Sunday, April 1, 2012

"Save vs. Reality"

So, I'm thinking I might get a tattoo and no, this is not an April Fools joke (which just occurred to me). I'm never very sure about these things, which is why I don't have one yet, but I think I may be ready. I don't know where I'll put it, but I know exactly what it'll say and how it'll look. . .

Just like that! Short, but it gets to the point. . . and it's just occurred to me that if you're not a gamer, this might mean absolutely nothing to you. Maybe I should explain. Okay, here goes. This really means something to me on many levels, so the explanation might ramble on a bit.

I've been gaming with Matt since June 1999 when he taught me not only what role playing games are, but how to play them. We started with Shadowrun (a fairly difficult futuristic, dystopian system), but it wasn't long before we started playing D&D. In the intervening 13 years we've played almost as many systems, including: four different editions of D&D, 7th Sea, Shadowrun, two different editions of World of Darkness (which is actually four or five systems), Earthdawn, Spycraft, GURPS, Deadlands, Star Trek, and Star Wars. So you see, gaming has been a huge part of my life and something Matt and I both enjoy. It's pretty much how we spend our free time together. It's something that represents the many years of my life I've spent with him, and the ones I will spend with him as we grow older together.

Okay so, the term "save"  refers to the act of rolling a D20 (in D&D) to determine if magic, poisons, area of affect attacks, and death affect your character. It's your character's defense against attacks and "represent the character's ability to avoid or resist the threat" (via). So, the phrase "save vs. reality" represents, for me, an attempt to "resist" all of the hard times reality can sometimes throw at us. It's my defense mechanism. It's my attempt to convey, though three tiny words, the life I've lived with Matt and my ability to overcome whatever obstacles life decides to launch in my direction. And lately, there've been a lot of them.

It also represents my ability to overcome the stereotype that people with learning disabilities that they're not smart enough to make it beyond a certain point--a sad "reality" of the world. I've earned my BA and will soon have my MA in English, and I'm a terrible dyslexic. I have a family and a husband who believe in me, but the fact is, I've been told on more than one occasion--and by people who should have been supportive (like my ex-husband)--that I wasn't smart enough. Well guess what, I was able to make it happen, despite their attempts to make me believe I wasn't good enough, or smart enough. I consider that a successful "save vs. reality," so maybe I'll get it done when I finish my MA as a gift to myself.

So now I have to overcome my fear of the pain it'll take to get it and decide where to put it. I want to put it somewhere I can see it fairly easily, but somewhere that my clothes will cover it up. I've considered my back, or very small on the back of my neck, but I don't want to have to wear my hair down to work for the rest of my life. So I don't know. I've considered getting it on the back on my neck in white ink, so it won't be that visible, but I heard you have to go over and over tattoos in white ink to make sure the color is consistent, so I don't know. I just want to go, spend the half an hour it'll take to do the words, and leave. That's it, I don't like pain.

There's a nice tattoo shop here in town--Monarch Tattoo--I hear they do nice work, so I may stop in there and find out what it'll cost me. . . just as soon as I figure out where I want it. If you happen to have any suggestions about where I should put it, let me hear them (preferably somewhere that's not going to lose shape as I change in weight). ~.^


  1. I DID think it was an April Fool's joke when I first read those words. Kristyn get a tattoo? Never! But you know me; I'm all for it. I think it's awesome that you found something that holds meaning for you, and the script of those words is really pretty.

    Clint suggested the shoulder blade. I was trying to think of other places you could place it, but everything I come up with really only works if there's an image to go along with it.

    Just s you know, tattoos involve needles, and they hurt (haha).

  2. It occurred to me after I wrote this that some people might think it was a joke due to the inopportune timing. No, it's not a joke. though I have wanted a tattoo for a while, I've just been too chicken to do it. When I was with Mike, he forbade me saying that he "wouldn't find me attractive anymore" (hilarious looking back on it now, since he has a wife now who has tattoos).

    When I got with Matt he told me he didn't mind, but when it came time to actually do it he sort of blackmailed me into not by telling me his grandmother (who I hadn't met yet) would "hate me" if I had tattoos. So I didn't do it then.

    Then, I realized that I was too afraid. Now, though, I want it more than I'm afraid. So, I need to figure what it'll cost and just do it. I'm thinking it shouldn't take more than an hour to get it done in all, especially since I looked up your post about your tattoo and it said it took only about 2 1/2 hours. Three little words shouldn't take long.

    I'm thinking I'll get it on the top of my shoulder, like this:

    The only thing is, I've read that some places hurt more than others and I'm afraid that the top of the shoulder is a too painful place for a first tattoo. I just don't know. You have any experience with this?

    Oh, and tell Clint thanks for me!

  3. I REALLY like the placement of that tattoo in the picture.

    There are certain parts of the body that hurt worse than others. Areas that are closer to bone with thinner skin tend to be more painful than other, broader areas. With my cherry blossom tattoo, I actually was able to adjust to the pain pretty well when he was tattooing up on the ankle. But every time he moved to the top of my foot, the pain felt sharper. The good news is that yours should only take about a half hour, if even that. They can whip out words pretty fast.

    If/when you set a date for your tattoo, let me know and I'll give you a few tips to help you get through the ouch-part of it.

    Clint says "No problem!" He really likes the picture, too.

  4. I just had both feet tattooed three days ago. The taottos are a pair of large swallows, maybe four by four inches. I also have both my wrists and hands tattooed, and the pain was NOTHING on the foot taottos. It was four and a half hours of hot, vibrating, scalpel like, digging pain for me. But I sat through it, so obviously it was bearable. But EVERYONE is different, what is painful to one person is nothing to the next . Never wear shoes that rub again after a foot tattoo, so all shoes must fit well, otherwise many touchups in the future. Shoes such a flipflops for at least six weeks after the tattoo, and you must keep you feet and floors VERY clean as foot infections after taottos are very common. Good luck!