Confession: Tattoos

This week I’m deviating from my Vodka and Soda linkup Midweek Confessions norm to focus on one single, solitary, inky confession: I may have a slight addiction to tattoos and spend way too much time dreaming up new ones I could get.

My daydreaming has been especially bad this week. It started yesterday when Runner’s World tweeted a link to a slideshow of “28 Amazing Running Race Tattoos” and my brain instantly went into hyper mode, coming up with ideas for all different kinds of race-themed tattoos I could get. It didn’t help when I got to the last page of the slideshow and found a whole separate slideshow of “42 Awesome Running-Inspired Tattoos.” Hyper mode kicked up a notch.


One of my favorites from the RW slideshow (source)

I never thought I’d be the kind of person who has tattoos, mostly because I hate needles and have a tendency to get a bit fainty around them. Now I have 5. It all began about 3 years ago when my mom and I decided to get matching tattoos and had a weekend adventure out to Chicago so my brother-in-law could ink us up. (He had assured me that he was well versed at recognizing signs of fainting and would make sure I didn’t lose consciousness in his chair, and his word was good. I’m so glad I had a nice family member do my first tattoo! Otherwise, I’m pretty sure I never would have gotten one.)

Me and my mum showing off our tattoos

Me and my mum showing off our tattoos

A few months after that first tattoo, I was back in bro-in-law’s shop for my second. A year later I got my third at a local shop. Then last summer I got two in quick succession – one more atย bro-in-law’s shop, and the other, my favorite, at another shop closer to home:

Amazing artistry courtesy of Deirdre Doyle!

Amazing artistry courtesy of Deirdre Doyle!

The fact that getting tattoos is not a cheap habit has saved me from getting more, and the only reason I have so many is because my bro-in-law refused payment for his. However, this doesn’t stop me from dreaming up more that I’d get if I could afford it! Another thing holding me back from covering myself in tattoos is that I want to be able to see any tattoo I get, which limits many available parts of my body. Something really has to earn a spot on the remaining real estate!

When I made my goal last April to run the Boston Marathon some day, I also decided that when I did run the Marathon, I’d get a tattoo to commemorate the feat. Whenever I get ideas that I think might look cool above my left ankle, I remember that I’m saving that spot for the B.A.A. unicorn and the year I ran. Finishing a marathon is a huge thing, and finishing Boston would totally merit a place on my skin.

But now these RW slideshows are making me think that maybe I want more after all… maybe I want hash marks of how many races I’ve completed, or a sleeve made up of little logos from each race I finish, or maybe some Hermes wings (but dear God not around the ankle bone… that would hurt like crazy!) It’s highly unlikely that I will get any of these tattooed on me, but now that the thought has been planted, who knows? (Maybe a shamrock to represent my running club?!)

When people used to tell me that tattoos can be addictive I’d roll my eyes, but now I think they may be right. For me, I think it’s the knowledge that I can handle the process, that I can be stabbed by a tiny needle a million times and not faint, and then walk out of a tattoo shop with a really cool, meaningful piece of art on me that I get to look at and think about whenever I want. Knowing I can handle that opens up infinite possibilities of other designs I can get, and it’s fun to think about those possibilities.

Anyway, that’s where my brain has been the past two days. Work? Sure, it’s getting done… while I think about tattoos ๐Ÿ˜‰

How do you feel about tattoos – yay or nay?

If you’re pro-tattoo, would you ever consider getting a race tattoo?

Vodka and Soda

24 thoughts on “Confession: Tattoos

  1. I LOVE TATTOOS! I have 4 currently, including a biggish one pretty much in the same place your bird is–an anchor with a Scottish thistle wrapped around it ๐Ÿ˜€ I love my tattoos and I also spend lots of timing thinking about what the next one will be. After completing my half this weekend, I REALLY want to get a running tattoo, but I don’t want it to be cliched or lame, so I need to think about it for a while. I may also call up my favorite artist and just tell him what I’m thinking, give him a few examples, and let him run with it–I’m sure he’d come up with something amazing!

    • Your anchor/thistle tattoo sounds so cool! I agree about the running tat โ€“ I wouldnโ€™t want to get a cliched one eitherโ€ฆ I donโ€™t think Iโ€™d get the Hermes wings or hash marksโ€ฆ it was more my brain going โ€œOoh!! That one! No, that one!โ€ ๐Ÿ™‚ I bet your artist would have some awesome ideas! Thatโ€™s likely the route Iโ€™d go as well. I was so happy with birds Deirdre drew after I gave her a pretty vague idea of what I wanted, Iโ€™m sure sheโ€™d come up with something cool. Itโ€™s nice to be able to leave the creativity to the artist! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. I’ve been contemplating the same tattoo for the past four years — I just haven’t had the guts to go do it! I think that completing a marathon definitely deserves commemoration!

    • It took me years before I got up the guts to get mine! And it will probably be many years before I can commemorate finishing Boston with one. Someday ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚ Do you think you’d ever consider getting a coverup or adding to yours to make it more meaningful to you? I’ve seen some incredibly beautiful coverups lately… it’s amazing what good tattoo artists can do!

  3. I don’t have any tattoos, but I’m always interested/fascinated to see other people’s tattoos. I especially like when they have a story or meaning to go along with them. At one point in college I thought I wanted a tattoo, but I gave myself an arbitrary waiting period of 6 months (yes, I made an oddly sensible college kid), and I didn’t end up liking any of my tattoo ideas for anywhere near 6 months, so I gave up the idea. I still think that I might get one when I hit my 70th birthday, but I’ve got quite a lot of time to make that decision! For now, I’d rather live vicariously through other people on this one, as I’m way too fickle to feel sure about something so permanent.

    • I’m fascinated by other people’s tattoos, too! I have to stop myself so often from asking strangers about theirs ๐Ÿ™‚ I follow a few tattoo shops on Instagram and it’s fun to see all the different things people get.

      I’m impressed by your sensible waiting period! It’s actually a really good idea. For years I was determined that if I ever got a tattoo I’d get the Red Sox logo, but now I’m kind of glad I never got it. (Still have a special place in my heart for the Sox, but I don’t love baseball as much as I used to.) I probably would have gone to some dodgy shop near my college and it might have looked terrible, and would probably have ended up in some prominent area of my body. With the exception of 1 tattoo, all mine survived a waiting period of months (or even years) and I’m glad of that because I don’t regret any of them!

    • I understand that problem! Needles and and I don’t get along very well either. Somehow I managed to trick myself into thinking it wasn’t a needle (unless you look reeeeally closely you can’t even tell it’s one… doesn’t feel like one either, really) and once I realized it didn’t feel too bad I was able to deal with it fine. It helped having someone with me to talk to me and distract me too ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I reallyyy want a half sleeve, but I’m worried about finding a new job and having such a large tattoo. I currently have 3 tattoos and I have ideas for 2 more. My newest one is a ‘matching’ one with my sister, an origami bird with watercolor splatter as the background. I love it because its so colorful.

    • That’s a valid worry… and the reason all mine are easily hideable!

      The origami bird with a watercolor splatter sounds awesome! I love really colorful tattoos.

  5. tats are SO addictive. both my husband and i have them; he has 2 full sleeves and wants more. i have a few scattered on my body but my process takes years; the last one i got on my back took me 3 years to get because i put a lot of thought and time around the planning. i have one in the works that i’ve been thinking about for the past year and a half so maybe in the next year or so i might pull the trigger.

    • Seriously! Everyone I know who’s gotten one almost immediately starts planning another. I love taking the time to plan out new ones… then you can really figure out all the little details and when you finally pull the trigger it seems more exciting somehow, after all the waiting ๐Ÿ™‚

      • You commented on my blog and I wanted to respond to you, but you’re a no-reply commenter and I couldn’t find your email address on your page.

        To answer your question, I think that vodka or rum goes well with gatorade. I usually choose a blue gatorade and add rum, sometimes, if I’m feelin’ fancy, I’ll add Malibu rum, because sometimes you just need to be a little coca-nutty. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I loooove tattoos! I have 4 of them already and the more races I do, the more I think I want something race related, but haven’t had a really good idea for one yet. Your ideas are awesome though. The other thing, too, is that if I keep registering for races, I have no money for tattoos! HAHAHA

    • Ugh, that’s a good point. I could probably afford a pretty sweet tattoo right now if I could have all my money back from the races I’ve run this year! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. LOVE the matching tattoos! And thank you for your comment on my blog; I tried to reply but realized that you’re a “no-reply” blogger! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I’m thinking of getting it on my ribs but so chicken! I may just have to suck it up though.

    • Thanks! I love them too, and love having matching tats with my mom ๐Ÿ™‚

      Sorry about the no-reply thing… I finally fixed that today! WordPress makes it pretty much impossible to be a reply blogger (is that the opposite of a no-reply blogger?) but I got it sorted thanks to Google ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I’ve heard rib tattoos are pretty intense, but also worth it if you get one you really love!

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