I finally did the the thing I never thought I’d do. I got a tattoo. Somewhat impulsively too. For a while I had been thinking, “yeah, sure one day I’d like a tattoo.” Really though, even now I don’t think I was serious. It was more of a “yeah, I’m totally cool with people getting tattoos, and I’m people, therefore I’m cool with getting a tattoo” sort of thinking.

And then one day I went to work and decided that I needed one. Like I needed it right then. If I could have, I would have left work in the middle of the day to satisfy my tattoo antsiness. I had hit the now or never part. It wasn’t so much about getting a specific tattoo, it was more a way to lash out at being a middle-aged, stressed out working mom. A tattoo would capture spirit loss. The middle finger to middle-aged ennui. Right? Deep thoughts on ink.

TattooedBut what do I know about tattoos? Where would I go? How does the whole process work? Who do I want to permanently mark me? But I didn’t stall; I didn’t put it on the back burner. I made a phone call, texted pictures, and committed myself to an appointment. I was doing it. It was one of those moments you glide into and you can’t believe you are in the middle of it until it is actually over. I was all calm and cool until that morning. I wasn’t worried about the pain. (What could be worse than pre-epidural contractions?) I wasn’t worried about the permanence. (My skin marked forever? No problem. Feeling I may have gotten my hair cut a bit too short? The end of my world.)

I was starting to freak out about what to wear. This really isn’t surprising. My foot was still an option so a skirt was out. And if I did my foot, what condition were my feet in? How weird to have a stranger touching my foot. And then I went to wondering if I’d be comfortable in jeans. Did my comfy jeans even fit anymore? And what if I ended up getting my wrist done? Would a long sleeved shirt be cumbersome? And it was kind of rainy, so if I wore my super comfy, but kind of long linen pants would they get all wet and make me look like a ragamuffin? I’m not sure how many times I changed outfits. I was embarrassing myself in my own closet. So while I was nonchalant about getting a tattoo, I was going into overdrive over thinking a normal, everyday routine. People just wear clothes.

I finally made it out of my closet and to the tattoo parlor. My tattoo is small; an anchor, waves, and a green light on the inside of my left wrist. A personal ode to and note from The Great Gatsby. Nothing wild and crazy or huge or silly. It didn’t hurt much. A little burning. (Okay, at one point I felt my whole body get hot and tingle, but I did successfully stop myself from swearing out loud.) Nothing that would stop me from getting another tattoo. In fact I already have one picked out for my right wrist. Another Gatsby note.

Oh, and in the end I wore my super comfy linen pants.

And I’m still a middle-aged, stressed-out working mom. With a tattoo.

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