So friends, let’s talk about this reckless thing I did when I was 18.
My tattoos were extra edgy because I drew them myself. Yeah-ha! How do you like them apples?
You see, I was invincible. I was invincible and I was going to be Angelina Jolie when I grew up. When you’re studying to be Angelina Jolie, well, a mandatory credit in ugly, poorly rendered and blushingly cliche tattoos applies in every and all a case. She of Luscious Lips was festooned with tribal dragons, names of exes, brooding Latin phraseology, and other such indelible road rashes born of adolescent bike wrecks.
She of Luscious Lips also has oodles of dollars, which were utilized with a swiftness of sense when it came time to be a functional, non-angsty adult** and lose the ex’s names and shaky shadows of mythical reptiles.
My dollars, however, did not total into the oodles when I began to realize that my tribal, flaming birds and tribal tramp stamp and tribal blue flames and stenciled phrases that meant nothing and sounded cool for the five minutes I took to consider them before slapping them all over my body had been a tragic adventure in miscalculation.
My dollars still do not total into the oodles but at least these days I am able to go for the treatments – the many, many, painful, torturous treatments – to have them slowly removed. Sometimes Blue Eyes even gives me a gift certificate for another skin-scorching laser session. What a guy!
There’s this shiny new tattoo removal technology called a PicoSure laser. It breaks the ink into smaller particles so that it may be more easily shoveled up and carted away by my immune system.
It’s also much more expensive.
You don’t say!
This meant I only attacked the birds on my hips for this session (you can see the small black spots between the birds that used to be a trite, handwritten quote in a language that means nothing to me – that one is almost gone, glory). Wanted to see what all the fuss (and extra money) was about before going all in. Plus, it makes things like sleeping and wearing clothes righteously miserable when you’re sporting a corset of wrap-around burns. I tried that once. My husband (then boyfriend) had to dress and sponge bathe me for a week. It wasn’t as sexy as it sounds.
I did take photos, of course, however, the nurses thought I was a rather large weirdo for asking them to take pictures at all, so I imagine the big, obnoxious Canon would have been ill-received. Please pardon the iPhone shots.
Let the singeing begin!
Yep! I’m good! Feels fantastic! Zesty, even! (Ow…)
The next day I awoke to some, uh, startling swelling.
It lasted several days. It got to the point that I felt ashamed while showering with my husband. There are some places you just don’t want to swell. And those places? They swelled. He made me feel better by cracking a joke about my seeing him in a few weeks “with giant elephant balls”. It made me laugh. Still makes me laugh.
As the days went, so too did the blisters and the anatomy of triple size.
In a few weeks I’m supposed to go back to Ideal Image and get another treatment. I’m not excited about it.
I am however, excited about seeing what my body looks like under all of this pesky teen angst.
And here is the result, as of today at 10:27 EST.
Remember kids, think before you ink.
**Please, don’t be offended. I realize that some of you got your tribals and still love the heck out of them. My brother is one of you. The man’s got sleeves and zombies and skydivers and birds and he is loud and proud. I think for some, tattoos just no longer feel like “us”. The person I am at 32 only distantly recalls the person I was at 18. I think it’s better that way. Unfortunately, these tattoos are part of that lost 18-year-old and I’d rather not carry them with me any longer.
Plus my husband thinks they’re hideous. And yes, I started removing them four full years before I met him, so this was a decision I made that he is happily on board with. To the point he gives me removal certificates for special occasions. And I’m not sad about it.