In any case, I have resisted this mass move towards tattoos for many years. Partly because I couldn't think of anything I wanted but mostly because tattoos are freaking forever, and I have a hard time of thinking of anything that I am going to think is so cool I want it on my body not only now, but also at all future points in my life. When I was 18-20 it would have been a skull, for example. And how glad am I not to have a skull carved into my skin now? Very glad, indeed. But a few weeks back my Beloved asked me if, for our 15th anniversary, I'd get a tattoo with her. She already has a few (being much cooler than I am) and has in fact asked before. I've said no. This time, however, she had a very cool and moving idea in mind for joint tattoos that were representative of our lives together. Two things struck me here. One, I liked the idea and the art and, two, I had already made a far more serious and permanent commitment than a tattoo to this woman 15 years ago. Put in that context it was not such a horrible idea.
So now I do, in fact have a tattoo. It is a crow silhouette and it looks something like this:I have decided to spare you, dear readers, the sight of my hairy leg with ink etched into it. But this is the image I shamelessly stole off the web and had scratched into my skin. If by this you infer that this was a painful process, you are correct. Not agonizing, surprisingly enough, but painful. The trick is, the pain comes AFTER the tattoo. Nobody told me about that part. Everyone warns you that getting the tattoo hurts, but nobody warns you that afterwards it hurts lots more. After I got mine, my ankle swelled up as if I had an apple under my skin, right beneath the tattoo. And yes, I did follow all the directions about hourly washing and lotion (not too much lotion, mind you!) and so on. By the way, nobody told me about the hourly care routine either! Someone described the aftercare as being important because the tattoo is, essentially, an "open wound" until it heals. An open wound! NOBODY told me about that.
If these small rants lead you to conclude that ol' Shifter is a whiny bastard, you are correct! Not too whiny, though. I am still glad I got it, almost entirely because of the meaning it has between me and my wife. I also think it will look cool when it heals and no longer hurts. For now, looking at it just hurts. So if anyone reading this has NOT gotten a tattoo, please don't be deterred. Just be warned.