Although I was late to the trend, Jackie and I love tattoos. We talk about them constantly. We’ve even gotten them together (no, not shamrock-shaped tramp stamps after a night of binge drinking, although that would be funny ...ironically). On Jackie’s wrist is a star and the words “And It Came To Pass...” from her days of LiveJournal and screamo bands. Also, on her rib cage is an underwater scene from The Life Aquatic, her favorite movie, on her arm, the giving tree, on her back a magnolia tree, and on her feet, peacock feathers. On my right tricep is a cloud blowing win (to remind me to keep cool while sweating, which I do a lot), and on my left bicep, Bea Arthur’s face and the words, “Thank you for being a friend.” (If you want to know why I would get Bea Arthur’s face tattooed on my skin, here you go.)
With that said, we’re very careful with tattoos because, you know, it’s ink. In your skin. Until you die. So we take it pretty seriously.
Yes, I’m definitely careful about my tattoo choices...now. I do have a couple I regret, because impulsive behavior is a part of my charm. The previously mentioned star tattoo that my ex affectionately referred to as a “Good Charlotte Cum Target” and a teeny-tiny looks-like-a-sticker butterfly tattoo I got when I was 15 years old; I picked it off the wall in a tattoo shop for the sole purpose of pissing off my mom, which worked. My amazing tattoo artist, Fred Pinckard did a great job of covering it up, once again Jackie dodges the evil villain, consequence! I also have a tiny “compass star” tattoo on my ankle that is a three-way best friend tattoo with two of my oldest friends from summer camp. We were 18, had $100 between us, and a 15 year old boy with shaky hands tattooed us one after the other in seedy Lake George Village. Each tattoo got wobblier, and unfortunately, I was last. Instead of a compass star, it looks more like a fake bullet hole sticker that you see on the sides of old brown Cadillacs with hydraulics. I can never cover it though, I’d break Gina and Sophie’s hearts, so on the ankle it stays. M’eh, it’s a story.
Besides those mishaps, I love my tattoos. Each one represents a person or an event that has been important to my life (yes, even The Life Aquatic tattoo!) I got the magnolias on my back based on the tree that was in front of the house that I owned with my ex, and I got the tattoo done on the day that it sold. It was closure; that beautiful tree was the reason why I wanted to buy the house, and so it only made sense to take it with me when I left. There are stories for each of my tattoos, and they help me to remember. Plus, I just end up liking each body part more, after I tattoo it. I used to hate my feet, but now they remind me of nights with my best friend, spent sitting in the red-tinted light of beach parking lots listening to Belle and Sebastian, smoking cigarettes and looking at stars like the dramatic emo kids that we were.
Our small, close-knit group of friends have always wanted to get a friendship tattoo, but we’re so silo-ed in our own brains that it is impossible to agree on an image. I suggested a Polaroid of our favorite teenage haunt, the “secret beach,” and Eliot thought it was too cheesy. Eliot wants us all to get toothbrush tattoos, because back when we were 17 we proudly dubbed ourselves “The Toothbrush Kids” or “TBX” because we spent our nights boiling toothbrushes and bending them into bracelets, while all the normal kids were out losing their virginity or doing Ecstacy for the first time at the Smithhaven Mall. Late bloomers. Our friend Brian wants us all to get Muppet tattoos...? So, the whole friendship tattoo thing will probably never happen, but it’s still fun to get a group text message once in a while that just says “MT. RUSHMORE BUT IT’S OUR FACES!!!” or “What about just a string bean!?!?” -- Jackie
There’s a pretty classic list of tattoos that you probably shouldn’t get: The name of a significant other, Asian characters unless you know their actual meaning (Asian characters at all, really, unless you are Asian or they are actually significant to you in some way), Looney Tunes characters, barcodes, a band that you like now but probably won’t in 10 year . (Ask my boyfriend about his At The Drive In tattoo - Jackie)...You all know them, and some of you have them! So does Jackie, under other tattoos! We thought we’d help you out a little with our own special list of the top 25 tattoos you should never get (but if you do, send a picture!).
25. “Goddesses rule” in Papyrus font
24. A lyrical excerpt from “I’ll Be There For You” by The Rembrandts
23. Tweety Bird giving the finger and saying, “Suck my puddy tat!”
22. Barbed wire (unless you survived the Holocaust or something, in which case, AWESOME JOB!)
21. A martini glass
20. Chinese symbol for anything
19. A “Do Not Disturb” sign, right above your butt
18. Paw prints on your breasts, unless you are Eve
17. Yin Yang on fire
16. Anything culinary, because it’s cool if you cook for a living, but you don’t have to rub our faces in it, okay? We’ll eat your food.
15. A penis wearing antlers
14. A vagina wearing antlers
13. A picture of OJ Simpson next to the words “Fry O.J.” which, incidentally, was on a Pog that Jackie owned in sixth grade
12. “Just Breathe” in Papyrus font
11. Flower swastikas. Any swastikas, really.
10. A mustache on your finger
9. Jesus/Koi Fish
8. Anything 9/11-related
7. “I like big butts” in Comic Sans font
6. A photo-realistic portrait of any Real Housewife
5. One of those creepy, racist Mammy pepper shakers
4. The Facebook “Like” button
3. An homage to Scrubs
1. Anything at all in Papyrus font
In all seriousness, though, think before you ink! It’s with you forever, even if it’s covered under a Magnolia. Our consciences also want us to add: Before you get a tattoo, do your research and make sure the place you choose is safe, clean, and reputable. Always make the decision while sober, never impulsively, and always have your artist draw your tattoo instead of picking one off of the wall; it’s part of the process, and it makes it your own!