So a week ago I went with a friend and we got matching tattoos. Ever since that day every time someone new sees it they ask THE question. “What does it mean?”. Why does it have to mean something? My friend and I both liked the design. Is that not enough? Like that is quite literally what happened. We discussed getting matching ones when I mentioned that I wanted to get one this month. I looked over ideas that night and found this design. I loved it right away and decided I’d send it to her in the morning. When I woke up I had a message from her with several ideas and right there, second on her list was the same design. We decided right then and there that that was the one. It was really just that simple. Now picking where to go and when weren’t as easy but the design we had instantly. So why is it that I have to now explain it to people? I understand that it is now forever inked on my skin but it was gotten with a friend. It’s a symbol of our friendship, whatever may come from that. Does it need to mean more to justify it to these people?
When we went to get it at the first shop one of the workers called it “cute”. We are two girls, it is a flower. I get it. Yet neither of us is exactly girlie, cute doesn’t really fit well and comes off as more insulting. The second shop didn’t say anything. He quietly worked away at listening to what we wanted. Drawing them out and quickly tattooing it onto us. I appreciated it. Greatly. You work in an artistic industry people are going to bring you all kinds of ideas, for all manners of reasons. Don’t be dismissive of their ideas by labeling it something in a condescending tone. I have plans to get a few more tattoos over the next few years and honestly I have no desire to try that first shop again. I’d rather go back to the second one or try a new one. Just because of that one encounter and the mildly sour taste it left in my mouth. Maybe I’m overreacting in this age of overreactions but I’d rather go somewhere where my ideas are appreciated for what they are. Not for what others view them as.
This post has gotten away from me but so many things about all of this experience just keep sticking out as problematic. People keep trying to figure out what my tattoo means. Or saying that it is “something young people are getting these days”. Or just generally being dismissive of it. But then there are the wonderful people. The people who ask if its new, who offer advice on healing, who say how pretty it is. Those people make me happy and bring me hope that future tattoos will be better received and will continue to dull the annoyance caused by the inevitable asking of, “What does it mean?”.
Yours hopefully and newly inked, Jel
PS. It is healing well and is actually almost completely healed 🙂