When I was 17, I got the ultimate anti-badass tattoo. While some cool rebel chicks get meaningful tats on their arms or other places where they have a chance of being seen, I was never that carefree or cool. There were going to be jobs to interview for and possibly conservative future in-laws I needed to meet and my own conservative father to think of -- who I knew would have wept if he had to walk me down the aisle one day with a Tweety Bird tattoo on my shoulder.
So I wimped out and got a small black sun on my foot. Only, being 17 and broke, I didn't exactly go to the most reputable place in the city. I believe the words "rinky dink" could describe the tattoo parlor I visited. The word "icky" could describe my much-older male tattoo artist, who didn't bother checking my ID and sort of rubbed my ankle while inking me. And the words "horrendously ugly" fit the tattoo I don't want to live with but can't decide if I want to live apart from.
There's a good reason why teens shouldn't be allowed to get tattoos: it's almost 100 percent certain they'll get something incredibly stupid. My tattoo almost ended up being a rendition of something I used to draw in my notebook over and over again: a half sun, half moon -- the sun had a smile and long eyelashes, and the moon was frowning and had one lone teardrop falling down its face.
The thing I ended up with was chosen quickly from a book and looks more like a squashed spider than a sun. I had it placed on my foot because, as I mentioned before, I was never the kind of girl who lived for the moment and couldn't picture cashing in on my 401(k) and playing with my grandkids with a tat in a visible place.
So, what's the big deal, you may ask? You can't even see the thing. But I can. When I wear sandals and ladylike pencil skirts, it stands out like a sore ... well, foot, I guess. When I got married, I purposely shopped for shoes that would hide it -- which limited my options. Did I mention my toddler daughter constantly tries to peel it off because she confuses it with one of her (badly drawn) stickers?
My husband and I were recently hanging out on our couch and I was barefoot. I noticed him staring at my foot for a long time before he pointed out that my tattoo wasn't even centered on my foot.
Oh for the love of God.
I could get it removed. It would probably cost, what, $1,000? That's a lot of money, but if I really hate it, it might be worth the price. But something inside of me keeps me from looking into the laser option. My dumb tattoo is a reminder of a time when I was kind of dumb. It isn't significant, but I almost feel like it's a badge I earned from a time in my life that I wouldn't want to relive but get a kick thinking about at times.
Plus, if there's ever a way I'm going to keep my daughter from making a similar mistake, this is it. Squashed spider on mommy's foot = I'll just color my hair purple instead.
Do you have a tattoo that you hate or love?
Image via Lisa Fogarty