Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Under-tattooed in Boston

Photo from

“¿Está llevando una camiseta?” I asked Izzy.
“No creo.” He answered.

After careful inspection, the bartender was not wearing a batik t-shirt but she was wearing a black tank top and the whole upper part of her body and arms were tattooed like a batik in black ink.  I found the tattoos quite lovely, as they weren’t filled in with all of the colors.  I have a tattoo that is well hidden that I got when I was 19 with one of my best friends and mine isn’t looking as peachy as it did when I first got it so when I saw the bartender’s intricate body design, I kept thinking to myself, “How is that going to look in 20 years?”

I remember when I got my tattoo; my friend and I felt like we were on a mission.  We got into my mom’s red convertible Miata, we blared the music, giggling the entire ride, as we followed our buddy who led the way on his motorcycle to Tony’s tattoo parlor.  Our friend convinced us that Tony was the best tattoo artist around and that his needles were “new”.  That didn’t even phase us.

We felt like the ultimate rebels, like we were the coolest of cool.  Her brother designed our tattoos to fit perfectly on the left side where the bikini covered it.  We decided not to go with the right side just in case we had to have our appendix out.  Good thinking for two 19 years olds at a tattoo parlor!!  She made me get mine first.  We each paid Tony the $70 in single dollars, tip money, and off we went back to work.  That summer, we worked at a snack bar and couldn’t wait to show our new body art to our co-workers.  They weren’t half as thrilled as we were.    

I sometimes forget that I have a tattoo and when I catch a quick glimpse in the mirror, I do a double take and then I chuckle.  My tattoo is of a blue moon with stars and Saturn (that’s my planet and I figured you only get a tattoo once in a blue moon, the stars were an added bonus).  Once again, great thinking for a 19 year old!  My friend’s tattoo is of a sunflower that her parents to this day believe she paints it on herself every day!  Any mother of three would know that there is no way she would have time to paint a tattoo on herself everyday!    

I don’t regret getting the tattoo: It is a marker of time and friendship, rebelliousness, recklessness, plain permanent fun.  I do regret that my sister was worried that Big Al would freak out so she got a little heart tattooed on her butt!

Per usual, I did a survey about tattoos.  I, personally, have mixed feelings about tattoos.  I have always thought that tattoos are thought provoking; they always make me wonder what it means to the person and I also think that my take on tattoos depends on my given mood: I like them, hate them, love them, find them gross, etc.  My dear friend Joanna has a small Native American turtle on her ankle.  She says that Indians of the Eastern Woodlands believed that the world was created on the back of a turtle.  She claims that tattoos are very personal, which they are and if you get one it should be “small and something meaningful”.  

I have a couple of friends who aren’t fans and especially not of all over the body tattoos.  One of them respects everyone's right to decorate their own body as they see fit.  She adds,

“Of course, I think tattoos all over the body are a little much, and people should put them in places where they can hide them because there are times and places where tattoos are not appropriate.

PS I think people who put their initials or names on their bodies are stupid”!

One friend has 7 tattoos on various body parts!  She likes tattoos and thinks the opposite of my other friend and thinks that all over the body tattoos “can be sexy!”

My other friend who isn’t a fan thinks that they look better on darker skin as they look “very greeny on aged white skin” says, “I also don’t think tattoos go with everything i.e. a ball gown + a tattoo looks really tacky.”

Every time my husband and I enjoy a frosty beverage at a bar or eat at a restaurant, we feel under-tattooed.  I have seen a bartender with New Jersey tattooed behind his ear.  I find it fascinating.  Wouldn’t that hurt like hell?  I think that I have seen more tattooed people here in Boston then I have ever seen in my life.  Through my exploration of the city, I have noticed that there aren’t as many tattoo parlors here as there are in Vallecas and the few that I have seen look sketchy from the outside.

I am pretty sure that I would never get another tattoo not to mention that Fruitcake would have a heart attack if I did as he constantly reminds me of the amount of mercury, carbon and numerous other toxins that enter the blood stream with a tattoo. 

If you are heading to Boston and want to have the tattooed look, I recommend going temporary.  Temporary tattoos can be found every where and if you are looking for the ones that are a bit more dynamic then the ones found in a box of Cracker Jacks, according to, Swissmiss launched a new line.  If you want to get even more sophisticated, Chanel has temporary tattoos or you can order Henna tattoos at   

If you plan on heading to Boston and want a real tattoo, you can head to the 10th Annual Boston Tattoo Convention being held September 2-5 and get one there!

Kat Von D - I loved her tattoo show!


Katie said...


legally delish said...

I never did the tattoo thing. I went the piercing route (before every teen in America had a hole in some part of their face that looks like it shouldn't be piercable). I took my pain in much shorter doses :)

Do I know the friend with the sunflower? I'd say her parents are ridiculous, but it took mine 2 years to figure out there was a barbell in my tongue.