GETTING TATTOOED, A DIARY

i'm got tattooed this afternoon. this isn't a rare occurrence (i'm heavily tattooed), but i decided to diarise the suck fest that is going through the motions of something i simultaneously love and loathe.
  1. my appointment is at 11am
    i just got here: it's 10.55. my friend @vixvixvix drove me because she's great like that.
  2. i already feel incredibly sick
    i started getting tattooed in 2008 and, despite seven years of consistent experience, i still want to throw up like an anxious ball of emotions in advance. for a change, i ate properly beforehand- i'm impressed with myself.
  3. we decide on placement
    i'm running out of space (not a brag), so my choices are limited. we go for the back of my right calf, into my knee ditch. this is going to s u c k.
  4. i have to get changed and wear gym shorts
    it's FREEZING but this is better than sitting in my underwear i guess?
  5. lining...
    the question i get asked most often re: tattoos is "does it hurt?" ---> this is entirely subjective. i always thought i had a low pain threshold until i found i could take 3-4 hours without it being too much of a hassle. it hurts, but definitely not as much as you think. different places are painful for different people (i didn't find my thighs too bad, i have friends who found it unbearable). i have a tendency to zone out (nap but not really sleep). i hate talking whilst i'm getting tattooed.
  6. quick break!
    the best part and the worst part. best because i can pee and snack, the worst because the blood runs to my legs when i stand up and that's painful.
  7. shading...
    i've also begun to realise that the adage of "it hurts more the older you get", is completely true. i used to be fine with it and now i'm (internally) a whiney baby. i definitely did a secret cry in parts today.
  8. the worst things about tattoo shops (instead of private studios):
    the people, the music, the conversation. I've been spoilt with private studios (ie one person's own place where just they tattoo) that when i have to engage with the general public, it's fairly stressful. i have an incredibly conflicted relationship with tattoo culture as a whole so i think this is why i find shops to be unbearable.
  9. colour...
    another thing i've learnt in the last 8 years is how to combat the "Miami Ink" effect; that is, that notion that every tattoo has to have a deep and meaningful origin story. SOME of mine do (family tributes, matching pieces with friends, friday night lights fangirl mementos, american lit sleeve) but mostly i get stuff because i like the idea, or the artist's work.
  10. the last few minutes are excruciating
    being told "we just have ____ left" KILLS ME every time. your brain sets on countdown mode- everything starts to drag. you wish it to be over and then it seems to take even longer.
  11. i've never met anyone who actually enjoys getting tattooed
    what you enjoy is the outcome. getting tattooed is gross and uncomfortable and weird and you spend most of the time you're there compartmentalising that what you're doing is really dumb if you think about it too much. it's some kind of weird sadistic ritual we seemingly put ourselves through and like to complain about.
  12. hey, we're done.
    thanks aimee! here's a photo. it's a deep and meaningful representation about the time we went foraging for...lol jk. i like autumn, aimee had it drawn, i said i'd take it.
  13. ...and now I have to endure the aftercare and healing process.
    the monotony of this this probably deserves its own list.