So if you told me twenty years ago that I’d be getting a matching tattoo with my daughter someday, I’d have thought you were a Crackhead (or whatever we called people back then). If you had told me this five years ago when she was 14 and already planning her first tattoo, I would have said, “maybe if I’m desperate to keep her from doing something more obnoxious.” Right after she turned 18 she “surprised” us (i.e., didn’t tell us) and got the tattoo she’d been wanting for so long. I wasn’t really surprised but a smaller, more obscure design would have been nice. Last year, on Feb. 6, 2010 to be precise, she started planning the next design and I (stupidly) said if she waited a year, I would go with her and we could get one together. Sometimes my parenting decisions are so colossally idiotic that I think my children would be better off if they were raised by wolves. Or the guys from Role Models. I have known my daughter for a long time, I should know that she is the most persistent person I’ve ever met and she only forgets about things like cleaning her shithole room.
On Feb. 6, 2011 I got the phone call from college, happily reminding me that it’s been exactly a year and if she came home for the weekend could we go get our tattoos? I’m not anti-tattoo, this is not my first and I was actually kind of excited about the idea. Except for the pain. It’s right up there with childbirth only there’s no cute baby that will grow up and change my diapers when I’m old.
We went to Humble Beginnings Tattoo after reading about a million reviews and asking friends where NOT to go. Tattoo shops are not as seedy as you might think, but they are full of people who look like convicts even though some of them probably started a software company at 22 and are already billionaires. I tried to blend in, but it wasn’t until the excruciating pain began and I found countless new and exciting ways to string cusswords together that I felt like one of the gang. Even my heavily tattooed artist, Chris, said his ears hurt from my swearing. Who knew that “Fuckity” was an adjective?
As a designer and mom, I was very particular about my tattoo design. It had to be on my foot, cuz I figured gravity wouldn’t jack up my feet the way it’s jacking up the rest of my body. And it had to be something my daughter and I both loved. We picked a sunshine since we are California natives and we live to be outside. Another Big Scary Tattoo Guy asked me “Why a Sunshine?” while Chris was stabbing me with a thousand needles and I grimaced through the pain and told him that it’s because I’m a Fucking Ray of Sunshine and I Sprinkle Happiness Wherever I Go. I can’t believe he had to ask.
So I’m either the World’s Suckiest Mom, because I said the Eff Word in front of my daughter and got a tattoo with her, or I’m lucky that we love each other a ton and enjoy experiences together. I guess I’ll put this on the (long) list of Parenting Decisions That I Hope Don’t Screw Up My Kids Someday. And maybe I’ll see if my mom wants to go with me next time.