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Magic 8 Ball Had the Answer

If you would have asked me two years ago, I would have told you that there was no way I would EVER get a tattoo. I thought that I had such a low tolerance for pain. I was afraid to do little things, like give blood, so the thought of getting a tattoo was the farthest thing from my mind.

Well, about a year ago, one of my sisters' friends got a tattoo for her 18th birthday...a little shooting star on her shoulder. Well, after my sister told me that, I wanted a tattoo so bad! Suddenly, the pain didn't seem that big of an issue. I would spend hours on the computer getting ideas. I decided that I wanted either a cross, something involving music, or an angel because that is what my name means.

I would have my ups and downs about getting a tattoo. Some days I couldn't wait till I had money so I could go after work and get one done. Then, there were times I would see someone at the grocery store who had a tattoo that turned out badly and it would scare me off. There also was that mom factor who didn't want me spending money on that till I had paid my part of my college tuition. So the tattoo went on the back burner.

Well on May 28, 2001 my family went on vacation to Germany with a tour group from my old high school, but because of lack of spots, I was left home by myself while my family went romping around Europe. They were going to be gone till June 8. On the morning of June 7th, I woke up and had nothing to do that day. It just clicked. I said to myself, "I am going to get a tattoo today!" I even asked my magic 8 ball, "Will I get a tattoo today?" and it responded with, "All signs point to yes"!

It was almost like an out of body experience, because I don't know how I actually drove myself there without any moral support. My sister always said she would go with me, but she wasn't there. I drove by a tattoo parlor that I had checked out on the internet, but it was really busy, and if I had to wait, and if I had an audience, I know I would have chickened out, so I went to another one. This one was small, nothing like the previous one. There was one woman in getting something done on her arm when I first got there. He said it would be a half hour so I left and came back. I went home and got a little something to eat, and get my money. I was nervous then for the first time. It was kinda like getting over your fear to go on a scary amusement park ride. A half hour later I went in and he was ready for me to tell him what I wanted.

I went with my first instinct and went with music. I told him I wanted two music notes, a quarter note and an eighth note, and a treble clef. I was a bit nervous when he asked, "What is a treble clef, that S thing?" I told him yes, and he went to sketch some stuff. He came back with a drawing that had a treble clef, about 2" long, accompanied by the two little music notes. It was perfect. He put the transfer image on my left shoulder and told me to go look in the mirror. It was exactly where I wanted it to be. I came back and sat in the chair.

At that point I was totally calm. I don't know what had come over me, but I felt no fear. He got the needles and opened it right in front of me, and it didn't phase me a bit. He got all the stuff ready and started the machine. It was louder then I thought. When he started, I was totally amazed. I couldn't believe that I had spent so many years afraid of that. It wasn't how I have heard people describe like a razor blade cutting into my skin. There wasn't much coloring in that needed to be done, so he used the same needle to do the coloring as he did with the outline. That was the only time that it was at all discomforting.

The whole process from starting paperwork to aftercare instructions only took about 45 minutes. I was also really grateful that I was able to get in and get started so quick. It gave me no time to chicken out. I went to a Walgreen's that one of my best friends works at to show him my new tattoo and to buy my medicine. I came home and was so happy that I had finally gotten it done.

The next step was my family! They were coming home from Germany the next day, and it wasn't until then that I was totally scared about what my mom and dad would say. My Magic 8 Ball couldn't even help me. My mom called the next day when they got to the airport in Atlanta. (I live in St. Louis) I decided to break the news to her then. I said, "Guess what I did" followed by nervous laughter. She knew right away. She said, "You got a tattoo didn't you?" She took it very well because it was cute and not that big. She also is a musician so the music note thing helped! She went and told my dad and almost everyone else on the plane!

4 hours later I went to the airport to pick them up and all of the other people that my family went with were asking me to show it to them and I did not hear one bad comment. They just told me it is custom for kids to get tattoos when THEY go out of town. I just figured it was my gift to myself for not getting to go on vacation! I plan on getting an Angel and a cross still, but I think I will wait till I move into my new apartment 2 months from now! I do not regret it for a minute, and maybe I will even talk my sister into getting one!

-Angela

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