Table of contents for Your First Tattoo
Not everyone waits 30 years to get their first tattoo like I did. 🙂
Of course, my circumstances weren’t like many other people’s. For one thing, I first decided I wanted to get a tattoo when I was 16 years old and living in a small town that barely had a grocery store, much less a tattoo parlor. And it was 1967, a year in which no respectable 16-year-old would want a tattoo to begin with. Or so I was led to believe.
I made do by drawing on my skin with a pen. Behind my ankle, where it was much less likely to be seen by the eagle-eyed dress-code enforcers of the day. (School dress codes, draconian and arbitrary, were something everyone had to deal with in those days.) As time went on, I quit doing that, but the idea of getting a real tattoo never left.
Naturally, I had a lot of time to decide exactly what it was I wanted, but even so, I didn’t really think about an actual design. All I knew was that I wanted seven small multicolored stars. (It has personal meaning to me, too complex to explain.) Fortunately, by the time I’d gotten together the money and the courage, I picked an artist who transformed my original barebones idea into something unique.
But although I’d read up on tattoos as best I could, there were still plenty of things I did not know in advance. I didn’t know about ink sticking to everything, or about proper aftercare (my artist, good as he was, didn’t really tell me anything). I didn’t realize that it would be a good idea to get some clothes that would be suitable for hiding weeping ink. And I had no idea how long it would take the tattoo to heal.
I should have done my best to look all that up ahead of time. But I sure wasn’t alone. Several of my co-workers came to me for advice before or shortly after getting that first tattoo. I don’t claim to be an expert, but at least I know how this tattoo process works, by now. 🙂
I know I’ve gone over this subject before, but I’m going to update those articles this week with what I’ve learned in the last couple years, so stay tuned for more on the subject.