I had SEVERAL people email and text me today regarding the tattoo post from yesterday. MOST wanted to know why (the hell) I got a tattoo to begin with. Others, very kindly, reminded me that it could be worse (in terms of size, location and subject matter) and still others thanked me--profusely--for sharing the story of the pain in hopes of helping others NOT go there.
So, why did I get (a ridiculous 6"x4", four-color, CRAZY) tattoo? Well, honestly, everyone was doing it! And, at the same time, I was dipping my foot in the (beautiful) pool of independence. It was not even a month after I left my marriage...and a bunch of the kids from the college group were heading over to get a tattoo. Feeling young, free and knowing that I was able to make my own decision for the first time in my life...I gladly designed something up real quickly, borrowed $200 and tagged along with the group. I was the first one to pull up my tee shirt, pulled down my jeans and let them have at it.
I will say I liked it for a few months, but within a year, I was looking into getting it removed. The first estimate for removal was $4000. I decided to go to Europe for three weeks (and take the tattoo with me) instead. I lived with it for another couple of years before I took the plunge and started the removal process. It cost me $2800--more than TEN TIMES the amount of the original tattoo. And, of course three years of treatments...and we're still going on that.
And YES oh YES...it could be SO much worse! I am so grateful that it is in a spot that very few people have to see! I am thankful that it is not on my arm or leg or somewhere that I would have to keep covered at work as Montage, in general, is not a big fan of tattoos.
I have asked the nurses at Dr. Tattoff if there is anything else they can suggest to help speed up the process...unfortunately, the only thing they can come up with is having another tattoo inked over this one at this point. (Are you f*cking kidding me?!)
I know that people LOVE their tattoos...but I never really did. I share the removal experience so that people can understand that, though it is an option when you are tired of your tattoo, it is certainly not easy. Or cheap. Or pain free. And it will take YEARS.
Think before you ink. If you really LOVE something--buy the tee shirt or paint a picture of it on a wall. That way--IF you ever get tired of it--or have a job where they are not as fond of it as you are--you can get rid of it quickly.
For me, at this point, getting rid of the tattoo is a QUEST! I eagerly go back each time now knowing it's faded just a little bit more, but I don't sit in the waiting room with the brand new patients anymore. I don't have the heart to tell them of the time and money that I have spent and the pain I have experienced there. They will find out soon enough.
By the way, I have NEVER been there when the waiting room is not packed.
I call it the room of regret. And I can't wait til I never have to go back.