To Tattoo or Not to Tattoo. That is the Question.

A long time ago (like a whole year) I had a poll here on the blog, asking people what they thought of tattoos. You can click on the results button to see what the outcome was, or you can vote now if you didn’t before!

So here’s the deal…I love tattoos. Especially on guys. Good ones, that is. And clearly, I am the judge of what constitutes a good or bad tattoo:). I even like tattoo sleeves (when the neck is not tattooed), on the right person. Like on a singer (ahem, Adam Levine) or athlete or chef. Not on my banker husband, though I wouldn’t mind at all if he got a tattoo that I deemed cool.

After thinking about this for forever (literally, since college, I’ve been thinking about what I would get and where, and was just never convinced of what I wanted until recently), I FINALLY decided to get one on our trip to Nashville in October. My sister Hayley had gotten 2 in Nashville, and I knew where she had gone, so I thought I’d probably go there.

I should probably mention what I was going to tattoo: the number 27, Matt’s and my “I love you” substitute, in his handwriting, on my ring finger. My theory was that this was a good gateway tattoo…if I hated it, it would mostly be covered by my wedding rings all the time. And if I loved it? I could go without my rings on occasion, or tattoo something else meaningful in a more noticeable spot later.

On our first night in Nashville, we went into a tattoo parlor near where we were going to have dinner. Just to talk to an artist and get some feedback. The guy we spoke with was literally like 19 years old, looked high as a kite, and called his girlfriend, who also worked there at the desk, “Babe.” He told me that there would be some minor fading over time with a finger tattoo (which I knew), and assured me that he could do the tattoo, even though he hadn’t done many fingers.

I had a *slight* panic attack here.

We left, and I told Matt there was no way that kid was tattooing me. Then I started freaking out a little bit about whether I really wanted to do it or not (like would I hate this at 75?) and then I had a Long Island Iced Tea and felt better, and knew that (due to alcohol consumption) getting a tattoo that night was out of the question.

Fast-forward to the next afternoon, when we were in the vicinity of the tattoo shop Hayley had been to. I had decided that yes, I definitely wanted to do this (if not now, when?) and stopped in to see this guy.

Long story short, the owner, this man COVERED in tattoos, refused to do my tiny, will-be-covered-up tattoo.


He basically told me that I wasn’t hip enough for a ring finger tattoo. Said that he (and “most artists”) won’t tattoo a finger unless the client already has a sleeve, because you have to “earn” it. He said, “I mean, I didn’t even do my fingers until I had my sleeve done.”

Ahem. Enter my incredible self-control for not telling him what a jackass he sounded like. Really? A holier-than-thou tattoo artist? I mean, if I wanted to tattoo an 8-ball on my finger or forehead, or curse words, or something like that, I’d get it. But REALLY? A tiny I love you from my husband isn’t acceptable?

Obviously, I left Nashville without my tattoo, pretty bummed. And I’ve talked to a friend here about where she got her ring finger tattoo, and her artist isn’t in town anymore, but she did have a referral. When I decide I want it, I guess I’ll have somewhere to go, but it just seems kind of anti-climatic now.

So. Finally. The tattoo story. I’d say “The End” but I really don’t think this is the end…

6 responses to “To Tattoo or Not to Tattoo. That is the Question.

  1. mary Kaeser-Miller

    Just curious, did you go to Iron Age in the Loop and talk to Brad?

  2. HA! That’s kind of hilarious. What a snobby tattoo guy! Who cares what you want? My BIL is COVERED in tattoos. He is an artist and has drawn most of the ones he has on his body. If you do decide to take the plunge, lemme know. šŸ˜€

  3. That is so odd that he wouldn’t do it.

  4. I forgot about this. I still think that prima donna’s refusal was so weird; why should he care?? Can’t imagine why a finger tatoo has to be “earned”! Cute idea–I think you should just wait & do it some other time when you’re on vacation.

  5. Do it… won’t regret it. But I will warn you….the are slightly addicting!

  6. The next time you’re up my way, & feeling spontaneous, let me know. Matt & I really liked the guy who did ours. I’m already thinking about my next one. I think your tattoo sounds awesome! I say, do it!

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