9 Emotional Stages Of Getting A Tattoo From "Help, I Have To Pee" To Social Media Regret
While some like to roll deep to a tattoo appointment, I prefer to go through the many emotions of getting a tattoo solo-style. The only time I have ever insisted a friend come with me during a tattoo was spontaneous: I realized I had a very strong craving for Pringles that had to be satisfied before the three hours it would take for my gazelle skull to be completed was over. In hindsight, it wasn't one of my finest moments I've had in the chair.
The thing is, getting a tattoo is incredibly exciting and can come with its fair share of nerve-wracking emotions, regardless of how much ink experience you already have. You have to consider how badly you want your design, where you want your design, WHO you want to do your design, and of course, how much you are willing to fork over for said design. Don't even get me started on the healing process; sometimes I stare at my tattoo for hours just fretting about the day when the color will start to fade. Tattoos are most vibrant on that first day, and when it starts peeling you can't help but get a little nervous that it'll peel off entirely. I mean, isn't it completely normal to love something so much that you are convinced it will be taken away by an unfounded fear coming true? Of course it is.
Here are some of the gut-wrenching emotions that can happen when you are getting a new tattoo.
1. Anxiously Imagining Where Your New Tattoo Will Be
Once I've decided that I want, no, need a new piece, I can barely look at the clear skin where my tattoo should be. Imagining a new tattoo is fun — until you start playing the waiting game for your dream artist to have an opening. It's enough to make you sharpie your new idea where your tattoo should be every morning until you finally get in the chair.
2. Dealing Internally With How Much You're Paying For This
Whenever someone asks me how much I paid for a new tattoo, I put my fingers to my lips and shush myself as a reminder to tell no one. I would much much rather reveal how much I overpay for rent or a Black Sabbath reunion tour than discuss how much I forked over for my tattoo. Personally, I have yet to feel like I've ever overpaid for a tattoo, but people can be super judge-y.
3. The Rush Of Excitement As You Sit In The Artist's Chair
Sitting in the chair for me is basically the equivalent of a puppy watching you get his leash so you can go out for a walk. Just like said puppy, you have to tell me that it ISN'T going to happen with me bouncing off the walls. OK, fine. I'll calm down.
4. Secretly Loving the Dull Pain From the Needle
What does it mean when the pain of the needle becomes a tingling sensation that you long to feel again? It means you've also fell in love with getting tatted. The gentle hum of the needle can be startling when it first touches your arm, but mostly it's a reminder of the beauty that is about to permanently be inked on your arm.
5. Realizing You Have To Pee A Half Hour Into The Appointment
Regardless of how many times I've gone to the bathroom BEFORE I get in the chair, I'm terrified of having to pee while I'm getting my tattoo. There have been occasions where I've spent so much time worrying about not having to pee that I've convinced myself I HAVE to pee and need to take a break.
6. The Urge To Get Your New Ink Up On Social Media
Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, Flickr, Snapchat... make sure you get ALL of them in case some of your followers aren't on all the hip social media sites. Everyone needs to know you got a new tattoo because tattoos are cool and so are you, which gives this new post the potential for epic amounts of likes. This frenzied photo-shoot can last anywhere from twenty minutes to three hours.
7. Nightmares of Waking Up Without Your New Tattoo
Have you ever loved something so much that you the fear of losing it is so deep that it seeps into your dreams, waking you up in a cold sweat until you reach over, touch the one you love and breathe a sigh of relief? Me too! Every time I get a tattoo, I dream that it heals off my skin or that the tattoo artist used "trick" ink (something I made up in my dreams) and my precious tattoo is gone forever...
8. Hating EVERYONE That Has a Similar Tattoo & Wishing You Could Take Back That IG Post
I know I didn't invent my tattoo. In fact, if I hadn't seen some variation of said tattoo I wouldn't have started mulling around with ideas for mine. Still, the teenager in us all that still uses words like "poser" and "copycat" can't help narrow their eyes when someone gets an almost identical tattoo just weeks later. Kind of makes you regret that crazy photoshoot with your tat, doesn't it?
9. Desperately Needing Another Tattoo Immediately
Your tattoo has healed. It's not going anywhere. You've received hundreds of compliments, making you feel kind of like a rock star and the hype is starting to slowly die down. Still, you stare at your new tattoo happily and think "I want more." Of course you do, you just had the most exciting week ever because you got a new tattoo. Who wouldn't immediately start thinking about doing it all over again?
Image: Kristin Collins Jackson; Steven Depolo/Flickr; Giphy