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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Tattoo talk

I never really thought my tattoos were particularly symbolic. I know they're "supposed to" be, and I might be dismissed by people truly into tattooing, but I really just like them visually. I want something pretty tattooed on my body for all eternity. Though color really works well on other people, I don't want any in mine. I don't want any of them to ever be mistaken from a distance for a sorority-girl-butterfly or anything.

But really, I think they all do have quite a bit of significance. My first is an ode to my background, a Kansas one. I lucked out quite a bit. Ad astra per aspera is beautiful in the Latin and the English: "To the stars through adversity." I love it. I could have been stuck with Alabama's "We dare to defend our rights," or Maryland's "Manly deeds, womanly words."

My second was a me tat. Gotten on a whim after seeing a letter on the ankle of another woman, a script initial. It's just plain beautiful and delicate, and in a bitch of a spot that sure to inspire awe among those who know the most painful parts of the body to put a needle to.

My third was the wedding image. I love sharing a tattoo design with Tim. It too is very striking, beautiful, and meaningful. Doubly so, since mom designed the art for her wedding with dad, and we used it for all our wedding graphics. (Ever since I saw their invitation as a very young girl, I vowed that, should I ever get married, I wanted to use the exact same thing. I was very lucky to find a partner for whom the image fit perfectly.)

And the fourth is one I've wanted for yeeeears. Since I was 18. It's a reminder of who I was back then, who I wanted to be, and who I've become. Staggeringly meaningful, I suppose. This week, a few classmates and I were discussing tattoos, and they asked me about my wrist; I'm sure I drunkenly babbled a portion of that explanation but in a less articulate way. I almost forget at times that the image is one Tim also has tattooed on his back, so lest anyone think I copied two of his tattoos, I have to tell the full origin of mine.

Each time but the last, I swear the pain is enough to keep me away for good. And so far I've gotten everything I've ever thought of tattooed on my body, so maybe this is it. But it's true, what everyone says: you get addicted to it, and I still have a spare ankle and a spare wrist . . .



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