The Daily Aztec

Kid tattooed, mother didn’t approve

by Nick Knott, Entertainment Editor

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You can’t always please mom, even if you get a tattoo.

I was 21 when I got my first tattoo. Three years ago I had just received news that I had been accepted to San Diego State as a transfer student. Being that it was the middle of the week, and I had nobody to celebrate the glorious news with, I decided to treat myself to a tattoo.

Being a tattoo virgin at the time, I had so many questions. What do I get? Where do I get it? Where do I place it one me? How much is it going to cost? How much is it going to hurt?

I had watched plenty of Miami Ink, so clearly I was a home-school tattoo expert. But the countless hours I spent online researching tattoo designs, shops and artists quickly proved to me that you just couldn’t learn about an art form from watching reality television.

Fortunately I had a coworker who also worked at a tattoo shop downtown. The decision became clear as to where I was going to go to get ink jabbed into me with needles.

The shop was walking distance from the community college I was attending downtown, so in between classes I meandered on over to the shop. I was greeted by hand drawn flash all over the walls and of course, my buddy who worked there.

Since I was an even more broke college student than I am now, I was looking to spend the minimal amount and still get a quality tattoo that I liked. I pitched my idea to the artist and the very next week I was nervously sitting in the chair waiting for the needles to carve up my skin.

“I wish you would’ve came to us earlier so you could’ve got something we all liked.””

— Mrs. Knott

I did not know what to expect as far as the pain goes. I have never broken a bone, never been in a fight nor ever had any sort of insane bodily harm. Getting the tattoo was going to be a test of sorts, granted not a hard test because I was getting the artwork jabbed into the side of my leg – almost a copout to the pain.

In less than an hour I had my first tattoo. I was incredibly happy. However, getting the tattoo was the easy part. Deciding whether to hide it from my old-school parents or be upfront and tell them I got a tattoo was the hard part.

Society as a whole has become more accepting of visible tattoos, but my parents’ beliefs are very hit and miss when it comes to social norms. Considering that we live in San Diego and I was bound to wear shorts very soon, I decided to go ahead and tell my parents what the deal was. My mother’s reaction was nothing like I expected.

“Oh,” she said. “I wish you would’ve came to us earlier so you could’ve got something we all liked.”

Yes, because I want to compromise my liking of the art going on my body so that my mother can be happy. I’m not normally speechless, but at that point in time that was a comment from my mother I had not prepared for.

Soon there after my mother was thinking about getting a tattoo as well, and I was on board. When the time came to think of designs we pondered many and the one where my mother landed was a barbed wire armband tattoo. Thankfully I was there so we could establish a tattoo for mom that every one would enjoy.

Since she was upset that she was not there for the consltation on my tattoo, I felt that it was necessary for me to give her the same input. I don’t think any 20-something is ready for their parent to be walking around sporting an barbedwire armband tattoo.

So, I said no armbands. And that was that.

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