There is an old saying, a woman would never have a second baby if she remembered how much the first one hurt coming out. Now obviously babies can’t pop out without at least a year’s time so there’s a reason we are not a society of “only childs.” So what happens that makes people cover themselves with tattoos?
Now I’m not needle-phobic, I don’t really get squeamish at an injection or blood draw. And I’m mostly just irritated when a new nurse can’t find a vein. But I’m certainly not going to stare at the doctor when I’ve gotten a tetanus shot and say “more please.”
So how do people do it? When I was young my uncle had tattoos on his forearms from the army and somehow, they just looked like they belonged there. But from my understanding it was a rite of passage, a bonding, and the decision was usually made after a fair amount of alcohol.
My first girlfriend got a tattoo of a heart, just the outline, on one of her breasts. Can’t remember which one. She thought she was so cool, I was indifferent. Through my 20s and 30s I knew women who had a small tattoo on their ankle, maybe a shoulder, and occasionally the lower back. But not the whole body!
Since moving to Los Angeles I have seen people absolutely covered with them. And a really lot of people. Men and women. I know it doesn’t happen in one sitting, but still, doesn’t it hurt? It’s got too and it scares me. There’s a whole large group of people that want to subject themselves to a terrible amount of pain. What do they do on their off-tattooing days? Slam a door closed repeatedly on their heads? Grab a hammer and play whack-a-mole with their feet? Sit on a toilet of nails (get it, that’s a play on the bed of nails…ha…guess it’s no good if you have to explain it.)
I just don’t get it. Don’t like pain myself, don’t cry like a baby when I’m hurt, but don’t seek it out either. Hello, I’m Jeff. I’ve been meaning to have someone scrape my skin with a needle. Have you got time?
But I won’t judge anyone on their choice. In the 80s I had spikey hair on top and a bit of a mullet in the back. In the 90s I had a pony tail. Neither exist anymore, mostly because my hair rebelled and stop growing. But I think back and think both of those looks were silly. But they’re not there anymore. Good luck with those tattoos when you’re older, cause they’ll still be there; the snake will look more like a badly shoveled curve, Hello Kitty will look like a donkey and the skull will have an upside down smiley face.