Thursday, May 24, 2007


For some reason, a lot of the blogs I read have lately been talking about tattoos. So, I'm a-jumpin' on the bandwagon.

I have 4 tattoos.

The first was my faerie. When I was 17, a good friend of mine got a tattoo - a beautiful iris on the top of her foot. She was like "des, you should get a tattoo!" I wasn't against the idea, but I just stared at her blankly. "Don't you have a picture you really like?" I did have one. I'm convinced this was a cardboard cutout that I hung on my wall, but nobody else seems to have ever seen it. They've only seen the version that I drew, so I'm half convinced I designed this myself.

Since I wasn't 18 yet, and the place I went was reputable, I could not be tattooed. We even had an elaborate ruse in which my friend's mom posed as my mom and went down to the parlor with me, but I had no proof of age, so they still wouldn't do it. (This same place once turned a girl away because she didn't know what she wanted.) But eventually I turned 18, and by then I also had a driver's license proving my age, so a week after my 18th bday, I got this:

It's on my right leg a little above the normal sock line. You can see it whenever I wear something other than long pants.

The second was my roses. I'd been working in the garden section of the store and looking at a lot of flowers, both in books and in real life. I had nothing to do when I was there, so I took to drawing on myself. I perfected a method of drawing roses around my wrist, and one day I decided I might as well just have it put there permanently. I went home and drew it out on paper (which amazingly was the exact size it needed to be). One night while my friend and I were eating In 'n Out, I decided to go next door to Davis' one tattoo parlor (I think they have two now) just to see how much something like this would cost.

The actual artist wasn't there right then (he was at In 'n Out, coincidentally) but there were 2 girls working the counter. I showed them my picture ad asked what that would run. They said it would be $20 just to have the artist draw a preview. I hesitated. They said "come on, he'll be back in a second. He can do it right now. Just get it now. What's the big deal? Just get it now." I stared at them like the insanos they were. Why would I have to pay extra to see a preview? This is something that would be on my body forever - if the artist is confident in his work the preview should be free.

As I was being pressured, the artist walked back in. he saw the faerie on my leg and got really excited about its awesomeness. He asked where I got it, and when I said "Acme Tattoo, in Fresno" he got even more excited. "Whoa I see them in magazines all the time! They win all sorts of awards!" Yeah... I'm gonna go back there. When the artist is that excited, combined with the pressure from the stupid girls, I don't really have a choice. So next time I was in Fresno, I got this:
It's really cool. The roses go from red to purple to blue to purple back to red. This is the underside of my left wrist (palm up). This tattoo is visible all year round, and I get so many compliments on it.

Then 6 years went by. I didn't get any more tattoos. In that back of my mind, my punk rock roots were pushing for another one. I had a cool necklace I got at a Halloween store that had a simple black bat silhouette as a pendant. I'd always thought the bat would look uber cool on the back of my neck. But I also kinda thought it was silly. Then my friend came to visit me in NYC, and she wanted to commemorate her visit with a tattoo. Since I'd been getting the "itch" again, I'd been kinda looking into parlors. I pointed her to a few that were good, she chose one, and off we went. They did an awesome job on her hummingbird (which I don't have a picture of because she made me expressly promise not to publish it on my site) and my itch was renewed. I'd get that bat I'd been thinking about for several years.

While I was saving up the money, my sister sent me some pictures that her boyfriend's sister had taken in Antarctica. One was of 2 penguins. They were so cute. I looked around my house and realized that unknowingly, I had acquired quite a bit of penguin memorabilia. I'd always thought I would get a tiger tattoo because of the tiger love, but tiger tattoos are too cheesy for me. Nobody has a penguin tattoo. And here was a perfect picture.

So, after a boost in bday money from my inlaws, off to the parlor I went. It was Father's Day 2006, just a few days after my bday. I came home with these:

I don't know exactly which one was first. I think the bat. The bat is not quite where I had originally pictured it - the artist thought it would look better a little below my neck. Of course he was right. It's just above my shoulder blades, in the middle of my back. High enough that you can see it when I wear most shirts. The penguin is on my right shoulder, right about where the bra strap meets the rest of the bra. The penguin is actually the least visible of the 4. You can't see it when I'm wearing a t-shirt, and only some tank tops show it. But I love it. Who has a penguin tattoo?

And now, here it is a year later. I've got plans for my 5th tattoo, but I haven't got the dough. It will be a jasmine plant draped over the top of my left shoulder, with a flower running down my back, one peeking over my breastbone, and one running down my arm. It will be kind of sparse, as I don't want a big blob o'color, but it will be pretty.

All of my tattoos were pondered for a very long time. All except the penguin took years to solidify. And I am of the opinion that there's no point to getting a permanent picture on your body of people can't see it. And none of my tattoos are symbolistic - I just like them. Rose is my middle name, so I guess you could throw that in. But there you have it. Clearly I can talk about my tattoos forever.


Sudiegirl said...

I've gotta get a penguin tattoo! You've inspired me.

my friend DD thinks penguins are stupid, but i know better. they mate for life, and they look like they're wearing tuxes all the time...what's not to like?

super des said...

Penguins are awesome. You can't be a copycat though. Mine is an Adelie penguin. Maybe you could get like an Emperor or South African or something if you MUST get a penguin at all...


Brillig said...

I always let my daughter sit with me when I come to your site, because, as I've already mentioned, she LOVES your site. And today, as I was scrolling through this post, she caught her breath and said (about the fairy), "Oooooh, that's so pretty." Hahaha. (She's right, of course.) We then admired the rest of your tattoos too.

I don't have any tattoos. Could I be ANY more boring?

super des said...

Yes you could be more boring. But don't do it because I like you. And Fluffy and I are best friends.

Sugar Kane said...

Nice tats. I have two, but am really considering getting one removed. Or at least changed into something else.

super des said...

Doh. That's the reason I thought about mine for so long... I can't bear to have it removed.

Amy Jo said...

Sam has a book called 'Your Personal Penguin' that has a song that goes along with it. Davey Jones sings it. Have a listen:

Your tattoo made me think of it...

flutter said...

Cute, all of them. I have a fairy too, I knew we were pals for a reason!

super des said...

AJ- that's the best thing ever, for so many reasons.

f - I think people with faeries are part of a secret club.

jessabean said...

Love the tattoos. And love penguins!

I am one of those people with a "secret" tattoo. Well, one you can't see anyway, and it's in a place that I wouldn't feel comfortable showing my parents, let's say.

I love it though--orange and blue lotus blossom. Got it in Chicago. Smoked a cig with the tattoo artist before hand to prepare myself, and walked out one happy girl.


super des said...

I always thought about getting a secret tattoo. It'd be one of those things that if my friend was getting a tattoo and the artist said I could have a small one for free I'd get a little heart or something.

But that's never happened. So the penguin is my secret tattoo, even though I show him off whenever possible.

Anonymous said...

I love the one on your's beautiful! I wish I could get a "visible" one, but in my career it's a no-no.

A person does get addicted though, and everyone told me this when I got my first. "You'll be back. Once you get over the hurdle and get your first, you immediately start thinking of others you want..." and I thought, yeah, what a load. But it was true! I have another designed but am deciding on a location. I'm running out of locations!

Funny, my husband's first was a Taz while he was out drunk with friends and it took him a couple of years to think, ah, maybe not a good idea! He has since gotten others (one matches one of mine) but is now having a cover up designed for the's going to be a beautiful Koi fish. I'm jealous.

super des said...

When I got the roses, it didn't even occur to me that I couldn't have tattoos at work. When someone told me, I asked the store manager if I needed to cover it up, and she said "no, it's too pretty to cover up."
So that's my new philosophy: I won't work anywhere that would have me cover the tattoos. It's not like it's a naked lady riding a flaming death skull or something.

At the place in Fresno (which isn't even there anymore - they moved to Santa Cruz) they had before & after pictures of coverups. One "before" was Goofy mooning you and flipping you off. Yeah, definitely a drunk thing. I don't remember what the "after" was, but I'm sure it was a lot better (if not less hilarious).

Gunfighter said...

I have two... and another is in the planning stage.

Nice tats, Des.

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