Monday, May 19, 2008

Tattoos and Scars

You know when you are in a stressful situation or are counting backwards while being put under and they tell you to find your happy place? You search for butterflies and grass or classical music in your mind. You dig deep and recall a magical moment in the way back of your mind. Your happy place may be in the mountains or on a beach, reading a good book with a glass of wine by a fire, or sleeping in a hammock.

My happy place is somewhere on a beach. Not a very well known beach. I am talking the kind of place where you master the fine art of counting waves. My dad introduced me to this art form when I was young, on the beach in Virginia. I fell in love with the water, the shells, and the sun. Now that I am older I simply added a cold cocktail.

Life is hectic and sometimes we forget about our happy place. The mundane chores of daily life pull us down like a current. Fear not! I found a solution! For me, anyway.

While living in the Sunshine State I decided it was time for tattoo number two. I will not bore you with the details of the first one as it needs to either be removed or redone by one of the wizards on Miami Ink. Tattoo number one is almost 15 years old now and is showing signs of age. Maybe I will do a before and after post one day.

Back to number two. Hubs and I were spending the day on Ft. Myers Beach. Before we had Little Man we spent all of our free time exploring Florida and it's great beaches. This particular day we stayed close to home and had just finished a couple of frozen concoctions at the famous "Top 'O Mast" on the beach.

So I have a strategically placed birthmark. This birthmark resembles an island. Daddy and I had always joked I should get a palm tree on said island. We couldn't think of a better time.

Off we go to Big Stick Tattoo. BS is the typical tattoo parlor with ideas on the walls and a sign that reminds me "yes, it still hurts". No problem, I am still in.

I meet my artist Bobby. He reminds me of an older, shorter version of Danny Boneducie, red hair and all. I like him and he informs me he can freehand the palm tree I pointed to on the wall. Wow, I am impressed, and a little nervous.

I am instructed to straddle the swiveling chair so he can get a better vantage. While straddling I am able to watch Bobby design other tattoos on the TV. I guess Bobby likes to tape his work so he and others can enjoy later. My art is not spared, Daddy has been employed as cameraman. Look Mom! I am on TV!

I prepare myself. He informs me he will start with the trunk of the tree. Whoa! How tall is the trunk? I swore the tree was all the way up to my bra line! Daddy later informs me the words in his mind were "oh, well we can't turn back now". He keeps his mouth shut and keeps rolling tape.

I sit there for what seemed like a day, if nothing else it was long enough for my Rum Runners to wear off and Bobby to take a smoke break. It was really only about two hours. I need to remind you, I have been on the beach so I am in my swim suit. I am straddling a chair with my suit in places that only my OBGYN has seen and I am trying not to concentrate on the fact that I really need to get on a treadmill. Those tattoo needles can make your jiggling parts jiggle even more.

My new friend Bobby tells me we are finished. I am exited to see my tree but because of the location of my birthmark I can not look directly at it, I have to twist and turn like the yoga lover I am. I turn in the mirror and I am shocked! He free handed that? That is a palm tree? How can something so small feel like it was piercing my frontal lobe? I love it! I got more than I bargained or paid for but was happy with my new happy place. My island birthmark had a tree, sun, birds, and all the fixins to make counting waves a breeze (Ha Ha, get it).

I studied my new happy place for weeks while I settled into my new digs. It was a perfect illustration of that time in my life. I think of my tattoos as just that; an expression of who I am and where I have been in life. I struggle with the idea of changing my first tattoo because I feel like that is me just trying to change the past. Every decision we make is what makes us who we are today.

*Image has been enlarged for detail; it is actually a small tattoo and is placed where you only see if without clothes.

The Babe has a birthmark just like mine. Daddy swore it was a bruise until it was there for about three months and did not go away. So far, this is the only physical characteristic The Babe has like me.

For those of you in the crowd that might be offended, please don't be. The tattoo is not in any "naughty" places but it is placed so only those that see me naked get to see it. I like tattoos on other people that I can see, but like to think of my two as my little secrets with hubs...and all of you.


Honeybell said...

That is impressive, can't believe he did that freehand! I'd woulda been scared!!

timbury said...

Well, since I'm now thinking you should post the naked truth... how about "Fantasy Island"? ;-)

Kimmylyn said...

freehand.. are brave.. it came out great though.. congrats on the new ink!!

Tranny Head said...

Heh - was this by any chance inspired by my Whacked Out Weekend post?!

Nice ink!

Xbox4NappyRash said...

I must say, not for the first time I absolutely didn't have you marked as a Tattoo person.

I'd call it "Vincent Man" but only if you say it with a Jamaican accent.

Walking With Scissors said...

I'd call it, "My Happy Place."

Very impressive tattoo!! I've always wanted one - I watch both Miami and LA ink - but I'm just not brave enough. Something about not wanting to "mess up" my skin. 'Cause the stretch marks didn't mess it up *at* *all*. Heh.

Tenakim said...

"happy place" is a good one. Ironically, my tatoos were done by Big Jake in your neck of the woods- Springfield MO when I was in college. It was next door to "Foxy's" strip joint- class act!

carrie said...

Surf and Sand - or Happy Place, both good contenders in the name of your new tatoo!

You are totally my hero.

Putz said...

thanks for sharing, it is ok to be straight wwith all your bogging fiends, we love you and won't make you pay with teasing in future blogs ok?

The Mom said...

How about LOST?

Ricardo said...

Oasis!! Yes. I like that name. Great work also.

Pete said...

Nice! Works perfectly with the little island birthmark.

This early in the morning, I'm only clever enough to come up with Topical Paradise.

-The Rev.