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My ink stories Pt. 1
2006-09-18 - 10:45 a.m.

I was never one for tattoos growing up. I never knew a single woman (that I recall) who had any. My mom was all about “tattoos were big huge no-no’s. You don’t want to mark up your body like that.” I concurred but sometimes caught myself imagining a dolphin and wave tattooed on my ankle around age 14. It was like women were sleazy if they had tattoos and lower than others. Strange stigma considering piercing is exceptable. Anyway.

When I got together with my now ex at 15 he already had his initial tattooed on his hand. Over the years he talked about having my name tattooed in old English down his thigh. I didn’t know if “forever” was going to be us and didn’t want him to do that. He opted for my initial on the top of his foot from a design I used to write. He did it with a needle, thread and Indian ink. I winced as I watched. After he was done he decided it was only right for me to have his initial on my foot. I said no it’ll hurt. He told me to hold still and he would just show me how it felt and it wouldn’t be bad. Well several hours with a ruler clenched in my teeth, blood and ink smeared everywhere and a throbbing ankle I was the owner of my first tattoo. It took so long and was so messy that he didn’t notice how the last part of the letter veered off. It was like that’s it, we’re married now. We’re branded.

I remember how much my mom hated it. It looked like a bad prison tattoo. Ghetto. I was a girl. I used to rub on it a lot like maybe it would disappear. But it was there. Permanent.

We ended up splitting up about 4 or 5 years after that. I still carried the reminder with every step I took.

I met G and 4 years to the day we met, we married. I still carried that branding and felt it wasn’t right as each day passed. After a year I decided to surprise him with a gift of me getting it covered up. Although, I must add he never made mention of it in all the years I was with him. It didn’t seem to bother him the way it did me. Anyway, I thought about what I would cover it up with. I thought long and hard. I decided on a sunflower. It made sense. When we were dating, I wore Sunflower perfume that he’d given me for my birthday. It’s in the fall. That’s my favorite time of year. I was never a girly girl but it made perfect sense to me. The guy who covered it couldn’t do an exact sunflower because of its placement and the coloring is a bit different but it works for me. It felt better. Although for years I looked at the flower and still saw that initial burning through. Now I just see the flower and know what and who it stands for. Although my mom still wasn’t big on tattoos the flower looked better. Next summer I’m going to have the colors touched up. It needs more yellow I think.

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