Tattoos I Would Totally Consider Getting If Tattoos Weren't A Really, Really Bad Idea For My Body

When I tell people that I'm on a quest to do 250 uncharacteristic things over the course of a year, after they ask about the obvious challenges (karaoke, Brazilian wax, sky-diving; done, done, sometime this summer), a common question comes up: "Why don't you get a tattoo?" Honestly, because my weight fluctuates and I don't want to accidentally italicize the ink with stretch marks, this will never be in the cards for me. But if it were, here are a few tattoos I think I could live with forever. (Mostly wordy-tats 'cause, dude, bibliophile for the eternal win.)

"How else to feel other than I am?": A great line from the gritty, exhilarating Gregory Corso poem "Marriage". Also a fantastic reminder that no matter how hard it can be to fit into the happy hour and reality TV world, what're you going to do? Surrender your personal brand of awesome?

"improvising wildly": A common enough phrase, yes, but one I will always associate with the novel I first read it in: "Flicker" by Theodore Roszak. (Think a much smarter Da Vinci Code with some sexy film criticism.) It's a throwaway phrase in a forgettable clause in an unimportant scene, but I read it when I was thirteen and lightning struck my heart. I was improvising wildly then, and I've been doing it every day since.

An elephant footprint: In honor of my stuffed elephant Nichka, who is -- in addition to being the coolest stuffed dude I've ever met -- basically my bff and spirit animal. Plus, when she gets angry, she'll totally stomp a ho.

"You are infinite.": I have to remind myself of this every day. And, as an added bonus, the quote is equally true of anyone who might be reading it. Especially if it were tattooed in a sexytimes place.

What tattoos are you sporting, guys, or which ones would you consider getting?

Posted by TKOG from Not That Kind Of Girl.


Kiri said...

I've got four at the moment: the New Zealand silver fern and a spiral inside the curve of my hipbone, the wounded eye of Horus on the back of my neck and a five point star on the inside of my left wrist, and 'One Day More' around the outside of the same wrist.

There's plans in the works for a whole bunch more including 'and like wind I go' from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, a double-headed dragon design based on celtic broach I saw in the Bristol Museum, and an otter footprint in honour of Edal from Ring of Bright Water, the children's version of which I first read about 10 years ago and have been reading frequently ever since.

The Naked Redhead said...

No tattoos yet, but I've been toying with the idea of getting a semi-colon inked on my body. I love the's a complicated little piece of punctuation, and in some ways, describes my life to a "t".

Melanie's Randomness said...

I want to get a set of angel wings or a butterfly. I have to check to make sure I'm not allergic to the dye tho first!

Alison said...

I want to get a few lines from the e e cummings poem 'i carry your heart.'
I'm a pile of mush for that poem.

#1Nana said...

I have a small mole on the middle finger of my left hand. That's the body decoration I was born with...and it will have to do!

Vee said...

I wanted "keep breathing" before I realized that I would be copying Hannah Montana. 8/

Would the elephant footprint be true-to-size?

That Kind Of Girl said...

@Vee: Not true to elephant size, but true to my stuffed elephant's foot size, definitely!

Sarah said...

I got my first tattoo on my wrist because I too was worried about stretch marks and whatnot--it's a small heart and star. My second tattoo is between my shoulder blades--it's a unicorn.

Anonymous said...

One of my favorites I have seen is "Apres moi le deluge" meaning "after me come the floods." It's referring to the fact that he leaves a trail of destruction, which is totally fitting for this person.

Sadako said...

I don't think I'd ever get one for reals. If someone made me get one, I'd probably get something like "Be my baby" tattooed on my inner thigh. It's my favorite song of all time. Though I'm really not into ink at all so I'm probably going to remain woefully uninked. I've done henna once or twice, and it's really pretty. And it fades after a while, so that's awesome.

Anonymous said...

I've got a small blue nautical star on the inside of my left ankle (a nod to sailors, symbolic of my wanderlust) and a dark gray circle circumscribed about a square below my right collarbone (representing the fundamental structure vs. agency contradiction in Marxism, or more broadly, fate vs. free will).

If it wouldn't look like a terrible blob after 30 seconds I'd definitely get a Pollock painting (Full Fathom Five? Number One?) on my left shoulder-blade. Le sigh.

nova said...

You long as your weight gain and loss isn't extremely dramatic your tattoos shouldn't be affected. Also, do you gain weight in your feet? Your forearms? Your shin? Come on.
If you do decide to do it someday, hit me up with any questions.

Anonymous said...

I would never get a tattoo, but if I were, I would consider these:

- a tiny silhouette of a heart
- a tiny silhouette of a deer/stag

And if I were a male, I would consider these:

- anchor on arm
- heart with "mom" written over it

For sure.

kahlia said...

@Naked Redhead, if I saw someone on the street with a semi-colon I would stop them and tell them how beautiful I thought it was (even over here in we-don't-talk-to-strangers--especially-the-foreign-ones Western Europe). I would be envious of it, and would even briefly consider doing it myself (which I've always said would never happen).

@TKOG, when I saw this: "It's a throwaway phrase in a forgettable clause in an unimportant scene, but I read it when I was thirteen and lightning struck my heart.", I immediately thought of when that happened to me (at 18), and the phase for me was "I felt infinite". Then I read your last one and went, "What?! No way!"
(That came from the book "The Perks of being a Wallflower", which I don't remember much more of except how perfect that line was for me at a time when I needed it.)
And I think a Nichka footprint would be perfect. Plus, cool all by itself even for those who see it and don't know the story behind it.

The Naked Redhead said...

@kahlia--Thanks! I'm definitely teetering on the edge of getting one. And you could totally talk to me on the streets if you wanted. :)

Anonymous said...

I have three:
-a dragonfly
-my wedding vows in egyptian arabic (my husband and i spent our honeymoon in egypt).
-"The road goes to Oban" with a thistle. (our best. day. ever. was spent in the western scottish highlands; we stopped to ask for directions to find a castle of my ancestor's and a lovely old scottish woman gave us those instructions. <3).

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