I have two tattoos. I really never planned on ever getting one, but when I was 21 and married to Den, my first husband, he surprised me with a special 1 year anniversary present…A tattoo he had commissioned that was a beautiful rose with my name “Catherine” tattooed right on his chest, over his heart. I was stunned. I thanked him and weakly gave him his DVD set of “Married..with Children”, and then apologized profusely that my present seemed so lame in comparison.
Poor Den was obviously hurt that I wasn’t more excited about the sacrifice and pain he had gone through to get this, but I had never really thought much about my opinion of
tattoos…The subject had never really come up. Later in the week, though, Den had worked himself up to boiling point, and finally blew up at me because I had not offered to get one with his name in it. Wanting to make peace, I finally broke down, and agreed to get a small tattoo with his name on it. He decided to take me to the same friend who had done his rose tattoo, and since it came out really pretty, I figured that it would be okay. I’m an idiot, but wait for it…Den drove me out to some tiny little 4′ trailer in the middle of nowhere. There was barely any places to sit down, and I felt claustrophobic the minute the door was closed. I flipped through pages and pages of pictures of tattoos. Finally, I had Den pick one out…nothing really jumped out at me, and I just wanted to get the whole stupid thing behind me. He ended up picking a wolf crying at the moon. Sounds just like me doesn’t it?
I picked my right shoulder-blade to have the tattoo put on, and two hours later…presto! I was a tattooed woman. The artist showed me my tattoo there at the trailer, but it was dim and hard to see. Getting back to our house, I looked in the mirror, and thought, “You are just an idiot.” I stormed into the living room, demanding Den to explain how that large, detailed rose tattoo on his chest turned out beautifully, yet mine looked like crap.
Den: The other guy did my tattoo. His brother did yours.
Me: …….Nothing. You can’t speak when your brain is lying on the floor.
First, I didn’t want one to begin with.
Second, I was already having problems in my marriage (we were divorced within the year), and now I had his name tattooed on myself like I was some kind of bathroom wall;
And, third, I didn’t pick out my own message…What could Den have possibly been thinking about me, that he picked a wolf howling at the moon?? PMS symptoms, maybe??
This list doesn’t even address the Hepatitis Factory/Travel Trailer tattoo shop that I agreed to let stick me with questionable needles repeatedly… Now I have some kind of swamp creature howling at a setting sun, not a moon, on my back. One of my reigning short-bus moments..Thankfully, no hep…through no caution of mine!
The redeeming part in all of this is that since I had mine put on my back, I never have to see it, while all of Den’s wives that came along after me get to stare right at the rose-covered “Catherine” placed strategically over his heart. Oh, and there have been many…I think he is on number 4 now.
I asked him a few years ago if he had ever had it covered, and he said no. When I asked him why, he said that it reminds him of the good times we had together. When he asked me about mine, I told him no, too. When he asked why, I told him that I forgot it was back there having not seen it in years. Well, that and it reminds me to make sure I pick out my own tattoos from now on. He laughed.
Thank God he thought I was kidding… I hate to be rude, even if it is the truth!
Lesson: Don’t be pressured into doing something you don’t want to do. It could crawl out of a swamp and howl at your sunset before biting you on the butt.