Today, in honor and memory of my mother who passed last year on December 11th, 2010, I went to Against the Grain tattoo and had her signature written into my skin. I went in earlier on Monday for a consult and had the pleasure of meeting Bryant, who listened to me speak, listened to my wants and needs politely and was fantastic to speak to.
I spent the next few days up until now worrying about it: how would it feel? Would it be too painful for me? Would I wuss out in the middle of it? Would I get too emotional? Would I end up disliking it?
The first thing out of my mouth today after Bryant had me settle in a chair and set my arm on a rest–as I heard the gun start and I looked away from it ‘just in case’–as the needles touched my skin and he began was…”Oh my god…This is what I was so worried about?!” To which Bryant chuckled. I am sure that he has seen many nervous first timers and has heard that many times.
It’s hard to describe what a tattoo feels like. It hurts…but it doesn’t. It is not the same pain we feel or associate with getting blood drawn in the hospital or having an I.V. It’s not the same as cutting yourself (on purpose or by accident.) It isn’t like a cat scratch and for me–it wasn’t even like a sunburn. To me, personally, it was almost like having a semi-sharp/dull pencil being run over my skin until my skin got a little bit red or sore/raw. I would say nearly 70% of the tattoo I did not even feel anything I could describe. Motion–the gloved hands on my arm and skin and the vibrations from the gun. Honestly the most ‘painful’ part was the D, which is located much closer toward the inside of my forearm than anything.
And even then, it was not a pain that made me wince. It didn’t hurt enough to twitch, jump, gasp, or even feel uncomfortable. Just a buzz of sensation at the back of my brain at times that got sharper in some places.
It’s only been a few hours since I’ve had it done, but I am pleased. More than pleased. This is something I’ve wanted since Mom passed. He had to open up the last e and r of her writing because of potential ink bleeding –so he took an R and an E written previously from where he copied her signature.
I love it.
And Bryant was right. During my consultation with him he said clearly, “Oh–don’t worry. You’ll be back in, possibly for a full sleeve.” And while I may not get a sleeve, Bryant was right. I will be back in for another and I cannot wait.
Thank you, Against the Grain.
I love you and Miss you Mom.