Granny Gets A Tattoo

I picked a tattoo salon I liked very much. It was clean, a bit funky and run by women.

I met the tattoo artist named Mallory. She was young, very sweet and interested in my ideas for a tattoo.

I made an appointment, paid my deposit and waited the next two months.

The designated Friday finally came. I was so excited! I prepared for my session by eating a good meal, drinking plenty of water and taking Tylenol.

My daughter picked me up and off we went to meet Mallory. She was waiting for us as we arrived, smiling and eager to hear what we had in mind.

As my daughter was getting a tattoo with me, we discussed our ideas with Mallory. She made several drawings until we both agreed they were what we wanted. Mallory is a true artist and worked hard to fine tune the drawings. I wanted a thread spool with a needle and a thimble next to it. A thread from my spool would go to my daughter’s arm and make a cross stitch heart for her.

We talked about size, color, shading and placement. No detail was too small or unimportant. Mallory gave us her full attention and was eager to see that we got the designs we hoped for, which we did.

Next came the shaving of my arm and application of the design stencil. This was really going to happen!

Mallory began tattooing slowly but with confidence and mastery. I would not say it was painful – more like a bug bite. It was sort of annoying after awhile but certainly I would not say it hurt.

The spool with needle and thimble emerged in beautiful detail and color on my arm within mere minutes. I was amazed! I was pleased! I was thrilled!

Who wouldn’t be with Mallory at the helm?!

Next my daughter had her tattoo done in record time. In a total of two hours from start to finish we both got the best tattoos from the best artist ever.

The best questions I’ve been asked:

Have you lost your mind?

Will it be permanent?

How much did it hurt?

When is your next one planned?

I can honestly say it was a wonderful experience to share with my daughter. I love both our tattoos and I appreciate Mallory beyond measure.

Here’s a photo of my tat- and no, I don’t have any plans for another.

Tattoos Talk

Throughout history, tattoos have spoken about clan/tribe membership, manhood, remembrance, love, travel, pain, endurance and just silliness. They send messages to all who are able to interpret. And they are often misunderstood.

From prehistoric times, people tattooed themselves to show membership in a clan or family. Although ancient Chinese criminals were tattooed to warn people of their unworthy ways.

Ancient Egyptians used tattoos as decorative art and medical treatment.

Tattooing is an integral part of the Samoan culture and the word tattoo is thought to have evolved from the Samoan word ‘tatau’.

During Greek and Roman times tattooing was done to criminals, prisoners of war and slaves as a mark of their status. Also some soldiers tattooed themselves.

Tattoos were only common in the military and entertainment business during the 20th century. Many sailors had anchors as a sort of initiation right. A turtle would mean he had crossed the equator and a swallow meant a journey of 5000 miles.

Throughout the 1920’s cosmetic tattoos became more popular for women. Common makeup tattoos included eyebrow and lip liner. But mostly still remained common among so-called outcasts such as sailors, circus performers and criminals.

In the 1930’s, social security numbers appeared and everyone was told to memorize the number. Many resorted to tattooing the number on their body to have rapid access to it. But tattoos were still not socially not acceptable.

1940’s saw color added to tattoos. Tattoos were mostly patriotic, nautical and military during those years. The war years saw an increase in tattooing especially in women.

1950’s was the “bad boys” era of tattoos, which added to the negative stigma.

The 1960’s tattoo parlors were blamed, rightly or wrongly, for an increase in Hepatitis. However, there was an increase in tattooed celebrities.

1970’s saw the peace movement, symbols and messages in tattoos become very popular. Tattooing in general became more mainstream.

By the 21st century, tattooing was common with designs getting more colorful, bigger, smaller, more whimsical, more meaningful, on every part of the body.

I, for one, am fascinated by tattoos. I ask every waiter and waitress to tell me about their tattoos. The stories are amazing!

The majority are memorials to a family member or a dear friend. How many grandmothers are remembered in beautiful ink, I can’t even tell you. The tattoos speak of a love and a reverence in such a special way – and no words are necessary.

I’ve seen many love tattoos, some membership tattoos, several religious, a couple birthday but never any hateful or negative tattoos. I’ve never seen any threatening or troubling designs. I have seen skulls, swords and knives but never felt any danger from them or the person wearing the tattoo. It was all art and well done, I might add.

Yes, tattoos speak and they speak to me. They tell me of loves, memories, relationships, faith and joy. I’ve been looking at them and getting their stories for years and years. I’ve been studying and wondering for years and years. I’ve been envious and curious for years and years.

Finally, I’m ready.

Yes, my sweeties.

Granny is getting a tattoo!