Since around college, I have wanted a tattoo. However, knowing my level of indecision when ordering dinner or picking out clothes in the morning- I knew anything with any level of permanence would need consideration...and apparently over a decade of consideration was needed. It was not the thought of pain that plagued me [Tangent: I've always had this thought that you shouldn't complain about tattoos, because no one made you get them. It's a pain you signed up for. I'm not saying that to seem like a badass or incredibly heartless, it's just a bit of truth-telling. I never had sympathy for people that whined excessively after getting tattoos and piercings.]. At the time, I was just overly concerned with being a victim of a tattoo trends, and being stuck with something I hated.
[Tangent: Who knows...if I had flippantly decided to get one that day, I may have a tramp stamp of John Mayer lyrics...who knows!] Even when scrolling through my time hops on Facebook, I stumbled across this from nearly exactly 7 years ago:
There are two things that are especially hysterical about this. 1. I don't even recall what tattoo I was set on getting that day. 2. My friend Andraea's response is so spot on and only shows that my friends know me well (and know that I can be a chickenshit!)
It wasn't until one day I had this epiphany that my brother Chris's 40th birthday was coming up in late November. Since he died last May, I wanted to do something to memorialize him. [Tangent: Without trying to offend anyone, I am not a huge fan personally of the traditional memorial symbols. Angel wings, crosses, names on banners....it's not something I wanted on my body, because those things make me sad. I'm not judging those that have them because I have seen some gorgeous ones, I just don't want to be sad when I see it. I want to remember his life.] I decided to combine the two things that he loved: tattoos and being out on the water. [Tangent: Going camping with his friends was his place of serenity, which was something he didn't always have. Even the box his remains are in is engraved with a scene of a river and trees.] The more I thought about it, the more the canoe made sense. He always went with the flow, but was not always the most stable, but always a good time.
The decision of where to go was easy, I had long admired by friend Rae's tattoos [Tangent: You can read about her Spock tattoo here and her cuckoo clock here on her blog.] , so I made an appointment with Eli Draughn at SafeHouse Tattoo. The whole experience was great and it only really hurt a couple times. NO TEARS! And I was glad that Rae came along and Jamie joined us after work so they could entertain me and show me One Direction videos while I sat there getting it colored in.
I really love it and I think Chris would too [Tangent: Even though my dad loathed tattoos, I even worked his memory in too, making the flowers purple and gold, which were his alma mater's colors and thus his favorites.] Knowing that I'm in a wheelchair, I am fully aware that having a canoe on my foot will perplex a lot of folks [Tangent: Even Eli said that they will feel hella awkward asking me about it?], which makes me kind of love it even more. SO MYSTERIOUS! And if they do ask, it gives me a good excuse to talk about my brother.