Along with pain and suffering, comes revelation of wimpdom

Roxy Hammond

Roxy Hammond

I have recently discovered that I, in fact, am a wimp. Those who know me are probably asking themselves – did it really take her this long to figure that out? And the answer, my friends, is yes. Apparently I’m dense as well.

Now you ask: Roxy, how did you FINALLY discover you’re a gigantic wimp? Well, that was easy. I got a tattoo. I decided I could handle a needle carving colored inks into my skin for hours.

You see, I’ve wanted a tattoo for years. I’ve been allowing myself to mature for a little while so it wouldn’t be something I regretted later (although my mother will tell you otherwise- tattoos are the devil’s work). And after I had a rather crappy 2006, I decided I wanted to get something to remind myself that things will never get so bad that I can’t recover from them. So I got a phoenix.

After a couple reschedulings at Steady Tattoo in Minneapolis, I finally headed off to inscribe permanent ridicule from my parents into my left shoulder blade.

As I lay down, Garrett (the tattoo artist) warned me that it would hurt, but I bucked up and decided that I could handle it. After all, I had all four of my wisdom teeth removed while I was still awake to watch the blood splatter my dentist’s face. There’s a thought for you to go to sleep with tonight.

Things were going well, until he started to hit bone. A slight change in the hum of the tattoo gun (a.k.a. torture device), and he’s rolling over my shoulder blade while I’m cursing like a sailor. I’m rather vocal, so my way of dealing with the sting of the bone saw was to shout colorful obscenities. This caused other workers at the tattoo shop to come in and ask if I was going to survive.

I’ve discovered that people have this common misconception – if you endure pain for long enough, you get used to it. This is untrue when getting a tattoo. Not only did I not get used to the pain, it actually got worse. My skin was already incredibly pissed at me for stabbing it hundreds of times, but then I had the audacity to continue doing so for an hour and a half. I felt like someone was running steel wool over a sunburn.

This is where my friends started laughing and taking pictures. As the blood started to pool in the wings of my phoenix, they giggled sadistically and snapped photos. After one last grating run over my collarbone that caused me to yelp the f-bomb, Garrett finished his handiwork. I could finally unclench my toes, thighs and butt.

And I learned a few good lessons too. I have a newfound respect for people who can get back or entire body tattoos … and maybe I’m not quite as bad-ass as I originally thought.

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