Thursday, 11 August 2016

The History

The tattoo has been completed and I like it. I like the design, I like the quirkiness. Honestly, I think it suits me. Over the next few years, up to and including this morning, some people tell me they like it. Some don't tell me that they don't like it, but I can tell that they don't. While I like it, I'm always conscious that this is permanent and not going to get me a job as such. Still, it's far enough up my arm that I can cover it with sleeves etc. While I like it, I'm not sure if I'm going to keep it forever - I'm thinking this the night it was completed.

I don't remember if it was one or two years after I got it that I first inquired about removing it. I emailed somewhere and they said I'd have to come in for a consultation, that was too much work. Besides, I couldn't get it removed, what would my friends think? What would the artist that did it think? What would the tattoo crew I hardly knew and don't see any more think? Clearly, all of those people's opinions on this are more important than what I think. I'll keep this, I mean I don't hate it and I have my street cred to think about.

A couple of years later (in 2009), a tattoo studio opened near where I lived. They offered laser tattoo removal. I wasn't really friendly with the tattoo scene any more, I still had friends who were part of it, but I saw them less. I used to walk by the place frequently and consider inquiring about it but I decided against it. I mean, what if the artist that did it worked there? What would he think? Would would the others that work there think? What if I knew someone working there, what would they think. No, I best leave it, I mean I don't hate it and I have my street cred to think about.

So, It's 2013, I'm in my 30s. Really beginning to think about removal. I say it to some friends, one asks "Is this your equivalent of a boob job?". A valid question, perhaps he's right. Am I just thinking about this as I have it in my head that this is the one thing that will make me happy? Some people tell me not to bother. I walk by that tattoo studio every night and think of dropping in but never do, I mean what if I knew someone working there, what would they think? No, I best leave it, I mean I don't hate it and I have my street cred to think about.

One night around Christmas in a pub, some drunk guy starts telling me how much he loves it. He's shocked to hear I work in IT, his exact words "I thought you were some mad raver or something". This changes everything!!! This tattoo has made me an icon, people assume that it generates so much revenue that I have no need to work. Clearly, in the eyes of others, this tattoo is the greatest thing ever. I cannot have this removed I mean, what would that drunk guy in the pub think?

September 2015, we decide that in July 2016 my entire family (parents, brothers & their families, my wife & child) are all going on a holiday together to celebrate my parents 50th wedding anniversary. I decide I will try to get the tattoo removed for that. My mother always hated it so I think it will be a nice surprise. I search around for a place that will do it, find one near enough to where I work and go for a consultation. They tell me it will cost €120 per session and I must pay for 8 up front, €960. I ask what if it takes less than 8 sessions and they tell me I can put the balance toward another treatment. I decide against this. For one, I don't have €960. Secondly, I doubt it will take 8 sessions. Thirdly, I know that it's cheaper in the tattoo studio near where I used to live. I do nothing...

January 6, 2016, I have my first session. I go to the tattoo studio near where I used to live. The technician is a really nice guy. Goes through it in detail, tells me what I can expect,  the laser is q-switched (that was all I knew - then), costs €60 per session. All sounds good, we get started.

The date is somewhat important here. - I just realised that I've had this for nearly 14 years, I had thought 13 up to right now - This is over 13 years since I first got it, first regretted it. If you're considering having a tattoo removed, start now. Don't worry what other people might think. It's your body, your tattoo, your decision.

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