Sunday, July 23, 2006

Marked woman

I'm not sure why it surprises me to know this about myself, but I would love to get a tattoo. Perhaps it's that outwardly I'm rather conservative: wearing plain colored shirts and pants more often than printed *anything*; rarely wear jewelry even though I love it (just won a necklace at eBay and am bidding on another). So a tattoo seems to be the anti-me.

However, I've wanted one for some time. My brother is nine years younger than me and I remember that I wanted one a few years before he got his, the day he turned eighteen. He came home with his comedy/tragedy masks (beautiful work, BTW) and I admired it, and secretly wished I had nerve enough to get one.

I considered it once, when I was in Toronto on a college trip... at that time I'd have gotten something musical, like a G-clef or eighth note. Nothing big or fancy, I always thought, just something small.

Once I met G, I recall the conversation where he told me that he didn't like tattoos on women. At that point in time, tattoos were not the commonplace thing they are now, and so I could kind of see his point; when we went to rock concerts and saw what young people would now call "old-school" tats on women that were in their sixties, I thought, "yeah, I guess they don't always look that great." So we made kind of a pact, of sorts: he said he'd always thought about shaving his head, which I told him I didn't want him to do (I love his hair) but he said he'd only do it if I got a tattoo. We were joking, mostly, calling it our relationship's version of "mutually assured destruction."

Over the years, though, my desire to get a tattoo never waned. I developed a fascination with all things Irish/Celtic and decided that *if* I were ever to get one, I'd choose something inspired by the book of Kells. To keep from feeling as though I was missing out by not getting one, I kept the thought in the back of my head that I wouldn't be all that crazy about the pain/blood aspect. I'd get temporary tattoos applied when I'd go to festivals or concerts and that generally kept me satisfied. At one point I decided that I was "too old" to get one, anyway.

Then, two summers ago, I went to a Counting Crows concert with G and two of my co-workers. While there was no tattoo booth at the concert there *was* a piercer, and on a dare of sorts another coworker and I said we'd get our navels pierced if the other coworker got her nose pierced, since she really wanted to do it. (She didn't realize that she couldn't just start with a cute little rhinestone stud, though, and although she left with a nose ring she took hers out a few days later.) I remember thinking that the piercing didn't hurt as much as I'd imagined it would, until I stood up from the chair and felt as though I was going to faint. I recovered quickly enough, thankfully, but that kind of put the fear back into me that I'd never be able to stand the pain of getting a tattoo. (Incidentally, I wasn't able to keep my navel piercing, as it got infected and I had to remove it, but I think about redo-ing it, if I ever get skinny again. More on that another posting.)

So, the dream of having a tattoo was put away. Until recently. I was looking up information about "Elvish" after *finally* watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and in so doing came upon a tattoo site that not only did Elvish tattoo designs, they did Celtic designs. And there, I found this:

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It's a Celtic motherhood knot. While this person hadn't done so, I found other pictures where the dots were colorized to represent birthstones of children. More than anything, I find myself wanting one of these with a dot on each side, to represent the children that could have been.

I could probably do just as well by finding some way to get this converted into a pendant or other type of "wearable" piece. There's a thousand reasons why I shouldn't get one, most of all that it's silly, really; I am still not the type to get a tattoo.

I'll keep telling myself that until I believe it.


Blogger Catherine said...

I'm going to get one...probably for Christmas. I'm calling it my midlife crisis.

7/23/2006 7:00 PM  
Blogger Kathy McC said...

I've thought about a tattoo also...I am just too chicken to go through with it.

I love the idea of the motherhood knot, though. I bet you could get a jeweler to custom make one for you.

7/23/2006 7:00 PM  
Blogger Thalia said...

Hmm. Have never wanted a tatoo. Just too much of a control freak I think. BUt in your new spirit of doing adventurous things,perhaps it's time??

7/24/2006 1:22 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

I like that knot, I say go for it!

7/25/2006 9:16 PM  
Blogger Lorem ipsum said...

What a beautiful, poignant design. I say go for it.*

*My mom has wanted a tat for decades, but has always said my dad would kill her. Frankly, I think by now he wouldn't care - he's over my navel-piercing incident - and her 60th birthday is coming up. I think we both know what she's going to do. As for me, I never could commit to something so permanent, but then I'm not 60 yet. We'll see.

7/29/2006 7:13 PM  

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