I Got My First Tattoo On Impulse

“Fifty dollar tattoos!” is not something you hear very often. This summer, I was in New York, and I ended up somewhere in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I was mostly just there to look around and maybe do some shopping, but I couldn’t resist the temptation of a fifty dollar tat. Come on, only fifty bucks!

The people advertising the tattoos were standing outside a shopping center, in which Live By The Sword Tattoo was located. After I maneuvered my way to the shop, I flipped through the artists’ flash books for a bit. While some of the designs did catch my eye, none were just right. I have always wanted a tattoo, but choosing a design was always a little daunting. People always make it sound like such a huge deal. I have a dog, a little Shih-tzu and Yorkshire Terrier mix, named Snoopy. For a few months now, I have been considering getting a tattoo of the cartoon dog in his honor. I, quite impulsively, decided to just take the plunge and get it done, right then and there. 

I had to wait a while in line before I could get my tattoo, but I did not mind too much. When it was finally my turn, I sent my artist a reference photo and we chatted a bit while he drew. Surprisingly, I was not too nervous once I was actually in the chair, but I appreciated how chill and down-to-earth my artist was and how comfortable he made me feel. When I had decided on the size and placement of the design- on my ankle, so I could theoretically hide it- it was time to get tatted. 

My biggest concern was that the tattoo would hurt. I do not think of myself as having a very high pain tolerance and many articles that I had read online stated that the ankle was a relatively painful spot to get a tattoo. Somehow, though, it really did not hurt at all. I mainly felt pressure and vibration, but it did not sting or burn or anything of the sort. It was also a pretty small tattoo, only about an inch and a half tall, so it was a very quick process. My artist bandaged it up and sent me to the front desk to pay. It turned out to be more than $50, unfortunately. It was around $85, including tip. However, many other shops have minimums of $100, so my tattoo was still much cheaper than I probably could have gotten elsewhere. 

Everyone talks about getting your first tattoo like it is a life-changing experience. Since a tattoo is permanent, people tend to think it must be incredibly deep and meaningful, or else you will regret it. This might be true for some people, but I do not think there is anything wrong with getting something random tattooed. That is not to say I would get, say, a tattoo of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson on my thigh, but I definitely do not regret my Snoopy tattoo. It is cute and it reminds me of my dog at home. I do not see what I could possibly regret about that.