis was not worth risking for a tattoo.
And EVERYONE has a tattoo these days. I am always surprised when someone DOESN’T have a tattoo. For the record, I believe my mother-in-law and my husband may be the only two people I know without tattoos...ok, only being a teensy bit hyperbolic...but tattoos are ubiquitous these days. Do I really want to look like everyone else? Isn’t it kind of a badge of honor to not have one at this point? I can hear my mother saying, “If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you jump too?” Probably not, Ma, but my fear of heights is a therapy session for another day.
The barista at the neighborhood coffee shop has several tattoos and they look GOOD on her. And now I want one. Again.
Where do I put it?
My ankle? I hear tattooing on the bone HURTS. Also, I often wear capris or skirts, and want to be able to hide it easily if need be.
For the same reason, the forearm is out, plus that smacks of the US Marine Corps, who I am sure are an admirable group of people, but I have no wish to resemble a Marine.
The inside of my wrist is a possibility. Discreet yet visible.
The front or side of the hip is a BAD choice for anyone who has been pregnant. And I don’t even have stretch marks.
My shoulder blade is also a possibility.
As is my lower back.
I had a friend in grad school who had a giant tattoo on the top of his head. Now, one, ouchy ouchy ouchy ouch. Two, what’s the point? He grew his hair back in and while it’s kinda cool that he has a hidden tattoo on the top of his head, who ever gets to see it? And he had such lovely hair...
I saw someone recently with a bar piercing through the back of their neck. Grossed me out. But that might be a good spot for a tattoo…for someone else. That thick slab of muscle back there kind squicks me out. Can’t imagine any needle getting close.
Would it embarrass my kids? I KNOW it would gross my husband out. But then, what doesn’t?
Maybe I need a 666 on my forehead...ok, enough of my grade-school education remains that even thinking that weirds me out. Forget I said it. Please. No 666s here.
What about this?
Or this, apparently a very popular choice...I like it.
Maybe instead of a Virgin tattoo?
I could get one of, maybe, a grilled cheese sandwich that LOOKED like the BVM.
I don’t want some Chinese symbol for peace or love – especially since I am convinced that most of them actually mean “fat” or “stupid.” I don’t speak Chinese – what the hell would I know? I don’t want some Celtic symbol. The only ethnic symbol that pertains to me as a straightforward Eastern Euopean peasant is a potato, and that doesn’t make for a particularly aesthetic tattoo.
Maybe this birthmark/target thingey would work for me:
Ok, I found it. Here’s what I want:
Good Lord, who knew she had a modicum of sense?
Tattoos are like stories - they're symbolic of the important moments in your life. Sitting down, talking about where you got each tattoo and what it symbolizes, is really beautiful. - Pamela Anderson
[A] genuine tattoo.... tells a story. I like stories and tattoos, no matter how well done, and if they don't tell a story that involves you emotionally, then they're just there for decoration, then they're not a valid tattoo. There has to be some emotional appeal or they're not, to my way of thinking, a real tattoo. It tells people what you are and what you believe in, so there's no mistakes. ~Leo, tattooist, 1993, quoted in Margo DeMello, Bodies of Inscription, 2000