My Mother Hated Tattoos, So Naturally I Got One For Her

My Mother Hated Tattoos, So Naturally I Got One For Her

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My Mother Hated Tattoos, So Naturally I Got One For Her

"Months are different in college, especially freshman year. Too much happens. Every freshman month equals six regular months–they’re like dog months."

– Rainbow Rowell A lot happens your freshman year of college. It’s one of those years you learn who you are, what you’re made of and, in most cases, the art of laundry. For me, freshman year meant Four Loko out of Dr. Pepper bottles on Metro North, falling for a stranger I met on a scavenger hunt, and holding hands with a once-friend for my first tattoo (spoiler: she went bat-shit and called my roommate a cake-faced, boge-smoking bitch).

A real milestone year.

It was Columbus Day weekend, 2009. I walked through the doors of my family’s two-story home in South Brooklyn for the first time since going away to college and living three people to a dorm room. Mom had the house to herself. I had meticulously positioned one of those middle school slap bracelets around my left wrist, barely masking a two-week old tattoo I’d gotten for my father (without my mother’s permission) on Saint Mark’s Place in the city.

Looking back, settling on a shop called Whatever Tattoo was wrong.

She wasn’t suspicious in the slightest. To her, the vintage bracelet was just another five-second trend I was trying on, paired perfectly with an XL Led Zeppelin tee shirt and the blonde streaks I was still growing out from the summer before. I was going through something, that’s for sure (Cue: "I’m Not Okay" by MCR and "Torn" by Natalie Imbruglia).

It took all of 20 minutes for me to break.

"I have to tell you something," I said, asking her to sit down.

In hindsight, this was cruel. Her mind went straight to teen pregnancy, leaving anything I said after that that wasn’t "I’m carrying some senior on the rugby team’s child" to be tolerated, hell, maybe even thrown a ticker-tape parade.I peeled back the quarter-machine cover-up to reveal the teeny tiny, permanent text: "This is […]