If you follow on Instagram you already know that.
It was great. I’m in love. Obsessed. Want more? Not sure yet.
So here’s what happened: several months ago my sisters and I came up with the idea of a group tatt. The two younger girls already had little ones, and me and my sister Emily, right after me, didn’t. I was all about it. Jay and I always talk about cool tattoos we see and liked the idea, but I also understand the idea of permanence and was not going to do anything to my body unless it meant something and I was SURE. I don’t even have pierced ears, so it took me awhile to come around to the idea.
Once we were all on board, the figuring out of the design was a HURDLE. My youngest sister Julianne is a graphic design major and suuuuuper trendy and was all LET’S DO TRIBAL and I was all THAT WON’T BE TRENDY FOREVER and we went around the idea of 4 dots, dashes, an H (our last name, duh), all these random things that someone vetoed every time. So poor Julianne just started doodling, and texting us images of whole pages of doodles, and at one point she drew a paper crane.
And we were sold! We all loved it, it reminded us all of Japan, could be small or large in tattoo form – the whole thing. Once we had that decision made, we decided to do the deed the weekend between my birthday and Julianne’s birthday, in Asheville, and make a whole day out of it. So we did!
We ended up at Unification Tattoo, where Julianne got her first tattoo. We tried to go to another place first, but they were all “um, we are the premier tattoo parlor in Asheville. I’m sure you can appreciate that on Saturdays we have no walk-in slots. If you want to come back you can, but you have to leave a $60 cash deposit.” COOL, MAN. The internet doesn’t agree that the first place is premier anything, bee tee dubs.
Unification! Awesome. Clean. Friendly. Free to ink us right then and there. Being the nervous wreck that I was, I’d obviously researched the process a lot, and it was as advertised: shave area, clean area, print design on a carbon paper kind of dealio, press it on skin.
Ink it into your body forever using needles. Awesome! This is Mary. She did all of our tattoos and was lovely. Also very pretty. I made Jay hold my hand for the first little squiggle and got all nervous at the last minute.
Aaaand it hardly hurt. My little sisters had actually described it perfectly: it isn’t pleasant, but after awhile you’re kind of like um, ok, STOP. Exactly. The longest lines were the worst, short lines hardly hurt, and it mostly felt like some rough scratches by a cat or something. 15 minutes, in and out, easy peasy. It hardly bled, which surprised me – I was expecting maybe more depth for the needles?
The healing is still occurring, but after the first day I was OBSESSED with how this thing looks. I love the placement, which I know is weird. People were all BUT YOU CAN’T COVER IT, and, um, sleeves, but also I figured that if I waited this long to do ANYTHING to my body I may as well just DO it, right? My sisters got theirs on a shoulder, mid back, and wrist, and they all look super duper cool and special.
We do have some questions about straight lines – are they really hard to do on skin? Our crane is ONLY straight lines, and some most of mine aren’t even – thicker in places, thinner in others. It doesn’t bother me a bit, because I think it looks like, um, ink on skin, but I’ve also heard that it’s possible to do really even straight lines? I don’t know. I like Mary The Tatt Queen and don’t want to say anything bad about her.
So now we just need a name for this guy. Or girl. I went with Clarence because it was the first thing that came to mind, but can a symbol of peace and healing REALLY be named Clarence the Crane? We probably need to revisit this. And yes, also, it has to have a name.