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Life Lessons Learned at the Tattoo Parlor

My 30th birthday came with the running of my first half marathon. My 31st birthday came with a very pregnant belly. And, not to be outdone, my 32nd birthday came with some ink!
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My 30th birthday came with the running of my first half marathon.

My 31st birthday came with a very pregnant belly.

And, not to be outdone, my 32nd birthday came with some ink!

I had always wanted a tattoo, but I was never quite sure where I would get it or what I would get done. The allure of having a piece of art permanently placed somewhere on my body was too much of an obsession to ignore.

My loving husband finally gave in this year -- partly because he could not figure out quite what to get me. He takes great pride in picking out the perfect gifts for me, but with the arrival of Jake that year, he gave me such an amazing present that even he felt he would have difficulty topping it.

I may have also texted him constantly, and begged and pleaded and negotiated like a kid asking her parents for an iPhone.

The big day arrived and we dropped off Jake at his grandparents and headed off to the tattoo parlor. I went prepared with a picture of what I wanted my tattoo to look like. And after much -- much -- deliberation with my friends at my office, I had decided where to have the tattoo placed.

Before I tell (and show) you what I had done and where I have it, I'll preface it with three important factors in deciding on tattoo placement:

  • I'm a lawyer, and I work in a professional environment
  • I wear strapless dresses all summer
  • I've had a child and I am intimately familiar with what stretches and what doesn't

These factors limited my choices for where I would get my tattoo. I will tell you, the location where I got my tattoo does not jeopardize any of those three factors. And it's still pretty cool, if you ask me.

Once we got there, I was introduced to Ken, who would be doing my ink. He asked to see what I wanted to get done, and where I wanted it. I showed him the picture and then proceeded to show him where I wanted it done.

He started laughing.

I was taken aback! Why was he laughing over this? I had thought long and hard about this and sought out lots of advice from my friends! What's the deal here?

Assessing my surprise at his reaction he said, "Of course you want it there! That's where all the girls are getting it now. It's a Ska_k Flank!"

"WHAT??! Are you KIDDING ME!?? I'M A MOM!"

Picture this scene in your mind right now: 32-year-old mother of a nine month old, standing in a tattoo parlor, embarrassed at the name of said tattoo placement, about as naive as that kid who is begging her parents for an iPhone.

I bet you're also wondering if this changed my mind for where I wanted to get my ink.

Nope. We went right ahead and had Ken draw up the design before waiting for my turn at the tattoo gun.

Once he finished designing it, it was time to get down to business. I kept telling myself (and anyone else in there who would listen) that, "If I had an epidural, I can do this!" and, "I gave birth, so this is going to be nothing compared to that!"

And sure enough, I was right. And for the record, getting a tattoo is nowhere CLOSE to the pain of childbirth. Even with an epidural. So have at it, moms!

In the end, the tattoo came out perfect, and my body was no worse for the wear. Ken was amazing -- he designed and created the exact tattoo I had hoped for and had me laughing throughout the entire process. He totally made my birthday!! The next day, when my family came over to celebrate my birthday, I made the big reveal. First my mother (whom I may not have had the guts to tell beforehand) shrieked, but more out of delight, and then when she really saw what I had done, she loved the design!

I told her that I'd take her for her birthday, to which she replied, "NO WAY!"

Eh, it was worth a shot.

(Oh, and in case you were wondering... it's a needle and thread. Quite apropos for a quilter and sewer!)