Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Tattoo angst

Ann and I decided maybe we should write a book about experiencing Salt Lake past and present. Salt Lake is Sway, after all. (I just learned that word from grandchildren and now realize maybe it only applies to people and not to cities--so I continue being a dork).

It was Ann's idea that we visit places out of our comfort level.  So for our first assignment, she chose to visit a huka bar and I chose to visit a tattoo parlor, and we would chat up the people we found there and then write about it.

First, I went online to see what clients expected from a good tattoo parlor, finding several lists of the "ten best" in Salt Lake.  I learned that artistry is the most important. If you're getting ink, you want the best quality, money can buy. I saw pictures of the good, bad, and the ugly. Finding a top rate artist takes some homework, but not much.  The same names popped up again and again. Some people drive to San Diego or San Francisco for famed artists.

Clients want a clean environment. They want artists to be friendly and relaxed, and they want good service when it comes to billing and phone contacts.

I thought, hey, maybe I could get a tiny tattoo on my shoulder that says "Tom," who's always been under my skin anyway.

Then I stayed in bed for a day and hyperventilated.

Finally, Tom and I did a couple of drive-bys, but that didn't help either (see above).  The truth is the only way I could get a tattoo is if it looked like an IHC InstaCare clinic and the artists all wore white starched coats.

"We could both get tattoos," Tom said, always the supportive hubby. I think he knew he was safe in suggesting this.

I never want to disappoint Ann and was relieved that she hadn't been to a huka bar either, although she had the excuse of being busy, which is true for her but not really for me.

Now that I think of it, my dentist's receptionist had her eyelids tattooed for an eternal mascara look.

I didn't have my ears pierced until I was thirty-eight and then only because my mother had had hers pierced.  My mother!

She needs to come back from the dead and have the first tattoo.


  1. Me too, on the ear piercing. Mom brought me up believing pierced ears were slutty (though that wasn't a word she knew). I returned home for a visit and found she had done it, so I was finally emancipated. (I shaved my legs early, however, and she never did, as far as I know).

  2. This is beginning to take on some Mrs. Pollifax elements.

  3. hahahaha so funny! Go for it!

  4. I enjoy hearing about you & Ann collaborating on all manner of projects.

  5. Ink it up mom, I think you should get a bad ass sleeve with the image of a naked 76 year old man. Dad or Mr. Burns from The Simpsons would be perfect. But don't forget to add a couple few roses in there as well. Some of my closest work friends have some pretty impressive ink, and it turns out they're nice too. huh.

  6. I know a guy at Salt Lake Ink if you want me to set up a tour.

  7. So here's the thing about ink: many can't stop at one while the other group are having laser treatments to remove theirs. At my yoga studio, I might be the only one without a tattoo. I've never felt the desire to self-express in this way nor to rebel against a subculture that frowns upon them. It's a North American trend no question. This might be of some interest to you:

  8. I have a tattoo of an anchor on my ring finger and so does my husband, he cannot wear his ring to work as a nurse so we had it done at the same time. Also in college I did an ethnography of a tattoo parlor and all the people there thought it was so great to be interviewed and taken seriously in that manner!