My Tattoo Experience

It was a cold December afternoon. Tuesday, December 6th to be exact. One of my best friends Grace, and I were walking in Greenwich Village, feeling a combination of nerves and excitement. What  was there to be nervous about? Greenwich Village is truly a fascinating place, rich with history and culture from the Beatnik days of yore. We weren’t nervous about any of that. We were on our way to have something done that quite frankly, the two of us were still in shock that we were doing. We were getting tattoos.

 

A little backstory is a must here. Grace and I met about five years ago via Instagram. She lives in the U.K and I live here (obviously). She posted something about looking for a pen pal and I answered the call. Through endless emails, Snapchats, Tweets, Instagram comments, etc, she and I became quite good friends. In fact, I consider her to be one of my best friends, despite only seeing each other in person twice. We met for the first time in Summer of 2015, when our families went to Florida together. Quite frankly, it was as if the stars aligned in that moment. She and I (along with the parents!) had talked and laughed as if we saw each other all the time, not just via screens. So, fast forward to this past December. Grace and I are roughly two weeks apart (birthday-wise) and we were both turning 21. She and her family were planning on coming to New York City to celebrate both her and my 21st birthday. In the months leading up to our long-awaited reunion, we were hatching an idea of our own. We wanted to get matching tattoos; a crescent moon to be exact. We had met over our mutual love of Stevie Nicks (aka our Queen) so we thought, why not honor the woman who made this friendship possible? Lets get matching crescent moon tattoos. For all the readers who are not as ‘Stevie-savvy’ as I (and Grace) are, I should explain the significance of the crescent moon. Stevie herself is never without a crescent moon pendant. She gives the women in her life, whom she is close to, matching crescent moon pendants (in either sterling silver or 24K gold). Therefore, they will forever be ‘Sisters of the Moon,’ an unbreakable bond of sisterhood held together through magic, love, light, and the mystical, yet fascinating force that is the moon itself. So when Grace and I were searching for our perfect Stevie tattoo, we decided upon the crescent moon. Therefore, we’d be ‘Sisters of the Moon,’ also.

 

So, we walk into the tattoo shop, West 4th to be exact. Immediately, we were welcomed and handed the necessary paperwork that needed to be filled out. Upon completion, we were told to help the girl at the reception area to properly select the outline of the crescent moon that we wanted. Once that was settled, it was our turn to go downstairs. All I can remember from that walk down was how incredibly nervous I was, and how short the ceiling was. So we get downstairs and the artist begins explaining the procedure to us. Grace and I were still incredibly nervous, but we were even more excited. I went first and sat down in the chair, surprisingly relaxed. I think once I took the initial step forward and admitted out loud that I was ready, I think all fear had subsided (although I still had to hold Grace’s hand!) I gave him my right arm and watched as he prepped my wrist. He wiped it down with an alcohol-type liquid, then shaved my wrist. To this day, I still don’t know why he shaved it. There is literally no hair there, nor has there ever been. But whatever, it’s proper protocol. He placed the sheet of paper on my wrist, containing the outline of the tattoo, sprayed something on the back of it, which allowed the ink to transfer into my skin. Once that was all set, he set up the tattoo gun, poured the ink and began the process.

 

I was hesitant to watch at first, and quite honestly, I was afraid I’d flinch upon the initial needle to flesh contact. However, I didn’t. I was surprised with how little pain I felt. Was it because getting a tattoo on your wrist really doesn’t hurt? Do I have a super-strong pain tolerance? Or (which I think is the most likely option) I anticipated it to feel like my arm was getting burned off, therefore, anything less than the searing pain I’d imagined was bearable? As I look back, the latter option seems fitting. I really only ‘felt’ what was happening when he went into the corners of the moon. But even that wasn’t that bad. In all honesty, the feeling was more annoying, rather than painful. I receive Botox injections somewhat regularly under my arms and that hurts more than my tattoo did (and the Botox isn’t even that bad either). Once I was done, mind you, the process took a little under five minutes, it was Grace’s turn. I was the designated hand-holder, like she had been for me, and the process repeated itself. Once we were both ‘inked,’ we were ecstatic. Finally, after months of planning and convincing parents, we were finally forever Sisters of the Moon.

The finished product:

 

 

This picture was taken right after the tattoos were complete. We were both still in shock and in utter surprise that the whole ordeal actually happened.

Basically, the whole point of my little story is this. If you’re thinking about getting a tattoo, just do it. For me, this is the only taboo I want, or that I have ever wanted. It has a meaning much deeper than the minimalistic crescent moon that is forever emblazoned on my right wrist. It symbolizes music, friendship, memories, Stevie Nicks, but it also carries another meaning. No matter where you are in the world, when you look to the night sky, everyone sees the same moon and the same stars. Now, quite literally, whenever Grace and I look up at the night sky, or down at our wrists, we are quite literally looking at the same moon. This proves that just because you don’t see a person every day, it doesn’t lessen the impact that they have had on your life.

 

She asked me

Be my sister,

Sister of the Moon.