Originally posted 2015-07-27 23:57:20.
I’ve wanted a charm bracelet tattoo for decades now.
There were always certain ‘charms’ that I was sure I wanted – the T.A.R.D.I.S., a daisy, a book, and a butterfly, and a few others, though there were several – roughly five – that were always in flux. Last year, whilst in the middle of trying to make ends meet, I figured that designing it would be a fun task, and something I could look forward to someday achieving.
From L-R: ally rainbow/wifi symbol, quill & ink, mug of earl grey tea, minimalist giraffe, book (though it should be The Hobbit to be exact, but LotR fit better on the paper), a Browncoat (Firefly) Awareness Ribbon inside of a midnight blue Colon Cancer Awareness Ribbon (to signify my [then] fiance, [now] husband’s cancer*), Star Trek insignia, a butterfly, the T.A.R.D.I.S., a compass (I’ve never really had a “home” per say, and as such, I never feel like I fit… endlessly searching the globe for where I might be happy and stable), atheist/humanist symbol, a daisy (my favourite flower), and paw prints inside of a paw print.
* The hubs was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in October 2013 – just after we had started seriously discussing our future together. In November 2013, he started oxcaliplatin and chemotherapy, which he continued for several months. He joked that he felt like an Ood because of the equipment that he had to carry around with him that pushed chemotherapy into his body via a port under his chest in bi-weekly doses.
Long story short, after another round of treatments (radiation and chemotherapy), he had a host of medical hoops to jump through, including a bariatric surgery, the actual cancer surgery – November 2014, and a reversal surgery (January 25, 2015) for what they had to do during the cancer surgery… needless to say, it’s been a trying two years for us emotionally, and physically for him. He has been pronounced cancer free. Most of the GMMC never learned of this, though a few, including our amazing Wonder Woman, were immense support through some of the harder moments.
We have a lot to be thankful for, and through it all, he kept his sense of humour. We’ve faced more hardship than a lot of couples see in their entire relationships. Now, when something happens in our life, we can discuss it with the proper… weight attached. Is it as bad as being homeless? Penniless? Dealing with cancer and still going to work? Being separated from one another during the difficult times? No? Well, we can certainly muddle through this minor obstacle life has thrown at us.*
But this is about the tattoo… though I have to say, I’m glad I got that out though. Not that I was lying to you by not sharing it, rather it was something that had been lingering and I was trying to figure out how to incorporate it with the proper (don’t want to give cancer ‘respect’ per say)… emphasis and tone. Now that it’s out, it won’t be pushing on the wings of the stage, demanding the attention it should have garnered in my origin story.
While I was still sick and not enjoying my first few weeks here on the Island, as I mentioned last week, I had started to look for good tattoo shops. I really wanted Ami James or someone I admire do my actual tattoo, like the ones they create on television/Netflix, and knew that he (Ami) has a shop in Manhattan somewhere.
But… that meant walking.
A lot. UGH. No.
Come on! Can’t I just get a taxi from the apartment door? Or better yet: why not have them just come to me! YAY! Delusionalpixie was clearly feeling the effects of being stuck indoors with not enough fresh oxygen to the brain.
Google Maps instead directed my attention (with my request) to see the Staten Island tattoo shop
options. What’s this? Bound for Glory? Hmmmmm…. it’s showing some pretty decent reviews. So I emailed them, and communicated with the shop owner (Nick Caruso – who is friends with one of those celebrity tattoo artists I greatly admire – Oliver Peck – totally name dropping, but if you know anything about tattoos, you know he’s one of the greats!), and over the last few months, I’ve had a chance to peruse the shop’s artists’ art/tattoo portfolios, and really grow excited about the potential for a tattoo with one of the skin canvas artists. Since I didn’t have a phone to call and set any appointment, I asked the hubs if he would see about any openings for tattoos. He called on July 17th, and set the consult time for 12pm the next day – just when the shop was opening for the day.
Day 48 of my #100days arrived, and I had asked him (my cute boy) if he would come with me to check the tattoo parlour out, while I set the deposit for the charm bracelet. I took my idea for a tattoo with me, and we wandered down to the bus stop, waiting to catch the #44 bus. Little did I know, we would be going for a bit of an uphill hike when we hopped off the bus, but at least I knew the direction. The heat and uphill combine to make me one wornpixie, but once I’m on a flat surface, I can keep going easily.
The guys were literally just unlocking the front door when we arrived… and we stepped inside to the “aaaaaaaaah” of the air conditioner, and “Hey guys, how can we help you?”
Twenty minutes later, I was silently pouting.
*cry cry cry* I has a sad.
The charm bracelet: my links to the past and the present… were not only ill advised, I had been told
that I *might* be able to have one or two charms at max on my wrist, but any more than that and they wouldn’t look decent, let alone legible or lasting… Fine. I’ll figure out which three I can … yeah, I heard ya… *pout*… one or two… *cry cry cry* again.
Simmering in my sadness stew, I was booked in for Monday (July 20 – #day50) at 6pm, at which time Dave Borjes would take care of my tattoo needs.
We headed out of the shop, and decided we should at least grab something to eat for lunch – where I silently pouted over a chicken burger and sweet potato fries while the waiter apologised for the hundredth time for my dirty fork I had asked a replacement for – and ceiling tiles that drove my OCD crazy (be glad my old mobile is dead and I’m not sharing that pic with you… *left eye begins to twitch*) – no one should do that with a square A/C cover and square tiles. You know what? I’m thinking Google won’t let me down…. I heart you, Google Images!!!
((I think there should be some sort of law about it… how is this not a treasonous offense? I mean, really!? If you can tell that one is askew by an inch or five, can you not drive everyone crazy in the future and just fix it while you are installing…? Oh… right; focus, Sera.))
*See? I can get very easily sidetracked, especially when I was reliving a moment.*
Ended up grabbing a cell phone (Yay! Finally I’m connected to the world again! I won’t feel so lonely and detached if I need assistance or anything!) before we headed home that day in the extreme heat. I was so glad to be enjoying those fans when we got home!
*To date, there are roughly 5 people that have the number so far, but it’s that sense of being able to call if I need to that is important. Especially considering the amount of situations I would have already used it for, had I had one. It’s also probably a good thing I didn’t at first, or I’d have called a cab several times to cart my lazy butt home from somewhere when I was first starting out with the walks.*
The next day, July 19th was brutal for heat and humidity here on Staten Island. I walked less than 1,000 steps all day. If someone would have shown up to fill the tub full of ice water for me, I would have slept in it.
I forgot how lazy you feel when you don’t move around though. I felt like a blob again, and it was only made worse by the fact that I was sure I had melted at least a dozen or so times.
The fact was, I wanted thirteen charms; not two, and definitely NOT one. I realised three things while I was trying to get into the mindset of not having my way with the charm bracelet tattoo I had always wanted.
i) I shouldn’t be so rigid on the idea – considering the fact that the tattoo artists know what they were talking about – this is their job, and though it’s permanent on my body, if they don’t think it will be a viable or happy outcome for me, they are in all actuality thinking of my needs and expectations. They want a good outcome as well. This is their livelihood, so it would stand to reason that they wouldn’t be purposely trying to annoy or frustrate clients. They did have my best desires at heart. It means return business if I am satisfied, not to mention the word of mouth I can spread – especially in this social-media driven era.
ii) I couldn’t even solidify what thirteen items I really wanted, so what was I really being so inflexible about? I was still getting a tattoo, I just wasn’t getting one that would look horrendous.
iii) I had a ton of other ideas that I wanted to put on my body… deal with it, lil Mrs. Poutypixie and just accept the fact it’s done; you’re not getting what you want, because your wrist isn’t the size of your back (and that’s something to be happy about – that there ISN’T enough space to do everything…), so it only stands to reason I should figure out a new option.
I spent the entire morning, and part of the afternoon redesigning my tattoo idea. I still have the Doctor Who part in there, and my “link to the past” so to speak. It was MY motto. As soon as I got past the initial ‘boo hoo me’ phase, I was rarin’ to go! I became so excited, tearin’ through graph papers, trying to come up with concepts, completely forgetting I had programs on my laptop that would have made the process so much faster than using compasses and pencils and rulers and maths and…. then I got frustrated, because the circles weren’t lining up properly for me on the page, and I almost scrapped the idea completely. But a thought came to me then… perhaps there’s an online generator for Gallifreyan text! Or better yet, an app on my mobile I can email to myself!
I toyed with a few different mottos and slogans, but kept coming back to the main one. The one that always fits. The one I feel comforted by, even in the worst times. Not only was it the truth, it was how I had survived so much of my life. Hoping and needing a better tomorrow. I don’t need the world to know what it means at a glance, I just need to know for myself. And I knew I needed it close to my heart, as it was metaphorically my shield and protector. Once I found the app on Google Play store, I had the starting point. I fixed the line work, removed the cut outs, and smiled. And then cried. Happy pixie tears. It was right. It was… perfect.
July 20th arrived. Hubs got off work early, grabbed a few rolls of film, and we headed down to a different bus stop, walked to the shop, and I emailed the new idea to them once I arrived, because I had completely forgotten to share that change with my soon-to-be-tattooer. I was really hoping he wasn’t going to get tiffy that I wasn’t going to go ahead with the charm bracelet. Great, I’ve now just become the annoying customer of the day who can’t decide what I want.
This hulking behemoth of a man walks through the saloon doors in the shop, and comes to shake my hand gently and welcome me and the hubs to the shop officially.
Wow! That was certainly a nice touch. And that smile was endearing. Okay, Mr. Gentle Giant, you’ve got my attention. Now please don’t yell at me when you find out I changed my mind…
He introduces himself, Dave, and proceeds to inquire, with what I can only surmise is his tone of I really don’t want to do this, please don’t make me do something we’ll both regret, “So, which wrist… were you wanting your… charm… bracelet?”
“I changed my mind. I hope that’s okay. I…” I start.
His look is one of a child who *thinks* they might have just found out they aren’t getting socks for their birthday, but … “Oh! What did you have in mind?” His tone is amusing for a man his size, and I giggle.
“I emailed the shop about 5 minutes ago, though if we could maybe add one thing to the outer ring…”
He is definitely curious, and heads over to the shop’s computer. “Oh cool! What is this?” He is really getting into this now… *phew*
“It’s Gallifreyan text. From Doctor Who. I’m a geeky girl.” (Note: this is said with a massive dose of pride in my tone by the way. I wear that as a badge of honour.)
“Oh, Nick knows that stuff. I think he did…” Dave trails off for a second, “…a Bad Wolf or something a few weeks ago? No clue.”
I do a little “maybe she has to pee” dance of excitement at the mere mention of Bad Wolf, but I bring myself back to reality. Focus, Sera!!
“So, what were you wanting around the outside? Oh, and where were you wanting this? You’ll lose a lot of detail if we have to shrink this to fit your wrist…” Dave says, his tone turning sombre.
“I was hoping to get it on my left upper arm, so you shouldn’t have to shrink it much more than it is right there, but if we could maybe put a steampunk gear around the outside?” I bite my lower lip, preparing for the “nope, sorry, there’s not enough room.”
*Breathe, Sera, breathe. You’re not the first person in history to get a tattoo that you want…*
“Definitely! Take your time! We’ll be here!”
(You should see how awkward I am when I was flirting with the hubs! I’m a mess.)
I’ll skip the finer details of the actual tattoo experience – though I will point out that he did say that I am the best client who has ever sat for him before. I didn’t flinch or move or anything. He asked me about a dozen times if I was alright, and I was like “Oh, yeah, I’m awesome!” which was no lie, because I was getting my fifty day reward for something I felt I deserved and was so so proud of myself and… yeah, so I was more than okay. I was awesome. We went through after-care discussions, and who would be able to do what I wanted for my #day100 reward, and he assured me that even though he wished he could tat me again, Tom Connor would be the best option for what I’m looking for on my actual clumsypixie.
So September 1, I’m heading back to the shop to do the consult with Tom, and lay the deposit for the tattoo that will be on September 8th.
As this has been its own reward, I will just wish you all an incredible week, and hope that you’re able to smile a bit brighter and truer today. It has to be better tomorrow.
P.S. here’s the review I put up on Google+ for the shop: