Mar 18, 2016

10 Things My Tattoos Taught Me

I got my first tattoo at 17, my most recent one a month and a half ago, the longest one took 7 hours to make, the quickest one 4 minutes, the most I paid for a single piece was €400 ($450/£315) and the cheapest was €20 ($23/£15). Contrary to what you may think, those two amounts weren't paid for the longest and the quickest one. All in all, I have some botched up shit under my skin, some true works of art, a piece still unfinished and a ton of ideas for future works, all of which I love, but what I cherish the most are all of the valuable life lessons my tattoos have taught me — and here they are.

The amount of stupid comments I've gotten over the years on account of my tattoos is unfathomable. If someone had warned me before my first ink job about all the stupidity I'd have to endure, I'd seriously consider getting tattooed in the first place. But no one did so I've had to listen to countless comments about how I have marker stains or stitches on me, that I'm dirty or haven't showered in a long time and other stupid shit from people trying to be funny but failing miserably. I'm telling you, there's a thin line between witty and stupid and I have a perfect example to illustrate that: My high school chemistry teacher asking me if I can even go through customs at airports because of all of the metal piercing my body, that's funny. People telling me with a stupid grin on their face that surely nobody can sneak up on me because I have eyes on my back, that's stupid. Sorry.

Surprisingly, despite the multitude of people unable to keep their remarks to themselves, not a lot of comments have been original. As already said, people mostly come up with 'hey, someone drew all over you with a marker' or 'hey, you're dirty here' and that's it. And they always expect me to faint or dye of laughter thanks to their 'unparalleled comic ability' when I really just want to turn and walk away. Which lately I mostly do. Except this one time, when a dude actually licked his thumb and wanted to 'clean me off'. Sure, he got points for being imaginative, but he almost lost his arm so maybe imagination isn't all that welcomed.

Now, that doesn't mean I don't feel pain, because I do, oh, how I do. I'm not going to lie, though, on some occasions I don't mind and even enjoy it, but those occasions sadly don't coincide with getting tattooed because that ... hurts. A lot. But I still lie there motionless without flinching, wailing or complaining for hours on end which doesn't get by unnoticed or unappreciated: one of the best compliments I've ever gotten was when a tattoo artist who's been working for over ten years (thus having tons of experiences) after a gruelling afternoon of tattooing said to me: "You sure can take pain." I mean, aside from my gynaecologist telling me I have 'a very beautiful cervix', there really isn't a better compliment in my book.

One of the tattoos on me was done by an acquaintance of mine who was just starting out and from the get-go things went wrong: the lines that were supposed to be straight weren't and those that weren't supposed to be straight were, the dude's hand shook, colours weren't what they were supposed to be, etc. But instead of speaking up and stopping the travesty, I sat through the whole piece (which was, thank fuck, a small one) because I, get this, didn't want to hurt the guy's feelings and would rather have this debacle of a tattoo in my skin forever. Go me. That piece is without a doubt my worse tattoo and is a nice little reminder of what happens when I'm being considerate at my own expense.

I dye and cut my own hair, I take and edit my own blog photos, I set up this whole page all by myself, I have to at least supervise the cooking process if I for some reason don't cook everything myself, I put together my furniture myself, I ... you see where I'm going with this, right? I like doing things myself. Not because I think I'm the only one who does anything right, quite the contrary, but because I think I'm the only one who does everything the way I want it done. Now. None of the things I've just mentioned are permanent. Tattoos are. Imagine how frustrated I feel every time I have to get one — it's a nice little exercise of letting go of control. And I fucking hate that part.

When I got my first tattoo, of course I got it without my mom's consent and so I ended up hiding it for several months. But since it's on my arm, the reveal was bound to happen sometime and when it did the conversation when like this: "Tell me that's done with a marker!" said mommy dearest. "It's done with a marker," I replied. "No, it's not!" said the aggravated mother. "Well, then why did you want me to tell you that?" I asked in turn and that was more or less it. After that she tried her best to guilt me, bribe me and threaten me out of getting new ones and you can see how well that turned out. But she's never once asked me what they mean, she doesn't think they're cool, pretty or fun, she hates, despises and scorns every single one of them and as if that's not enough, that 50-something-year-old woman with decades upon decades of tempestuous life under her belt solidified her drama queen status by saying — not just once in the heat of the moment but numerous times with lucid conviction — that this, meaning me getting tattooed, is the worst, THE worst thing that had ever happened to her. Told you — drama queen.

Next to all of the moronic commentary, there's another thing I hear regularly and that's, "What will happen when you get old, have you thought about that?" I'll get old and I'll die, not much to think about there. "But you'll have all those tattoos." I sure hope so, I paid good money for them, but still: old ladies don't prance around in bikinis anymore or look like Victoria's Secret models as it is so if you add tattoos to that, whether you think they help or hurt the situation — does it really fucking matter? Old ladies watch TV, read books, take long, painfully slow walks, bake biscuits, reminisce about all the crazy shit they've done in their lives and in general don't give a fuck about what narrow-minded dimwits think. At least that's the kind of old lady I aspire to be, so that's what will happen when I get old, thanks for asking.

It seems that no one thinks twice about tying the knot anymore because you can simply get a divorce, but to commit to something ACTUALLY permanent like a tattoo? To have something on you forever? Till death do you part — for real? Oh no, that's way too ... long? Demanding? Risky? Scary? Yes, if you're a pussy. I actually find comfort in that — at least something in my life isn't going anywhere.

No, just because I have tattoos it doesn't mean I want or need attention from you nor have I gotten tattoos to talk about them. They're not a good conversation starter, go away. I once read in some pointless novel how a guy encouraged others to look at his work by saying: "I wouldn't have them if I didn't want people to look." The dumb bitch who wrote that OBVIOUSLY has no tattoos. Those who want you to notice them and want to talk about them have butterflies and dolphins tattooed on their boobs and asses and coincidentally those are the people who most often don't have much to say about them because there's no story behind their ink. I mean, what, did a frigging dolphin save your life or something? Fuck. But not everyone with tattoos is holding their breath waiting for you to ask them about their ink, that's just a stupid, false assumption.

Thanks to research I always do beforehand (due to point number 5 above), I've accumulated some far from life-changing but still fun trivia over the years such as: a couple of words in Dutch and Latin, a few bits and bobs about Medieval writings, a thing or two about Japanese symbolism, the world's longest word consisting of vowels only, who Mary Shelley is (and what ELSE she wrote), what makes you not a Buddhist, why no one, not even identical twins have the same fingerprints and so on and so forth. See, mom, I'm getting tattooed AND I'm learning — maybe you too should get a tattoo and learn some additional life lessons yourself, wink wink. That actually goes for all of you ...

Till next week.

     Thanks for stopping by and looking and reading (obviously) my mishmash jumble of pot-pourri-like craziness, it means the world to me. Therefore, you're welcome to pop by again next week to see what's new on the blog — I post once a week every week, most likely somewhere between Wednesdays and Sundays. But beware, I'm not signing and sealing that in blood so your best bet is to follow FPS via email (or Bloglovin, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or Google+) to never miss an update. Or simply come by again sometimes!