Am I Too Old Of A Fart To Get My First Tattoo?

The good news is, I've thought about the design for a while, so I feel pretty confident; the bad news is, my boobs aren't as perky as they were 10 years ago. I'm not getting the tattoo on my boobs, but still.
Publish date:
March 20, 2013
aging, tattoos, body modification

I’ve historically been tardy to the body modification party.

Half my female friends had their ears pierced by doctors when they were infants; the other half had them done at the mall by the time they started middle school. My father, however, forbade me from getting my ears pierced--he’s not conservative, just skeeved out by the idea.

My Aunt Jane (no relation to Jane Pratt, because that’s not how names work) finally took me to get my ears pierced at Claire’s when I was 17, pretending to be my mother, signing away my ear virginity.

I feel like I’m on a similarly delayed schedule with tattoos. I realize tattoos aren’t as much of a rite of passage as pierced ears are, but I’ve been thinking about getting a couple for years.

The thing is, a few years ago, it seemed… I don’t know… more age-appropriate? I’m turning 34 next month, and even though the tattoo designs I want aren’t intrinsically juvenile, I kind of feel like I’m past the prime first-tattoo age range, whatever that is. [You know how people say a tattoo will look bad when you're 80? That's one reason I like the idea of getting my first tattoo when I'm 80. Feel free to tell me why that's a bad idea. --Jane]

Dad isn’t down with tattoos either, by the way. (Shocking.) He hasn’t used the “Jews shouldn’t get tattoos” argument on me in over a decade since we’ve both evolved into agnostics; it’s just the whole doesn’t-like-how-it-looks, what-if-you-regret-it thing. But he had to get a small dot tattooed on his neck when he was getting radiation treatments for throat cancer a few years ago, so even if I’d been considering his opinion, it’s no longer valid. (Cancer: invalidating opinions since 2010.)

Anyway, I’ve put a lot of thought into what I want: Robert G. Ingersoll’s signature on my right wrist, and Bertrand Russell’s signature on the left. Small, simple, personally meaningful.

Annie has just informed me that wrist tattoos are tacky, but I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that.

Aside from a little nervousness about the possibility of regret, the only thing keeping me from booking an appointment is my self-consciousness about my age.

Is 34 still "young enough" to get a first tattoo(s), or am I old enough for that to seem like I’m desperately pawing at what’s left of my youth?

When did you get your first tattoo? ARE wrist tattoos tacky? Should I just get an XO on the inside of my finger like Olivia?