Months ago, I made a post about my tattoos. A few posts later I talked about a wonderful offer from a friend to help pay to get one of the tattoos (in the original post I talk about how disgusted and embarrassed I am with the tattoo) covered up. This past Saturday, it finally happened. The monstrosity was covered.
In high school, Kate and I were not really the closest friends. Or friends at all. We were people with overlapping friend groups who occasionally ran into each other. That’s not to say I didn’t think she wasn’t the coolest person alive- because I did. She could sing, she was confident, she was unique, and she knew how to party. We just never crossed paths in a way that would create a better friendship. But after graduation and over the years via social media we grew a little closer. I was still completely taken aback when she offered to pay for the cover up. We had never hung out before or anything, and here she was offering to help me with something that was making me ashamed of myself. I took her up on the offer.
It wasn’t until Saturday when we picked her up (we had to drive an hour and a half to her town) that I realized the strange bond we had. Kate hugged me and it was like we had been friends for a hundred years. For me, this was such a strange concept. I have always had a hard time making friends. I had the same tiny group of friends throughout high school and college, and after our falling out, I just had Brandon. On the car ride to my artist’s shop (another hour and fifteen minutes from her place) it was insane how much we “bonded”, if you want to use that term. Kate said something about how the best friends, and sometimes the closest friends, are the ones who you can go months without talking to and when you pick it back up, nothing has changed. We talked about everything on that drive, during the long 5 hours we were at the shop, and the drive back. It was like nothing had changed. No, it was like things changed for the better.
I was not nervous going into the tattoo. I have a lot of other ones, and the ones on my back hurt the least. No big deal. I hadn’t taken into consideration that when you get a cover up, you have to saturate the tattoo over and over again. Oh, and the whole tattoos hurt more the older you get. I never knew at the ripe age of 20 I would be on the verge of passing out because of a tattoo, but Lord, I was.
I should have known I was going to be in for a long ride when the outline itself hurt. Anyone with a tattoo knows the worst part is after you’ve taken a break and your skin settles and then you go back and start blasting it. I had that feeling, along with some pain I had never felt before, for the entire 4 and a half hours. I usually sit like a rock for my tattoos. I will talk and laugh. But with this; I was face down, biting my tongue, eyes squeezed tight, and my face was white. I’m sure that helped me focus on the pain only, but I couldn’t do anything but lie like that. It was like I had the worst sunburn of my life and he was digging into me with a knife over and over again. I had never felt that pain with a tattoo before, so it was shocking.
I only looked at the outline, and after that I didn’t want to see it until it was done. A few people would poke their head in and talk about how gorgeous it was looking, and Kate and Brandon were especially happy- they were like school kids every time they looked at my back.
When it was finally over, I could breathe. Then I looked at my back in the mirror. My ugly bird kitchen tattoo was no longer there. Instead was a beautiful piece by my favorite tattoo artist. There were colors I never would have imagined would be able to be a part of a cover up like mine. The tiny details blew me away, and still do. I don’t show my emotions well (plus I was exhausted from the tattoo), but I was so incredibly happy with the finished product. It was more than I could ever hoped for.
After the tattoo, we did our traditional Hardy’s run and took Kate home. We hung out there for a while and headed home. I am now 3 days into my recovery, and I have never felt this much discomfort from a tattoo before. I am sore, my skin is tight, and I can’t lift my arm or position it certain ways. But it was worth it. I have a tattoo that reminds me of gratitude, friendship, and love. The actual design has no significance or meaning for me other than that I like it. But the tattoo itself symbolizes a day I will never forget full of people I love.
Kate- thank you so much. I don’t know if I will ever be able to say it enough or express my feelings. I am really bad at showing how I feel in person, so I hope you know how blessed I am to have you in my life and to have you do something like this for me. It was the best gift I could ever receive. I have a new confidence, and that is all thanks to you. I can’t wait for it to be healed and on display in my wedding dress.
Brandon- thank you for being my taxi driver and my hand to hold. I won’t write a novel here because I would get entirely too carried away, but I love you. Thank you for everything you do and all you have done.
Brenton- you were the only person I trusted with this cover up. I have only gotten tattoos by you for almost three years. Your art continues to impress me, but what I enjoy the most about you is your dedication and friendliness. For all Ohio or non-Ohio people, Brenton owns and operates at a shop in Bucyrus, Ohio called The Tattoo Factory. He, Tori, and now Shannon are all great artists and are a great team. It is such a relaxing environment in there, and it’s always a good time.