Ok, so we are at the end of the Write Tribe festival of Words. Its been a roller coaster ride. What I thought would be a vacation week, had me blogging in the wee hours of the night, for 3 nights in a row. Tonight is no different, as I try to make the deadlines once again. Business as usual at 1HundredWorks.
So I met a fellow blogger Vaisakh (more on that later) today, and among many things we talked about; was getting a tattoo. I have 2 of them by the way, on my right arm, have had them for almost 5 years now. So obviously I talked from a position of experience (that and I am Mr. Know It All), and I realized that most people want to get a tattoo, and even with the recent rise in tattoo parlors, they remain skeptical. Hence today’s post.
7 Things to know about tattoos
1. Tattoos are safe:
Lets make it clear right off the bat. Getting a tattoo is as safe/dangerous as getting an injection. If the needle/syringe is properly sterilized you got nothing to worry about. All popular tattoo parlors use new needles every time; if you don’t see them opening a new pack for you, start looking for the exit. If you can get your nose pierced safely, you can get a tattoo on yourself too and live to tell about it.
2. Tell your parents:
I learnt this the hard way. When I told my mother I had gone ahead and got a tattoo, she half sobbed half scolded me for about an hour on the phone. She probably thought I had got a weird dragon sleeve. When she actually saw that it was a harmless Chinese symbol that meant PURE, she calmed down a bit. What I am trying to say is don’t blind side anyone, its your body and your decision, but its better if you have them on board, if they refuse you can still go ahead, but at least they can’t claim being kept in the dark after the deed is done.
3. Getting a tattoo hurts:
Make no doubt about it. A tattoo is essentially a wound on your body, a voluntarily received scar, and as any other injury it hurts. It also bleeds, some places more than others. It feels as if needle has been inserted and is being dragged inside your skin.But its more a pain of constant abuse (being hurt in one part over and over again) rather than a acute sudden pain. Arms and shoulder blades hurt and bleed much less than chest, wrists and ankles. Here is a great article suggesting ways to bring the pain down.
4. Taking care of the tattoo:
When you get a tattoo, the first week is of paramount importance. As I said its an open wound, and you really need to take care of it. The tattoo bleeds, heals, gets scabs and even swells just like any other injury. I am sure your artist would tell you this, but for the first one week you need to keep it away from light and infection, keep it oiled (use vaseline), and generally keep it dry. Its all worth it I assure you, as when its all said and done, you would know that you deserved that trophy on your body. Check this out to learn how to take care of your tattoo.
5. The Tattoo Jinx:
Yes there is something known as a tattoo jinx. Its is generally not considered lucky to get the name of your loved ones inked onto your skin. That doesn’t stop people to get it done though, and you would see hundreds of people with the names of their child/wife scribbled onto their body. The way I see it, a tattoo is going to be a part of your body, then why not make it a good luck sign instead of risking it with Tattoo gods. Legend has it that Nick Carter (one of the original BackStreet Boys) got Paris Hilton’s name etched onto his arm, but then covered it up with a skull and bone when they broke up. Here is a list of other celebrities who removed/regretted their personal tattoos.
6. Sharing a Tattoo:
If you do want to display a bond with someone using your tattoos, there are are multiple ways to do it. The two of you can get the same tattoo in the same place, applicable for friends and siblings. You can get tattoos which form a complete image when merged with the one that your partner got, usually used by soul-mates. Then you get a symbolic representation of them made onto your arm, for eg. an angel for your mother, a lion for your father.
7. Make them mean something:
Almost in each and every culture, tattoos are given high importance. They are considered as sacrifices, and in some cases grant powers to the one who has them. Get a tattoo only if it means something to you. As I said a tattoo is going to be a part of your body, so make it into something that you can look at for the rest of your life. While the rest of the world would indulge your tattoo only for a few weeks, you are the one who has to wake up and look at it in the mirror everyday. Check out ‘The Rock’ talk about his tattoos.
If you have any other questions, ask them in the comments. What design would you like and where, I would love to know, and that’s why we have a comment area on this post.