the girl with the dragon tattoo
Updated: Aug 12
When I was a teen the only kids that sported tattoos were the bad ass ones; roses on boobs, skulls and crosses on arms, colorful flowers on ankles.
At 17, I desperately wanted a tattoo, but my parents would have killed me and quite frankly, I didn’t have the nerve. Mini needles drilling into my skin, pain, fear of ink poisoning, no thank you. Nineteen years later, I was ready for my ink. I had three children; surely, I could handle this. I settled on a dragon for a couple of reasons; it would complement one of my husband’s tattoos, and I liked the fact that the dragon stood for courage, strength, and wisdom. Even better, when I informed the artist of the probability that my threshold was about 20 minutes, he told me this tattoo fit my criteria. When the stencil was placed on my ankle, trepidation hit, and I mentally planned an escape route. If it all went bad, a line or two could be chalked off as a birthmark, but once the outlining was underway, I’d be in it to win it.
I looked at my husband for support. He smiled in a please suck it up, don’t make a scene way. Dammit, why didn’t I go with a girlfriend? And just like that, my wish was granted. She was tall and blonde with a plus-sized body that was squeezed into biker chick clothes half her size. Her Dolly Partons bulged out of a shirt that fit her like a condom and her nails were red talons. She was the life of the party chick passing through with a tray of Jell-O shots.
She heard me whimpering and rushed to my side. “You can do it honey, look at my rose,” she smiled, leaning the girls close enough to touch my cheek, revealing a blue rose shaded with black and pink. It was like resting my face on a pillow, and better yet, it distracted me from leaping out of the chair. She offered her hand to squeeze and I happily took it. For the next 20 minutes, this boisterous beauty was my new BFF. When my two-inch by one-inch tattoo was complete, I thanked her for being my personal coach. She laughed and hugged me, her bosom momentarily absorbing my face, then took her Jell-O shots to the bar next door.
We’re moving ahead seven years, present day:
To celebrate her 18th birthday, my daughter, announced she was getting a tattoo. I asked if I could go along for the historic moment and she said yes, as long as I didn’t tell the tattoo artist what to do.
Oh, please. Like I’d tell a tattoo artist their job.
Suggest maybe, but definitely not tell them what to do. Geesh.
My daughter wanted a dragon tattoo for the same reasons I did; she liked what they represented, and she wanted to compliment mine and my husband’s tattoos. She described a design for the artist, and like magic, he sketched her dream tattoo.
During the process I said to her, “It’s big, huh? It’s going to be weird to have that on your foot.” And she said, “No, I was ready. I said goodbye to my foot this afternoon. I said, Goodbye plain foot. This is the last time I’ll see you like this.”
An hour later, my daughter was sporting a fine looking dragon on her foot. She received the proverbial pat on the back and looks of admiration from other artists and patrons. My daughter’s tattoo happened to coincide with the release of a movie and I’ve given her the nickname of…wait for it…the girl with the dragon tattoo!