Photo of Christy's back with tattoo of small feather wings

Wings – 2012

Sometime in college (1995-1999) the discussion about tattoos came up. I was firm in my conviction that I did not want, nor would ever get inked. The hypothetical “But if you were forced to, what would you get?” followed. I took the challenge seriously, and decided that if, IF I had no choice, I’d get Rurouni Kenshin, on the inside of my right ankle.

Collage of four images of Rurouni Kenshin animated show
Research images for my theoretical Kenshin tattoo.

Fast forward to 2012. The conversation of tattoos has come around again, and I find that, despite my vehement objection of the idea, the span of 10+ years has seen me reconsidering the idea. Toby wants to get a tattoo, and thought it would be neat if we both went in for our anniversary and got inked.

Three fairy statuettes by Clarecraft

.

I mulled it over for a bit, and determined that I wanted wings. I had a great debate with myself over what kind of wings I wanted. I had a pair of earrings that looked like angel wings; I liked the lacy, multi-colored wings of our ClareCraft Fairy Realm collection; I was enamored of dragonfly wings.

I ultimately decided on feather wings, that looked like they were coming out of my back. Unfortunately I did not retain the research I did for the wings, but I’d taken in printouts of about 8 different styles of wings, pointing out to the artist what I did, and did not want.

It was May 15, our 13th anniversary, and we stopped by Anthem Tattoo Parlor on our way to dinner. We talked with a couple of the artists, Toby with a picture of the symbol from the Dag Nasty album Wig Out at Denko’s he wanted on his calf. I talked with my artist about the wings I envisioned. As we wrapped up the consult, they asked if we wanted to make an appointment for the work. Toby turned to me and, trying to give me an out if I wanted, said “We’re headed to dinner, but we could stop back by after and schedule – What do you think?”

I replied, “we’re already here, let’s go ahead and schedule them.” I had already decided to go ahead.

Our appointment was on Saturday, and our friends Kate and Allyson accompanied us. Kate sat with Toby, and Allyson sat with me. I sat in a folding chair, my arms crossed so my hands were on the opposite shoulders to provide the best canvas. Bad posture for good art.

My tattoo took more than twice as long as Toby’s, as it included smaller detail, and intricate shading. As I sat, I talked with Allyson, the conversation helping keep my focus from the pain, though we pretty much re-hashed the conversation we’d had the night before, topic for topic.

Toby observed that I seemed to be doing better with the needle than he did, and his artist said, “Yeah, women typically handle the pain better.”

To me, though, the pain was worth it, what do you think?

Photo of Christy's back with tattoo of small feather wings
My first tattoo – custom wings; upper back

Musings

  1. I often forget that I have this tattoo, honestly, though that year I did go and buy several sundresses that showed off that part of my back.
  2. I still toy with the idea of getting a tattoo with words from Defying Gravity, “Everyone deserves the chance to fly,” part of the sentiment that settled me on wings as my first tat.
  3. I didn’t tell my parents about the tattoo right away. Then it felt awkward when we called, because if I hadn’t told them in May, how was telling them in August any better? So we decided to wait until we visited them in Tallahassee to have that particular conversation. It was November, and warm, and Toby was wearing shorts. When we walked into the house, my mom saw the symbol on his calf and asked how long he’d had the tattoo. Toby looked at me, and proceeded to throw me under the bus, “I don’t know. Christy, when did we get our tattoos?” My mom spun to me, “You got one, too?” I said yes, and explained it was on my back, and that I would go put on the tank top I’d brought to show her, but before the sentence was finished, she’d turned me around, and lifted up my shirt until she could see it. Right there in the kitchen.
  4. Last year I got a copy of the sheet music for Defying Gravity, and am pondering of getting the staffs with the notes for the phrase “Everyone deserves a chance to fly” somewhere, but that is sorta still a passing fancy.

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