I did it. I got my first tattoo, and yes, it’s of the Rebel Insignia (after some research a while ago, I discovered it’s correctly known as the “Alliance Starbird” but no one knows it like that).
It’s an interesting story, and I almost didn’t get it done this weekend since the artist and I got in a huge fight right off the bat. Really, most of it was my headstrong will refusing to acknowledge what he was saying and his frustration at me for being so stubborn.
I went in there with the picture and said, “I want this in complete black and about the size of a golf ball.”
“Nope, can’t do it,” he said.
“What? Excuse me? What do you mean you can’t do it?”
“Well, for a few reasons but what you want is really boring. Why would you want a completely filled in Rebel thingymajig from Star Wars? It’s boring.”
I stared at him incredulously. “I want that because that’s what I want. It’s what I’ve wanted for 12ish years and I’m not about to change it now.”
“Well, your loss. You do realize that this is a custom tattoo shop, right? CUSTOM. That means that we just don’t take anyone who walks off the street. We work with you on your idea and make it something no one has seen before.” He stares hard at me and I believe he’s trying to scare me with his completely tattooed face and body. That just makes me more angry because I refuse to show I’m scared.
“But I don’t want anything else. I just want this in black and on my ribs.” I sound like a parrot at this point, but it’s hard for me to wrap my head around something when I have another idea firmly lodged in my head.
“You know, I’d rather draw a Confederate flag than draw your boring Star Wars tattoo. And that’s saying something because I hate Confederate flags. Also, why do you want to hide your tattoo on your ribs?”
“Who cares if I want to hide my tattoo? This is my decision, not yours.” I turn to my husband, who at this point is trying to hide behind his SNAP Selling book. “Should we find a new place, then?”
“Okay, really? You don’t even want to hear me out on what I can do? FINE. Let’s do your dumb tattoo so I can get a move on with my life.”
There was a lot more said in this conversation, and a lot more swearing on his end, but I’m giving you an abridged version.
At this point, my husband finally steps in as he has seven tattoos and has been through this before. “Hey, how about we all calm down a little bit?” Turning to me, he says, “You should listen to the guy; he knows what he’s doing. He’s the professional and just hear him out on what he can do for you before you disagree.”
Nettled, I looked down at my picture of a plain black Rebel Insignia. Looking up, I tried to make my voice as kind as humanly possible in that moment and said, “Fine. Let’s start over. What can you do for me?”
With the ground even again, he proceeded to tell me how making a pure black tattoo would eventually bleed into itself over 20 years, especially in the size I wanted. I would end up with a black dot in the future, and really, who wants that? As an artist, his job is to tell me what works and what doesn’t, so a) it would have to be a little larger and b) it shouldn’t be all black. (I still don’t know why he didn’t just tell me this straight off the bat. My guess is that he could have, but I was just blocking out all opposition to what I wanted and therefore we ended up arguing.)
What he can do, he explained, is make the symbol have a rough, beat up look, almost like it had gone through battle on the helmet of an X-Wing pilot. That way as your skin stretches as you age, the tattoo also ages better as well.
Now that we weren’t at each other’s throats, I was calm enough to wrap my head around what he was saying.
And I had to make a decision. Do I take the plunge and get the tattoo as he suggested? Or do I stick to my guns and go somewhere else to get what I had envisioned for these past 12 years? I didn’t really like this guy, but his portfolio was amazing and his suggestion wasn’t half bad.
Well, you know what happened, but on Saturday, September 28th, I got my first (and probably last) tattoo. I trusted him, even though I didn’t especially like him, and it came out really nice. I mean – I’m pleased with it and that’s all that matters since it’s going to be on my body for the rest of my life.
I’m not going to lie – it was painful on the ribs and it’s still slightly sore today. I didn’t have any emotional moments throughout it being applied and I don’t have any regretful feelings now. I already went through the emotional decision process earlier. But once I make a decision, that’s it. No more back-and-forth’s or should I, shouldn’t I moments. At this point, my husband is more excited about it than I am. He loves it and keeps asking to see it, which I think is adorable.
So, yup, I got it.