Thursday, June 13, 2013

Tattoo Time

Before going in-does he look nervous?
For several months before leaving Australia, Zack was talking about wanting a tattoo. Now, neither of us had/have any tattoos, and I didn't think he (or I) would ever get one. I wasn't against the idea of him getting one, provided the location was inconspicuous and the design was personal and meaningful. I just didn't want him to do something he'd regret later. After much research, many vetoed ideas ("A koi fish sleeve, really dear?"), and several drafted designs, Zack had a good plan, and I accompanied him to the tattoo parlor about a week before we left the country.

Are you ready for this, Zack?!

When we first arrived, the guy tried to draw the design Zack was asking for and kept getting it wrong. Finally, another girl took over and drew exactly what he was looking for. After sticking the temporary tattoo drawing on his upper right back so she could trace the lines, he was ready to go. Zack said the process was really only painful at the beginning and then again at the end when the girl went back over some lines. He put in some headphones and listened to hard rock music the whole time she was working; it took about half an hour.

I actually expected the whole process to be a lot bloodier. It was more like an oozy sore, such as when you skin your knee. The girl would do a small portion of the line or shading in either black or gray ink and then wipe away the blood and extra ink smears with the rag. The tattoo gun sounded kind of like a dental drill or an electric hair clipper. It was fascinating to watch her work.

Red because it was newly finished.
The design Zack chose was the New Zealand koru symbol. This spiral shape is based on the unfurling fern frond, and it symbolizes new life, growth, strength, and peace. Our trip to New Zealand was his favorite from our time abroad, and this seemed like a good way to remember our two years in the Southern Hemisphere as well as look forward to our "new life" back in the United States. I think he made a good choice! And if I wasn't a chicken, I might have gotten a tiny little outline of Australia on my inner ankle. But I was (am) too scared of the pain!

Happily, Zack still likes his tattoo (and so do I). It's a happy reminder of the great time we had down under!