When Kitty Kelly invited me to be on her blog, she suggested I tell you all the story about one of my tattoos. It’s the one in this picture. In case you can’t tell, it’s a cute little puffy heart surrounded by cherry blossoms with my hubby’s name on a ribbon scrolling across it. It looks quite a bit like the Midnight Ink logo, now that I think of it. It’s a little bit kitschy, a little “old skool”; it’s the kind of tattoo you couldn’t pay my tattoo artist son to give you these days. Trust me, I’m his mother and I can’t even get him to touch up the places in which it’s become a little faded. But that’s beside the point.
There are a lot of people involved in tattoo culture who will tell you that you should never get a name tattoo. They’ll tell you it’s a curse, and I can kind of see their point. I’ve heard about the fathers-to-be who get tattooed with their twin daughters’ names, only to have their wives give birth to boys a few days later. And I’ve seen the guys who come into tattoo shops looking to get a tattoo of their girlfriend’s name—with a list of crossed off names already running down their arm.
If I were the new girl on that list, I think I’d be frightened. Very, very frightened.
Covering up “mistake” tattoos is a big business. But by the time I got my heart tattoo, my husband and I had been blissfully married for a quarter of a century—give or take a few years and an occasional lack of complete bliss. After that much time and two kids together, I figured he’d more than earned his place in my heart and in my life—so why not on my skin? Besides, it was almost Valentine’s Day.
The fact that he doesn’t actually like tattoos all that much…yeah, that made me stop and think a bit. The fact that I was blackmailing my poor son (an apprentice tattoo artist, at the time, and willing to tattoo pretty much anything on anyone who was brave enough to let him) into doing it…that didn’t stop me at all. Not even when his then girlfriend explained, “I think he’s uncomfortable tattooing his mother’s boob.”
I figure I earned my Future-Mother-in-Law-of-the-Year-in-training award that day by NOT pointing out that, given all the time I’d spent breastfeeding him, this was not new territory. Besides, it’s not actually ON my boob anyway.
My love of tattoos is only one of the many reasons I’m so thrilled to be part of the Midnight Ink collection, which is full of awesome tattoo stories (much better than this one, I promise) told by amazing authors. And, yes, a couple of these stories might involve tattooed names. But, I guess that’s human nature for you. Even when we know that something we want might be a mistake, more often than not, we go for it anyway.
Despite what my son thinks about it, I love this tattoo. I think it turned out really cute—definitely not a mistake. In fact, it’s still one of my favorites…even if it is never, ever going to get touched up.
Inked Memories: Every memory leaves its mark…
All Sophie wants is a tattoo to commemorate her battle with cancer. What she gets is celebrity tattoo artist Declan Ross, the same sexy bad-boy who used to rock her world. This time, they’ve both got scars, and the ones you can’t see are still the hardest to cover.
PG Forte inhabits a world only slightly less strange than the ones she creates. Filled with serendipity, coincidence, love at first sight and dreams come true…it also bears an uncanny resemblance to Berkeley, California. She wrote her first serialized story when she was still in her teens. The sexy, ongoing adventure tales were very popular at her oh-so-proper, all girls, Catholic High School, where they helped to liven up otherwise dull classes. Even if her teachers didn’t always think so. Originally a Jersey girl, PG now resides on the extreme left coast where she writes rule bending, genre blending erotic romance and paranormal stories. When she’s not pestering her husband to help her research scenes for upcoming books, she can usually be found serving the needs and whims of her characters….or her dog. It’s a difficult job, but someone’s got to do it.
Links to reach PG Forte:
“Okay. You’re all set.” Declan smoothed a final piece of tape into place, securing a layer of plastic wrap over the tattoo he’d just finished—his last of the day.
The pretty blonde who was his latest client slowly sat up on the padded table, her T-shirt clasped against her chest. “Thank you,” she said as she gingerly slipped the shirt over her head and then tugged her clothes back into place. “It’s beautiful.”
Declan nodded. “I told you it would be.” He’d designed the tattoo—an abstract, deconstructed peacock—to follow the lines of her body. It flowed along her curves, from shoulder to hip, in a sinuous cascade of perfect, paisley-shaped feathers. “I’m glad you like it.”
It bore only the slightest resemblance to the tattoo she’d thought she was getting when she’d come in today—and a damn good thing too. The pictures she’d sent in as examples of what she was looking to get had been boring and uninteresting and didn’t really work with his style. They were too simple, too small, and would have required entirely too much line work. Plus, she wanted it across her lower back, which was totally the wrong placement for something like this.
Declan took his craft seriously. The watercolor-style tattoos for which he was becoming well known always looked better on a larger canvas. It hadn’t taken much to convince her of that and to make her see the wisdom of letting him give her what he wanted.
Plenty of artists would have been all too happy to give her just another, generic-looking tattoo, but she’d come to him. It would be nice to think she’d come for his eye, his talent, his artistry, for all the experience he brought to the table. In all likelihood, however, what she’d come for the Declan Ross she thought she knew from TV.
Luckily for him, that Declan didn’t do run-of-the-mill ho tags either.
“Now be sure and read over this sheet,” Declan instructed as he handed her the page he’d had printed detailing his personal aftercare suggestions. “It’s got a lot of important information. You’ll want to keep it covered for the first couple of hours, but that’s all. After that, you’ll want to rinse it off, pat it dry and leave it uncovered as much as possible while it’s healing. You’ll also want to stop on your way home and pick up some calendula cream. I know you’ll hear otherwise, but trust me; you really want to steer clear of petroleum-based products, scented-lotions and especially sunscreen.”
“Calendula cream,” she repeated dutifully, as though she had no idea what he was talking about. She probably didn’t.
“Or coconut oil. That’s good too, but I don’t know if you can find organic around here. If not, you’re really better off sticking with the calendula.”
“Okay.” She nodded for a moment, still seated on the edge of the table, gazing at him expectantly, making no move to leave.
Declan clapped his hands together. “Okay. Good. So. Any last questions for me?”
“Yes.” Immediately, she thrust the paper back at him. “Can I get your autograph?”
Declan pretended not to notice the rolled eyes, the faked coughs, the snorts of derisive laughter the other artists tried to muffle. Bastards. They were just jealous because no one was asking for theirs. “Sure thing,” he said as he forced a smile. He grabbed a marker off the closest counter and then paused. “Who should I make it out to?”
“Oh, it’s for me.”
“Make it out to Chrissy.”