Oh, hello! Come in! We’re having wine. And cake.

When I was about 30, I decided that I wanted a tattoo. I had long wanted one, but since no one in my family had them or much liked them, and since I was the dutiful baby of the family, I had never had one. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with tattoos. In fact, I found some of them to be quite beautiful. (Some, of course, were hideous, but I blame the “artist”)

So, as I said, when I was around 30, I decided, this is it. I’m getting me a tat. Next question? What should it be of? I love Lumiere’ from Beauty and the Beast, but a cartoon character? Really? How pathetic would that be? (Don’t mad-comment if you have a cartoon character tat… wait til the end of the story.)

Finally, I decided to get a Claddagh, to honor my mother, who is from the Emerald isle. And I would get it on my ankle. I found the one I wanted and spoke with Beer Man, my fella at the time, and he said he would take me to where he went. I know there was alcohol involved, and Beer Man had tats, and I was in lurve, so off we went.

The outline went on, and it was a bit bigger than I had originally wanted, but “in order to get the detail” it had to be that big. Uh, did I mention that alcohol was involved. Okay. Go ahead. Beer Man is here; he won’t let anything go wrong.

Those of you who have tats may consider me a big pussy, but good goat, that hurt. The constant poking with sharp sticks (okay, needle, whatev). It was only later that I found out that an ankle tat hurts more because of the bones. Had I known that I could have put it on my fat bum!! Live and learn.

Fast forward about 5 years. Being the brainiac I am, I realize that I don’t want the tat on my ankle anymore. “I don’t want to be 65 with a big inky spot on my leg.” Hello, Einstein, do you think you could have come up with that thought BEFORE?? Of course, I was living in another state by then, and Beer Man was long gone, so I had no reason to keep it. Picking up the yellow pages, I find the nearest laser-removal site.

Dr. Laser tells me that it will take about 6 visits to remove said tat and it won’t hurt any more than a “static snap”. Or like a rubber band snapping against your wrist. Lest you forget, I live in my little naive rose colored world and agree to this. Well, let me tell you this… STATIC SNAP, MY ASS!!! Okay, maybe – but about 1,000 static snaps per minute for at least 5 minutes. Getting a tat is like being licked by kittens, compared to getting it removed. I have never given birth, so I can’t say it is the worst pain in the world, but holy goat, it hurts.

Once that treatment is done, you go home, and try to ignore the smell of singed flesh, let it heal, and then go back for the next treatment. Keep in mind, since you are, in essence, burning the crap out of the same spot over and over again, it takes longer and longer to heal. Good times.

Once though, I went in, sucked it up, got my treatment of seared skin, and started to leave. These two guys were leaving at about that time – one in front of me, one behind me. I didn’t think too much about it, then the one behind me says “Excuse me.” I assumed he was speaking to the one in front of me. I keep walking. Then he touches my arm. “Excuse me, were you just in that office?”

“Yep” (I’m really very articulate.)

“Were you getting tattoo removal?”

“Yes.” (told you)

“Didn’t it hurt? We didn’t hear you scream.”

Now, I’m not much of a screamer. Get your minds out of the gutter! My voice is not high pitched and girly enough to do one of those movie-type screams. I usually just grit my teeth and suck it up if there is pain. So I answer “Yes, it hurt like a bitch.”

“I couldn’t do more than a minute. I had to have him stop. Is it easier as you go along?”

*sigh* “No, it doesn’t get easier. It actually gets more painful.” (You fecking pansy!)

“Well, I don’t know how you did it!”

Anyhoo, so after about a year and a half of treatments – yeah, the predicted 6? LIE! – and about 14 months of that being healing, blistering, oozing, weeping, red, pussy mess – I finally stop. It got too expensive, it was taking forever for each successive treatment to heal, and I was moving back to my home state. My last treatment was about 10 years ago now, and to this day, about 2-3 times a year, my ankle gets itchy and angry looking, turns this odd shade of purple and starts to get weepy. (I’m so pretty!) I think it’s mostly the heat. I have tried EVERYTHING on it to make it calm down and just be. Finally, someone pointed out that it is a 3rd degree burn and it will always be scarred. Kewl.

Then 2 years ago, I went to my first “girl camp”. It’s what K2Kid and I call our girls weekend away with about 30 other women. Shopping and drinking and relaxing. So fun! I, of course, had not learned my lesson from the ankle and decide to get another tat. I know. But, I have also mentioned my unnatural obsession with my cats, and found the cutest kitten tat – she’s cartoonish, and pretty, and bright eyed and proper. I got it just over my right butt-cheek – so it’s not a tramp stamp. I love her. She’s got big green eyes, and pink in her ears, and looks like my kitties. I even thought about getting another one this past girl camp in April, but couldn’t find exactly what I wanted. Maybe next year.

My advice to you – if you are at all unsure about getting a tattoo, either don’t do it at all, or put it somewhere that no one else can see (except those you are “closest” to). It is son NOT worth the paid of getting it removed. And you will walk around with a huge ugly scar. Unless, of course, your Dr. Laser doesn’t suck ass like mine did.

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