To Tattoo or Not to Tattoo...

Okay, that's not really the question. I'm definitely doing it.

I'm planning to get a tattoo on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. (as long as pay comes in when I expect it will). It'll likely look like this in terms of font, but will say:
Keep a light, hopeful heart. But expect the worst.

It'll be on the inside of my left forearm and the letters will be between 1/3" and 1/2" tall. What do you think? Give me some advice. Do you think it's too plain? Not embellished enough?

But, there are a few problems with this: a) I'm a freaking chicken and I'm nervous, and b) I found out that getting tattooed will impede my ability to swim when I'm in California. Apparently, submerging a tattoo in water--particularly chlorinated water--makes them fade. If I'm going to pay $120 and sit through a half an hour of pain, then I'm sure the hell not going to swim and risk messing it up.

But, I don't usually have access to a swimming pool. I'll only be there one week, in the heat of the summer, during the week of my 35th birthday, and I want to swim. Maybe I'm being stupid about this. But, I want to swim.

Dumbest. consideration. ever. But still one.

And, I really want to get my tattoo done before I go to California so there's really no right answer. I can either go through with it and not be able to swim, or wait until I get there and try to chose a place, or I'll have to wait until I get back. It's just, the longer I wait the less likely I am to go through with it.

No idea what to do. If I could have afforded to have it done last week, then this wouldn't be a problem. But, that't irrelevant now. I'll also be getting my hair done when I'm in California, having layers cut in and dying the bottom half of my hair either blonde, red, or pink. Still not sure yet. If it'll go blonde, then I'm doing blonde.

So, I have a few big changes planned and I'm not sure of the order I'll do them.

Thoughts?

5 comments

  1. You only have to avoid submerging the tattoo for a week. After that, the water is harmless; it's actually the sun that can cause more damage to the tattoo (i.e. fading). So go swimming, just make sure you keep lathering on the sunblock. I keep a small stick of sunblock in my purse and apply it to my tattoos every time I'm out in the sun.

    As far as your tattoo, normally I would say "just stick with the font," but because yours is going to include more words, I feel like it should have some sort of embellishment lest it look like you pulled out a pen and wrote a sentence on your arm. I don't know what kind of embellishment, but something simple and small--kind of like the things you've done to past blog headers. Otherwise, the phrase is awesome and the font is gorgeous (and ultimately, you need to do what YOU want, not what others want). I really hope you decide to go for it. =)

    The pain is going to shock you for the first few minutes, but it gets a bit easier after that. Find some muscles away from the tattoo to focus on (the hands and feet work really well for me), and just focus on tensing those muscles, and then un-tensing them. The un-tensing is the most important, because it's hard to force your hands to UN clench when you're in pain; doing so takes immense focus and concentration and helps to detract from the pain (I imagine them turning to jelly and I swear this works like a drug for me). But your tattoo will go super fast, so no worries! It's in a great spot too. And you'll be so proud of yourself that you made it through.

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  2. Thanks for the advice, Jodi. I think I'm going to talk to the artist about a bit of embellishment (he does great work... tattoosbydro.com). I'm also still considering whether or not I'll do vertically along the inside of my arm, or horizontally (as in parallel with my wrist, but half-way up my forearm). I was supposed to go tomorow but the check I was expecting hasn't funded yet. So, that's a no go. But, maybe later in the week.

    Oh, and the reason I was freaking out was that his website says two weeks on submerging. I just want to make sure not to mess it up. lol.

    I'm sure it'll hurt, but I think a couple of my friends will go with me and that'll help. I might cry, but I'm sure I can suffer through a half an hour or so. I've had some pretty bad pain in my life, this can't be anywhere near that bad. Besides, I keep telling myself that if it's that bad, then people wouldn't do it.

    And what better way to celebrate 35!! ;)

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  3. Wow Kristyn, this is exciting! I remember prior to getting my tattoo, people telling me that it hurts a lot, but "goes numb" after a while. I didn't exactly find that to be true. It never went numb, but I started adapting to the pain, so it became more tolerable. What helped me was cracking jokes and trying to keep my mood light, so I am glad you will have friends with you. I don't know much about the sun, swimming & such, but Jodi certainly sounds like she knows what she is talking about. I do love the phrase you have chosen! Good luck, and I can't wait to see it!

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  4. I just hope it's bearable for the half an hour or so I have to sit there. When I asked him how long it would take, he said: "If you're still and patient? About a half an hour." LOL. I'm guessing he has lots of clients who are neither still, nor patient. I think I can be those things. The only reason I'm leery to take my friends is that I might cry. LOL. I don't want to cry in front of them.

    She certainly does seem to know what she's talking about. Still, Matt's about talked me into waiting until I get home, so you may have to see it in pictures. It'll depend upon whether or not I can be that patient now that I've made up my mind. :D

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  5. I've had three tattoos now, and it NEVER goes numb. You just adapt. I'm sure the body's natural endorphins help, but fat-good that does you since those will probably kick in once the tattoo is done. But honestly, I think your whole wisdom tooth experience is much worse than getting a tattoo. Just get past those first five minutes and you'll be fine.

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