All of my (6) readers may remember this post where I asked your opinion on what tattoo I should get next.
My idea of getting “Est. 1979” across the top of my back was pretty much universally hated… that’s fine… I appreciate the advice.
This idea = poop
I also wanted to continue the work it would take to complete my Marvel superhero leg sleeve with an additional character: The Hulk
“HULK SMASH YOUR FACE WITH STRETCHY PANTS”
The majority of you liked the idea of me taking the plunge to continue the work on my leg sleeve. I can’t say that I would blame you guys for wanting me to do that. I, of all people, am ready for the damn thing to be finished.
But, in the end, I wound up going with my idea that was commented on the least! I don’t know if everyone thought the tattoo was ridiculously tacky to get or if everyone just thought that I must have thrown it in there as sort of means to push you into commenting strongly towards one of the other ideas.
Truth being, I’ve wanted this tattoo to come to fruition for a long time.
So I set the appointment.
I’ve been tattooed enough now to be familiar with the six stages I go through in the time preceding, during and after getting tattooed.
Stage 1: Excitement
Usually happens on the drive over to the shop. Realizing that my body is going to be forever changed is somewhat of a rush. I get a little bored looking at the same old skin in the mirror every morning. I also have this (rather warped I suppose) idea that tattoos make me cooler, sexier or a more like a Billy Badass.
Stage 2: Fear
This happens when I’m sitting there watching my tattoo artist ritualistically prepare his work area with all the necessary sanitary elements and remove all the needles from their packaging and snap them into his tattoo guns. What a lot of people do know, whether you’ve had a tattoo or not, is that getting tattooed hurts! As much as people may sugar-coat it with promises of minimal pain… they’re lying. In addition to the anticipation that comes with unescapable pain comes some second-guessing: “Is this really what I want? I mean… it’s going to be on my body forever!!”
Stage 3: Pain
This time I had my ribs done. I’d heard from all circles that getting your ribs tattooed hurts the worse. So, before the needle hit my skin for the first time, the anticipation for the onslaught of 2+ hours of dull, grating pain to a tender area like your ribs… is mind-blowing.
Perhaps I was prepared for the worst… because it didn’t hurt as bad as I had anticipated. But it still hurt like a sonofabitch.
Stage 4: Closing Minutes SUPER Pain
This usually happens during the last ten minutes or so. I can see that there’s only a few more areas to shade in or perhaps a tad more shadowing has to go in to provide a little more depth. The end is near. I can see the finish line. And my skin starts to lose some of its (what I would describe as) mind-induced protection.
You see, the brain is a powerful thing, in the minutes preceding a tattoo, it’s almost as if your brain can talk your skin into “dulling” itself. It prepares your nerve endings for the hellish hours of tattooing by “ratcheting” down the pain scale a little bit. It makes the pain more bearable. But… in the closing minutes, it’s almost as if your brain gets the memo to “return nerve endings to normal pain capacity” too soon and you feel EVERYTHING at its worst. Those final ten minutes are the most painful.
Stage 5: Complete Relaxation
When I hear the snap of my artist’s rubber gloves being removed and he says, “Alright, why don’t you take a look”… my asshole immediately returns to its normal flaccid self, my back stops being clenched, I quit scrunching my nose as if I’d just repeatedly stubbed my toe and my stomach stops tightening as when I (don’t ever) do sit-ups.
Post-tattooing relaxation is better than sex.
Okay… maybe not but it’s pretty close.
Stage 6: Post Tattoo Euphoria (Or Regret)
Finishing a tattoo gives me some sort of feeling of accomplishment… although I don’t know why because I didn’t really do anything but sit there and get prodded with a sharp needle repeatedly over 5,000 times. The image you have in your mind of what the tattoo is going to look like plastered on your body will either be everything you’d hoped for (maybe more) or a raging disappointment. If you’ve been tattooed enough you know better how to avoid the latter. But if you don’t know what you’re doing or didn’t do your research beforehand you could wind up with something like this:
A far cry from what I came away with yesterday:
She’s a baseball girl. A Texas Rangers baseball girl at that derived from a bit of art I’ve admired for a while:
There’s still work to be done. The flesh tones and the blue hat along with some shading here and there will round it out. Also… I want to make her boobs bigger. I’m kidding. I had to leave the session early because it was DLG’s bedtime and I had to get home to put her down so it will be another couple of weeks or months before you’ll get to completely see the finished product.
Now that I’m done with the six stages I can admire the handwork from every angle, every position and scrutinize it to the 1000th degree. I’m actually very pleased with what I got… it fulfilled my expectations and probably exceeded them a little bit.
I look forward to your comments i.e. “I HATE IT!!” or “I LOVE IT” or “I’M DISOWNING YOU” (probably from my mother).
Your tattooed piece of white trash: