Saturday, November 5, 2011

Don’t Get One On Your Face

I am going to admit that there have been times I’ve considered “it.” Maybe it is when I am laying by the pool in Vegas, drink in hand, feeling kind of wild. Maybe it is when I am reading Good Housekeeping while eating peanut butter toast and watching The View that the urge to not be boring and to get crazy descends upon me.

What is “it”, you may ask?

The almighty tattoo.

There are small, delicate ones like Kelly Ripa has:

Or the full body options:

Ones for athletes:











Misspelled ones:

Look kids! Even tramp stamps on Barbie (I will bitch slap her for putting my man’s name on her sacrum):

For me, I am just not convinced that what I have etched on my body today is something I will want on there next week or at my 50th birthday party or when I am playing bingo in the nursing home.

That’s why I found it helpful to use this flow chart. It has all the answers about under which conditions one should get a tattoo. I love flow charts because they are concise, simple and tell me exactly what to do. Kind of like the Magic 8 Ball.


Things I learned from this chart:

  • Don’t get a tattoo while drunk
  • Don’t get a tattoo on your face
  • Don’t get a tattoo that is the name or picture of your significant other
  • Don’t get a tattoo if your friends are egging you on and laughing

If you have a tattoo, what are the circumstances under which you got it?

If you don’t have one, would you ever consider it? What would you get?



  1. I do not have one and the only one I would consider would be IF I EVER did a full IM. IF I DID the tattoo would still be small.

  2. I did do IM, and have thought about it for a year and several months. I'm still thinking about it. I know what I'd get, and it's not the M dot or any variety of it.

    One reason not is when you get a tattoo you can't give blood for some amount of time, and I'm a couple away from 50 donations.

    One reason not is that I'm still working out where. This is a big decision after all, one of the biggest. Why do I think that? Because it's permanent. Make a mistake with a spouse, or a home, or a car, and you can get them out of your life. Even a kid moves out and starts buying their own food (assuming the proper incentives are applied.) But a tattoo is there forever.

  3. I have one that I thought of for 5 years before actually getting it done. It is a reminder of soem trying times in my teenage years but pretty. It's on my front hip to cover unless I want someone to see it.

    I would get another if it had a similar meaning.

  4. Don't have one. Wouldn't say never, but I'm probably more on the side of "not" right now. It would be very small and in a place that could be hidden for a job interview. I've thought about a small shamrock (engineer thing) and if I ever took on something like Ironman, I could see the awesomeness of something to commemorate it, but not the Mdot logo. Not likely anytime soon.

  5. Well, I got my first tatoo when I turned 30, and alcohol & friends MAY have been involved in me getting it.
    BUT, my second one, I knew exactly what I wanted and will be happy with it when I am 80, chasing great grandkids in my bikini on the beach with all my sagging parts...tatoo included.
    My THIRD one is for my husband and it's on my lower back and that's all I can tell you! :)

  6. I have two. Got my first one at age 32 when my dad died of cancer. It's a cross on my ankle. Got my 2nd one at 44 - a trinity labyrinth on my wrist (which matched my husbands - which he got at the same time). Both are reflective of my faith journey. They are small and freaking awesome. And I think people who get tattoos need to put a lot of thought into it and make sure they aren't stupid or in a place where they will become ugly and fat. They are with you forever, you better make it a good one.

  7. I have two tattoos, one on the inside of my calf, and one on my forearm. Both are small and can be covered up, but I never do. I figure if it gets me into trouble professionally, I don't want to work there anyway.

    I am not a biker, punk rocker. They are tasteful, solid black, and one of them covers up an ugly scar. When I think about myself as a kid, it is hard to picture myself without my tattoos, as they have become as much a part of me as a birthmark.

    I thought about each one for 6 months to a year before getting them done, and I have never regretted either one. I also went to reputable shops, and looked at the artist's portfolio (photos of tattoos) before I let them touch me with a needle. The parlor should be like an operating room. If you do this, do NOT go cheap, and do research on your artist. They should have a website at the very least, and a presence on facebook. See what people are saying about them before you even go in the door...

    (Sorry, I have a friend who is a tattoo artist, and about half her job is covering bad work done by scratchers).

  8. I have two, both well over 10 years old now.

    The first is small, on my inner ankle. It is the Chinese character which has a double meaning: joy and also music. It's my reminder - I'm a professional musician and sometimes need to remember why I do this in the first place.

    Unfortunately, my second (the characters for "singer") is on my lower back. When I got it, the words "tramp stamp" weren't around, but apparently now that's what it means. The weird thing is that I got the tattoo there so that it would be covered up while I'm performing onstage, which is kind of a prerequisite, especially for women singers. If I could do it over, though, I would put it somewhere else, because of the connotations the location has now. Fortunately, nobody ever sees it - I never was the type to bare much skin, so it stays covered 99% of the time and I often forget I have it.

  9. love the blood chart! stick to henna or in my case, trying to dye your hair at home.

  10. I have three. First two were both in honor of my Japanese heritage... Japanese cherry blossoms on my rib cage and a koi fish half sleeve on my left arm. My third one is on my chest and it is of two retro/sailor jerry style swallows carrying a ribbon that says "Go Confidently" which is from one of my favorite inspirational quotes ("Go confidently in the directions of your dreams; live the life you've imagined." - Henry David Thoreau)

    I have many others that I plan to get as well. But I only have ideas for tattoos that I believe are unique and/or meaningful to me, and I would never get a name or initials on my body. Ever.

  11. Finally got one after several years of consideration. It is an 'RN' on my foot, represents something I worked very hard to earn and strikes to the core of who I am and what I do. It is also hidden in a professional setting, is only visible when I want it to be, will not sag with age, and will always be there even in my final days when my caregivers will know that I was once one of them. I am proud to wear it and have no regrets!

  12. I do have a tattoo. I got it when I was 37. I had wanted one for a really long time but never knew what or where and so following that flowchart, I didn't get one. Then... we were in Tahiti. Tattooing is a very important part of polynesian culture. So, jeez, what better place? Even though I'm not polynesian. And the little place we were staying had a gecko that terrorized me in a real practical joker kind of way. And the name of the island we were on means "yellow lizard" and that is the gecko. So clearly I needed a gecko. Of course all this was decided the day before we were to leave. And the tattoo place was booked up. So the guy who ran the 'hotel' said his neighbor could do it. Such a trip. Definitely an unforgettable and awesome experience. This comment is long enough :P

  13. I have three, and they're all small. Two of them are very easy to cover up (inner ankle, shoulder); the third is a bit harder but not impossible (inner wrist -- my policy is that I wear long sleeves to job interviews and the first day of work, but none of my bosses have ever noticed it anyway).

    My criteria for tattoos (I am sure that I will be getting more in the future): 1) I have to have thought about it for a significant amount of time. Six months is probably the absolute minimum, but all of mine had at least two years of thought behind them. 2) If it has some kind of specific meaning, I'd have to still like the tattoo even if I no longer liked the meaning. 3) I have to be comfortable explaining what it means -- even if it can be hidden easily, I'm going to assume that somebody, sometime, will see it.

    Those are the big ones. I imagine that there will come a point in my life at which I regret something I've done to my body, but...I think that would happen even without tattoos, you know?

  14. I've thought about it a time or two, but when I look back at the times that I seriously considered it (but didn't), and remember what I was considering having tattooed on myself, I'm ALWAYS glad that I didn't do it. That always makes me trust myself a little less when the motivation strikes.

  15. I have a sparrow which represents me and four flowers--the birth flowers for my mom, dad, grandma, & grandpa--the 4 most influential people in my life. Sparrows always return home. Since I live away from my family, it signifies always returning home to the ones I love. :)

  16. I don't have a tattoo but i want a HENNA tattoo. Look into the Henna ones-they are temporary, just dye the skin and can look just a cool as a real one. then it can wear off and no regrets. you could get a Henna before a specific race....

  17. LOL I have alot of visable tattoos and think that flow chart is pretty good! I am a nurse but a lot can be covered in scrubs and a jacket! I just eventually decided it was worth it to me to have to wear long sleeves every day of my life, in order to have the tattoos that I love, as well as keep my job. A worthwhile trade off, I think. And anyway, when I'm 80 I'll be saggy and old regardless, so why not get the tattoos? I'll figure I'll be the crazy tattooed lady in the nursing home. What's wrong with that?

  18. I got one Wed and have ZERO regrets. I wanted one to mean my journey towards self peace. I got the heart chakra symbol on my stomach and want another. I recommend everyone to do it because I gurantee you if it means something you won't regret it. Post to come about it on the new blog, but honestly it was the best thing for me. It absoutly freed my soul and I just feel so happy about it. After 6 years of talking I finally got my first and can't wait to keep going!

  19. If you have a tattoo, what are the circumstances under which you got it?

    I have a tiny eighth note on corner of my left hand, right beside my wrist. Sometimes I forget it's there it's so little. I was 16 (4 years ago) and I went on a big trip with a bunch of friends to Warped Tour (a massive music festival of the punk/rock variety)in mOntreal and we all got tattoos. i have ever regretted it and i dont think I ever will. Most people don't notice and my mother even approved it before I went.. the same mother who told me I would be kicked out if I had a lip ring ahah. I've changed SO much since then but I still love/play music. I don't think they are for everyone though. Its a big decision that needs lots of time !

  20. I think you might want to reconsider the full body tat..think of how intimidating you could be out there running with your shaved head and scaring all the other runners around you! They may slow downs so that they don't have run near you. :)

    I too would not want to get a tattoo b/c when I am old would it still look good? Probably not

  21. I have a tat on my stomach and I regret it dearly. I had it done when I was 19, with a washboard stomach and no conception of being "squashy". Fast forward more than 10 years, a son and a career later and it ain't lookin' all that good. It just kind of looks a bit cheap. I'm not one for showing a lot of flesh, but if I'm at the beach I sorely regret it. If I could do it all again, I would go small, real small: that way it means something to you but it's not GASPING for attention. :)

  22. I don't have a tattoo. I considered it, however, because I adore body art. Unfortunately, they've become so mainstream that its not really "crazy", or "wild" or "alternative" anymore. I've even seen grandmothers get them.

    As a designer and an artist I DO like to decorate my body with henna. I have my own style unlike the usual mehndi art you see from Indian artists. The beautiful thing about henna is that it disappears in about 2 weeks. I am constantly changing the art to suit my mood. I add it to my feet when I run barefoot or do a design around my belly button for summer bikini wearing. I always do "race henna" on my body when I run a race. It's my inspiration and my "fiyah!"

    Its become my signature art and body decoration. Problem is, this too is becoming mainstream even to the point that I've seen people get tattoos that mimic the henna color and mehndi style. But, since its my own art it much more meaningful.

    I've recently seen white tattoos which can be very beautiful. You should check that out. Its different and unusual.

  23. I did consider having a 42.2 done if I ever finished a marathon - just as a memento. But they gave me a medal so I'm good.

  24. I have quite a few. I'll break them down for you.

    Age 18, tramp stamp, tribal sun (it was 1997, it was pretty much required as a college freshman)

    Age 19, right hip, star (went with boyfriend to both get one)

    Age 20, top of left foot, hibiscus (just wanted a pretty flower, somewhere no one else had one)

    Age 20, right upper back, moon and stars (don't know why I got it, no pressue and it's ugly, bad idea!!)

    Age 29, side of right foot, the footprints (for my girls, I adore it, and I got it in Vegas with my girlfriends)

    Age 30, left side, dandelions (had an itch, love it, think it is amazing and gorgeous)

    Age 30, left wrist, heart lock with hub's initials (wanted to break the "no tattoing your significant other's name/initials on you" rule, love it, think it's amazingly gorgeous!!)

    I love tattoos, if I had more disposable income I'd have about 4 more, but I won't have extra until the girls are grown. I don't regret any of them (even the ugly one), they are all small, and can all be covered by clothes easily (although the wrist one is harder to cover than the rest.)

  25. I have a tattoo on the back of my right shoulder. It's a pattern of shooting stars and you can't see it unless I'm wearing a strappy tank top or similar. The original design is the exact design on my best friend's grave stone (killed in a car accident our jr year of high school) and I've added a smaller star around it for every important person in my life I've lost (my grandparents, my great-grandma, another friend). People sometimes see it and think it's just another random girly tattoo, and I don't mind. If they ask about it, I tell them the truth. As long as I know what it is and why it's important, thats all that matters.

  26. oh, and the shooting star was always a "thing" between the friend and I (we shared a birthday and would stay up the night before watching for shooting stars ... it was a tradition) and my grandpa always called me his "shooting star" ... hence the design on her gravestone and the original design of my tattoo.

  27. I have your typical butterfly tramp stamp. I got it the day after I turned 18. Nobody really sees it anymore, and no, I don't regret it at all. Just a little reminder of my youth. As a matter of fact, I've been thinking of getting a small 26.2 on my foot.

    A significant other name on your body is an automatic relationship death sentence. I don't care if you're Ethel Lou and Wayne Earl and you've just hit your 70th wedding anniversary. Get that tattoo and your relationship will end.

  28. I've never wanted one, but my niece has this little scroll on her wrist that is actually pretty cute.

  29. This post cracks me up. Of course I wanted a tattoo when I was 18-20, in college, but my mom threatened me and my sister. She said if we got one, she would stop paying for our college. Neither of us have one, (now 32 and 30 yrs old - i am glad i obeyed), I guess we knew she was serious!!

    We were threatened many times about getting in trouble and having to mOve back home! She did say the only place we can get a tattoo was on our butt cheeks.

  30. I have lots! And I love them all. My left arm is almost a full sleeve, I have one across the top of my back, one on the tramp stamp area, a couple few on my legs, one on the hip, one on my right wrist, and many more I want to get! I do not regret a single one.

    I do not have one on my face, nor did my friends egg me on, and I was never drunk when I got one (actually makes you bleed more).

    They are good reminders of where I was in my life when I got them!

  31. No, I do not and will never have one. When I came into this world, I'm sure my parents were overjoyed that I did not have any birth marks, scars or blemishes on my body. I know I certainly felt that way when each of my children were born too. Why mess up God's handiwork?

  32. yes..yes.. yes.. I have one...a small one on my right hip bone..bikini line I guess.

    I love it ...its personal...and yes, I would get another if I really wanted to.

    Never a name though....or on my face, butt, or thigh...way too much sagging skin in future years to alter the appearance. ha! (not to mention the genetic hail damage) Although, I could do clouds and a lightening bolt to go with the hail damage I guess. ha!

  33. I have four and I got them over 20 years ago. No regrets. My first was my name in nice script on my ankle. Figure I'm going to have it all my life, so why not. Plus it's unique as well, nice conversation starter.

    I want to get another one. Two dog paw prints on my foot for the two Rotties I've lost to canine cancer. I want it so they can continue to run with me.

  34. I have a few but the most visible is the half sleeve in progress. I love lilies, my daughter's name is Lilly and I got it for her. She loves it and I've become a great influence. At 4 years old, she can't wait for a tattoo of her own. She wears a fake almost everyday.

  35. I have never seen one that looked even remotely attractive or made someone look better. I have also never seen one that didn't cause me to puzzle over the level of good sense of the person who had it.

  36. I got a tattoo on my hip in college and have never regeretted it ~ not for one second. My mother even encouraged me to get it and she is as conservative as the Lawrence Welk show.

    It looks exactly as it did before I had my 2 kids and my 4 year old son tells me that he really likes my "stamp" when he sees it.

    When I ran my first marathon 3 years ago I said I wanted another one, but haven't been able to decide exactly what I want and exactly where I want it.

    I say go for it! Once you know, you'll know.

  37. I don't have one. IF I got one it would have to be significant to me, very, very small (mainly because I don't like pain), and in a place that probably won't sag (like the top of my foot?).

    True story: My daughter (then 3) and I were walking around an outdoor outlet mall. We saw a young woman in a tank top with A LOT of tattoos. My daughter, in the type of projection voice that only 3 year olds have, said, "OH NO, Mommy!! That lady got marker ALL OVER herself!!" {SIGH}. She had just gotten in trouble for coloring all over HERSELF the day before...

  38. Yes, I have one. But I had the good sense to put it where no one can see it unless I show it to them.

    Where was that chart 17 years ago??

    Thankfully there are artistic people out there that can cover up names (even if it's spelled correctly!)-it's now a beautiful reminder of a lesson learned!

  39. I have two. One on my lower back above my hip (not a typical tramp stamp!) and one on the top of my foot. I have at least two more planned, I just need to find the right artist.

  40. Yes and Yes. I have a "tat" on my right hip, which I got when I was sixteen.
    I plan to get another on my right rib cage of a running girl that I designed with 26.2 written under it. I have plans to do one more on the inside of my ankle right at the joint of the foot, yes this will be painful, but I want to put the time that my "future" child is born at in roman numerals.

  41. I have no desire to get a tattoo, but if I were to get one, it would be small, in a place where no one would really see it, and would involve a maple leaf (I'm Canadian).

  42. "I have never seen one that looked even remotely attractive or made someone look better. I have also never seen one that didn't cause me to puzzle over the level of good sense of the person who had it. "

    this is me also. I honestly can't see the desire for them and I can't imagine ever getting one. But I'm an old fart and if I had a yard I'd yell at kids to get off it. :)

  43. Great flow chart! I don't have one, and there was a time I really thought hard about it, and I am glad I didn't. When I think about that it was going to be, while it was really important at the time, it is not anymore. It is not embarrassing, but just lost its importance/relevance in my life. I was a gymnast, and so it was going to be a gymnast leaping through a block O. I am proud that I was an OSU gymnast, I just don't know that I need it imprinted on my body forever. My husband hates OSU, so I would hate it if it came between us.

    I have thought about the M dot. One day I will do one, not sure about the tat, though.

  44. I have 3, all at the age of 18, and I regret getting them

  45. I have 2 tattoos. I made myself wait at least 1 year once I started thinking about it. If I still wanted it (already had design in mind), I got it. I lve them both (I've had them about 10-12 years now). They are hidden when they need to be and displayed when I want.

  46. I have one tattoo on my right foot. It's a Compass Rose in memory of a friend whose sailboat was taken down in a hurricane four years ago. They never found any remains (ship or people) and getting the tattoo helped me grieve.

  47. I have two or 5 depending on how you look at it.

    On my back I have love, life, family, honor on my back in Chinese characters.

    On the inside of my left calf I have a turtle with 26.2 in one fin and 70.3 in the other. The shell has a star at the top half and the bottom half will have 140.6.

    I'm also planning on getting another tattoo after vegas. Can't wait to start the process because I am planning on getting a nautical star inside of a circle on my shoulder. From there I will have a sleeve built out that will take years to do I'm sure.

  48. I have three tattoos. One is on my left wrist, one on my lower back, and one on my rib cage. All are as much a part of me now as a freckle on my skin. I love them all. Surprisingly ppl don't even seem to notice the tattoo on my wrist, and it isn't a small one either. It is a part of me. If I were to be passed up on a job offer because of it I honestly wouldn't care because I wouldn't want an employer that highers me based off of my looks anyway. Although I do appreciate ppl who do not have any either. All of mine were thought about for a long time and have special meaning to me, even if it isn't easy to sum up their meanings in one or two sentences when ppl ask about them.