If I Were Braver


I have been yammering on and on to my family and friends for years now – YEARS – about getting a tattoo. I want one. I really, really do. And I’m sure they’re really, really sick of hearing about how much I really, really want one. Cook or get out of the kitchen already, Myndi.

Here’s the deal, though. I’m a total chicken. Not so much when it comes to the inevitable pain (okay, well maybe I’m a little scared of the pain). Mostly, though, I’m scared of commitment. DeBeers wants you to think a diamond is forever. They’re screwing with you. Diamonds can be lost – Whoops! Down the toilet! Oh no! Dog ate it. Dang! Left it on the kitchen sink and it jumped down the garbage disposal. (Must have been a sad diamond.) But a tattoo? There’s no going back. Well, I mean there is, but it’s a long and painful process that I’ve heard basically feels like taking a cheese grater and blow-torch to your skin all at once.

So you get it, right? A tattoo is forever.

I’m not as big a commitment-phobe as I used to be. With a fourteen year-old marriage that’s still going strong, and four kids to-boot, I think I’ve come a long way from where I used to be. Younger Myndi was a mess. The idea of committing to anybody for the rest of forever freaked me the hell out. At one point the Hubster (before he was the Hubster) thought it would be funny to drop down on one knee and offer me a Ring-Pop as a joke. I never saw the Ring-Pop. I hyperventilated and passed out before he got that far.

Thankfully he took my idiosyncrasies in stride and asked me to marry him anyway.


I really would like to gather up the courage to get myself inked (is that a phrase? If I use that phrase when I go into a tattoo parlor will they laugh at me? And is ‘tattoo parlor’ the right terminology? Or does parlor only apply to those seedy-looking massage parlors that you just know offer happy endings for the right price? Ohmygosh. I’m getting all worked up and nervous, and I’m nowhere near a House of Ink (better than tattoo parlor right? Right?). My palms are all sweaty and I’m pretty sure I’m developing a case of sudden onset gastroenteritis).

*Breathe, Myndi. It’s not happening to you this second.*

According to this flow chart, me acquiring a tattoo wouldn’t end up being a total nightmare Oh-God-Why-Did-I-Do-That? debacle.


And according to this one, it really wouldn’t hurt that bad (at least not where I want to get one).


But are flow-charts found in the murky waters of Pinterest trustworthy? Do they have my best interest at heart? Or are they just cold graphics put together by folks who love to giggle at suburbanite housewives like me who daydream about sticking their toe over the line of their carefully manicured comfort-zone?

Geeze, Myndi, shut up already. You sound like an idiot.

What are your thoughts on tats? Success stories? Horror stories? Advice? I want to know what your thoughts are, even if you’re a grumpy bastard who thinks tattoos are an abomination to the Lord. *grin*



20 thoughts on “If I Were Braver

  1. Angela Brown says:

    Not sure if you can see them on my author photo, but I have two tats. One on each upper part of my arm, both rather small as well. I didn’t get mine while drunk or high. I was of sober mind for both and chose something that I wanted to be a part of me forever. One is the yin/yang with dolphins and the other is my late mother’s initials in Chinese letters.

    Getting inked (which is an acceptable phrase) IS an important decision and should not be made on a dare, a whim or lightly. Ink stays for life. It may fade over time but it is always there. I LOVE both my tats and my one day get something huge for my back, something that may take several sessions to draw, outline and shade…or maybe not, just glad to have the option 🙂

    As for my experience, I expected to cry like a babbling lamb. Had tissue in hand and everything. My tattoo artist had my outline half-way done before I realized it. Yes, I felt it, but did it hurt? Not really. It was noisy lol!!

    If you decide to get inked, cool. If not, don’t sweat it. 🙂

  2. Elen Grey | Deep in B-ville Writing Over the Garage says:

    Oh. I have been down this road, and I feel your pain. No pun intended. I’m still sitting on the fence for a small, discreet tattoo. In my mind, I have nixed anything larger than a small, discreet tattoo, because I think about what it may look like when I’m 92 if it is larger than a small…discreet…tattoo. 😀 Love the flowchart and pain diagram. LOL

    I’ve seen many creative names for tattoo “parlors” recently. Studio seems to be popular, but often there is no reference to a dwelling or structure of any kind. Good luck, Myndi!

    You’ve made a lot of changes over here. I love the pictorial bio.

    • Fantasy For the Rest of Us. says:

      “No reference to a dwelling or structure of any kind” – what are we, animals? Are we just getting tattooed in the wild now?? And what is up with my irrationally intense need to LABEL where one gets their tattoo? LOL.

      I’m with you on the small and discreet, and would like to add: on an area of the body that experiences MINIMAL SAGGING. Just for funsies I once put a temporary tattoo on my hip. The cute little butterfly drooped into the saddest looking mutant critter I’ve ever seen.

      Glad you like my new digs. They’re simpler. Simple is good. 🙂

  3. Melinda VanLon says:

    I”m with you Myndi. I’d love to get a tattoo. I’ve thought about it for years. The problem is, I can’t come up with a design that I want to live with for life. So I keep looking and waiting. I figure I’ll end up getting one when I’m 75 because by then why the hell not?

  4. Jess Witkins says:

    Make like a sneaker and Just Do It! I love my tattoos! Whether I’d pick the same thing out now versus 10 years ago, I still love them. They’re a part of me that I find beautiful and make me happy.

  5. Pauline Baird Jones says:

    My son, who had just completed four rounds of chemo (with almost daily blood draws and a pic line), had to get some targeting tattoos for his radiation therapy. He was supposed to get six DOTS. He has three. If you’re going to be not brave about something, this seems like the one to choose, IMHO. (grin)

  6. Catie Rhodes says:

    I didn’t get inked until I was 30. I had wanted a tattoo since I was 14, but I waited. Some of it was that I let other people make my decision for me.

    “You don’t want to do that.”
    “Tattoos aren’t pretty. You’ll ruin your beauty.”
    “How will it look when you’re _insert age_?”
    “Tattoos are trashy. Only trashy people have them.”

    On that last quote, I am just old enough to remember when the only people who had tattoos were ex-military, ex-cons, and fringe dwellers. So there was a little truth to “tattoos are trashy.”

    Other than that, I let fear drive me. I wasn’t scared of pain. I wasn’t scared of commitment. I was scared of what other people would think and how that would make me feel. Then, one day, I woke up, and I was thirty.

    Nothing had had worked out the way I wanted it to. I hated my life. I hated the way things had turned out. And, worse, I had done all the “right” things. I had been a good girl. I had refrained from getting tattooed, from running off and joining the circus, from following my dreams. I had been a good girl.

    That day, I decided no more good girl. After researching designs, sanitation, and reading tattoo anecdotes I got a tattoo. And then I got another one…over and over and over again until I had 12. Yes, really.

    I love every one of my tattoos. I don’t regret the designs (though, as Jess said, I might not pick them today). I don’t regret the locations.

    Those marks are me. The real me–the girl who cusses and doesn’t wash her hands after petting the dog. Those tattoos belong to the girl who has the courage to do whatever she thinks is the right thing to do. The girl who did all the right things died the second that tattoo needle broke skin. I was glad to see her go.

    Two pieces of advice I’ll throw out:

    1) Think carefully about placement. I got my first and second tattoos in places that are super easy to hide (right shoulder and navel, respectively).

    2) Any tattoo that is in a frequently exposed spot (bicep, ankle, wrist, neck, foot) will eventually fade from sun exposure. Faded tattoos look like doo doo. If you think I’m kidding, do an internet search. So…get your ink in a spot that stays hidden or make up your mind to use sunscreen on your tattoo.

    And be sure to post pictures if you get a tattoo. 🙂

  7. jansenschmidt says:

    Suck it up. Get the tattoo.

    I want one, too, but the hubster is all about NOT getting inked. I’m afraid I’ll really miss my husband if I get one. (tee hee)

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  8. August McLaughlin says:

    I admire folks who get tattoos. I’ve never really felt a burning desire for one, but that may be because I change my mind so much about non-permanent style choices. 😉 My brother sports a bunch of them, and they look awesome. Maybe you should get a henna tattoo and see how it feels for a while? In either case, I’m sure you’d rock one, Myndi!

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