Mi Familia!!

Mi Familia!!
Roscoe, Sophia, & Emily(across top) and then I think you can figure out the rest!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

My First(and third) Tattoo

A bloggy friend of mine over at Tattoos and Teething Rings just recently had a post about tattoos... imagine that with the name of her blog right? : )... and seeing that I have been wanting to post some of mine and their stories, AND seeing that I am planning on getting one as soon as I can stand to sit the way I would need to, to get it... and I guess after my body has healed from its most recent trauma... not to mention I have been cloistered to protect an unfortunate tweak in the belly the other night.... well, I guess now is as good a time as any, to tell the story.

I got my first tattoo was when I was just a kid really, 16. I think that we were supposed to be in school... but we were hanging out at a friends trailer.(Have I mentioned that I was pretty naughty? I hope my daughter doesn't try even half the crap, I managed to pull off.) This friend happened to be a boy who had just made himself a tattoo gun. It was like a jail gun, I would guess. It was made with the plastic outside of a Bic pen, a guitar string, and a motor that was attached with electrical tape. Just thinking about that day makes me smile. Those were the days(sort of)... no responsibilities to speak of, convinced of my own greatness or at least the ability to see through all the bullshit that everyone else filled their lives with... and shunning most of it, dramatically, but of course. At the time, I thought I knew EVERYTHING. Now, of course, I can easily see how I knew nothing at all... and I can't believe my mom was able to deal with my cynical, smart ass self.... although, I guess the truth is, she didn't deal with me well at all... but maybe now I can see why it is that she didn't.

It's not that I didn't know anything... actually most of the things I thought back then, I still have as some sort of base of my beliefs today.... it's just the arrogance of the age. I see it now in my own daughter... and sometimes catch myself smiling in spite of myself, when I am supposed to be reacting... quite shocked, or dismayed...or angry.... but really what I'm thinking is how much she sounds like me at that age and hoping that she makes it through this period with a little less drama than I did. She is my daughter, so it doesn't bode well for her. Although having someone around to openly mock your self important indignation might make all the difference... I guess we'll have to wait and see on that one. ; )

But I digress. Back to the tat.
Pat(the young man with the gun) had been using himself as a drawing board and was itching to get to some fresh meat. Most of the people that I hung out with were guys. Less drama (ha ha, not really just different kinds) and I think that most of them had gotten at least a small one already.... soooo

Pat: Hey Ruth, want to get a tattoo?
Me: sure
Pat - BIG SMILE(so cute...honestly still probably one of the coolest guys I know!): really?!?
Me: ok
Pat: well what do you want?
Me: I don't know... how about a lizard... here on my chest. I wore a lot of v neck t-shirts... it seemed logical.... and easy. That was the extent of my thought processing at the time.

Forgive the quality of the following picture this was from pre-digital days... remember this days?
...no 300 shots til you got it right.. just one and you hoped for the best, back then! : )

I lived to regret that tat for years. It was just so choppy(not his fault,he actually went over it a few times trying to make it look a little better, just the equipment, ya know?) and it wasn't in a great place for my body... just where it had been convenient to pull down my shirt a little and not get nakey in front of all the guys. Well, not regret... I guess... I didn't spend all my time fretting over it... honestly, I didn't think about it too much at all, but I didn't show it off either. I was not really confident in my own skin, so I didn't show much of it... and most people didn't see it often, including myself.
Fast Forward about 5 years. During that time I have graduated from high school, moved out on my own, gone to/graduated from beauty school, had a complete nervous breakdown, run away, come back pregnant, and settled down into the life of a young single working mom.

After Emily was born and my savings were gone(about 3 months) I got a job at a daycare. It was a YMCA in downtown. It just so happened that this daycare employed several people from my previous life. I didn't know it when I started there... but once I was there, I was re-introduced to my old lifestyle (strong local music scene) and a number of old acquaintances, who became great friends. I slowly got in contact with folks that hadn't been intimately involved in my freak out... and so weren't angry with me... just curious what had happened. Through all of this, I ended up reconnecting with my old friend, Pat. Only now Pat was working at a real shop, with good equipment... and long story short (sort of right?)... he offered to fix my tattoo for free. Which was amazing because he later told me that if he had been charging it would have been about $300, which at that time (heck still now, but much more so then) was an incredible amount of money!
What I ended up with was the most beautiful tattoo that I could imagine. This shot shows how happy I was at the end... not only because it was pretty, but because I was glad it was done... it took over three hours and I was ready for it to be finished by that time! : ) He redefined the old lizard, and added on another bigger and nicer one... added color to the old one and a lot of distracting and pretty lines, curves, and bubbles. I let him have complete artistic license and he did an amazing job! Pat still tattoos for a living and now owns his own shop, Burly Fish Tattoo, and from what I gather is doing VERY well. He has gone all over Europe through tattoo conventions and has great adventures doing the thing that he loves. How cool is that right? I haven't actually seen Pat since we both attended a mutual friend's wedding in Vegas back in 2001/2?(I can't believe I don't remember! Bad Mama... it's the children... they have filled my brain with so many other important things...like when they last pooped and whether the texture was right... eek!) But I am sure that if were to run into each other it would be a very pleasant reunion. : )

So, that is the story of my first and third tattoo. Kind of fun remembering the details. When you have tattoos you end up not thinking about them that much... because you see them every day. They just end up fading into the background. Well, at least for me anyway.
Hope you enjoyed that little jaunt down my memory lane. I will do another post on the others soon... or hopefully before the post about the newest edition! : )

Today I am grateful that I have met so many fascinating and talented people on this journey of mine.

I am thankful that my ink still looks good after all these years. I still get compliments on that piece! THANKS, Pat!! : )


Raoulysgirl said...

Love the tat! I'm not much of a "color" girl, myself...but I like it on others! It looks great!

thrasherswife said...

So cool that he did the original, and improved it... what a great memory, or i should say memories..

Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

What a great story! It seems like you and I are cut from the same cloth- I think I'm an intelligent person but I got away with a lot of BS when I was younger! I *hope* that my kids will learn from their parents' mistakes :)

Lissaloo said...

Great times, great times :)

Willoughby said...

You're friend is a real artist, his work is beautiful. I'm so impressed by the first lizard he did with make-shift equipment. Great story!

Marcia Tullous said...

Great post Ruth! It brings back a lot of memories. We have known each other for a long time and can hardly believe so many years have passed. I am glad that we are able to stay connected. I adore Pat too and am itching for a new tattoo and a fix up of an old one. Love to you my friend... BTW, you turned out wonderful and are such a good mom.