I get this urge every time my birthday approaches. I want to get a tattoo.
It all started when I turned 16. I wanted to emblazon my body with a symbol that would remind me who I was and how I felt about my life on the anniversary of the day I was born. But there’s this law in California that prevented me from blowing my birthday money on getting inked because I was still just a minor. Even if it hadn’t been illegal, I grew up in a small town without tattoo shops, had no car, no license to drive nor enough birthday cash to afford a fresh tat.
So I figured it was cool to wait it out until my next birthday. That would give me plenty of time to decide on the artwork I’d get to live with for the rest of my life on earth. Four years is plenty of time to choose, right?
And so it’s gone, one leap cycle after the next. Choosing that all entrancing symbol, the body location, the colors … only to be too busy doing something else on my birthday, too broke to afford it, or too fickle to make up my mind for sure.
Last go around, I was set on an infinity symbol. I figured it was the perfect symbol for my 8th birthday.
Just a week before my birthday, a friend warned me of the dangers of getting a tattoo. Even a little one.
“It could get infected. Cause ugly scarring. Make you sick from the infection. Cause horrible pain and suffering. Did I mention infection?”
“Yeah, you did.” [Thanks, Buzzkill.]
I decided to do some research on it. Then I decided not to take the advice of overly paranoid Debbie Downers. By then my birthday had come and gone.
With leap year day fast approaching, I don’t think I’ll get a tattoo for my birthday this year either. I’ve had so much on my mind lately that I haven’t thought about it for awhile. I guess I’ll be patient and wait for the big 10. I’ve got an array of symbols in mind to narrow down: turtle, spiral, dragon, fishes…