Monday, May 5, 2014

How to get your first tattoo

A year ago today I got my first ever tattoo, to mark the milestone that was my 25th birthday. I knew that I was interested in supporting a local, well-rated, woman-owned place staffed with nice people, so after hunting around, I settled on Two BirdsI called two weeks in advance, and the nice gentleman on the line penciled me in to the last slot of the day (note to first timers: call earlier!).

Feeling nervous!

I showed up on my birthday a little early, because I was nervous and because I wanted to make sure they had all the information I had sent in. I had an appointment with Suzy (the co-owner), who was not quite ready to work with me because she needed to eat her lunch, because she is a person - but she did still sit down with me for a minute before taking her break, which was really cool of her. (At first she didn't seem very personable, but she was great after she got to eat, which leads me to conclude that she is the type of person who gets crabby when she's hungry. My boyfriend and my sister are like that, too, so I didn't mind.)

When Suzy got back from lunch we discussed the phrase that I wanted tattooed, including the font, the sizing, the ink, and the placement. She resized the phrase for me so that it would fit better on the top of my shoulder, where I wanted it, and she didn't mind redoing the stencil when I decided it wasn't in quite the right spot. 

You can faintly see the outline of the original placement.

Suzy was entirely professional and respectful, and gave me all the help and the space necessary for me to make my decision. It was obvious that she wanted me to be happy with my tattoo. Because there weren't any other appointments going on, she also let me bring three of my friends in to watch and to talk to me during the process, which really helped me relax.

I was so nervous before getting my tattoo that I peed twice in the half hour before my appointment. But, you guys, tattoos feel like nothing! "That's it?" I asked, once Suzy started in. "It feels like I'm a beekeeper and a handful of my bees got really mad at me at once, but it's not bad at all!"

Okay, so it hurt a little bit during one part.
Suzy was done with the tattoo in about fifteen minutes and it looked AMAZING. At first she'd had some misgivings about the font (it's cursive script and a little intricate) but she duplicated it beautifully, with fine, controlled lines. 

Afterward, I got the spiel on how to take care of my new tattoo, and I paid up. I'd already put in the $60 deposit, so I only had to pay another $25 (minus tip). Pretty inexpensive considering that it will last for years and years! I'm already trying to think of another idea for a tattoo..

Note: "plus qu'hier, moins que demain" means "more than yesterday, less than tomorrow." It's from a French love poem, but for me it just means that I want to be better every day.

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