Just how important is a tatoo?

Well, we spent most part of Saturday in the city (San Francisco) trying to find a place for tatoos, and then, trying to find a good design.

Two people I know have successfully made it to the ‘other side’. I did not. The wife did. So did a cousin. The cousin got an ‘om’ symbol. The wife got a complicated ‘sun’ symbol with some streaks around it.

But it was not easy. First of all, I was not supporting my wife’s wish to get one. She’s been wanting one at least since the time we went to Venice beach in LA. I kept telling her to get a temporary one not only because of issues with the needles and all that, but also because it is so easy to get sick of the same symbol.

Then, as we started walking on the (in)famous Haight street in San Francisco, we noticed quite a few tatoo stores. We walked into the first one, which seemed to be a consensus choice as the cleanest and the most organized. The wife was still looking at me to tell her that it is ok to get a tatoo. I was trying to push it back to her. After a lot of such discussions, she decided to go for it. After spending quite some time there browsing the designs, a decision was made. Both of them knew what they wanted.

As they went to the guy to start the paperwork, he said that he had an appointment at 4.30pm and that it would be a 2-hour job after which he would gladly take us in. Since we knew there were other stores, we quietly walked out from there.

The next store was so-so, and there were some designs that they showed which looked better than the first one, but ultimately, they were also booked till much later in the evening. So we passed and went on to the next store.

These tatoo businesses look quite shady at first glance, but in the end, they are not so bad. So we entered one such shady-looking store and were brave enough to actually start looking at the designs and stuff to see which tatoo to get. The choices were made. The ‘om’ symbol was pretty simplistic, so there was no time to be wasted. My cousin signed the disclaimer and pre-paid and waited in line.

My wife was still not certain if she wanted to get a tatoo. I think she was certain that she wanted one, but she was not sure if I was ok with it. But in the end she said that she was going to go for it. She asked for some design suggestions from the lady at the counter, who gladly drew out a nice pattern for her after about 20 minutes. It was pretty good, and it was approved. Then, after some more waiting time, she filled out her disclaimer and prepaid.

Meanwhile, the ‘om’ was completed. The experience was not too painful, and it seems getting a tatoo is like getting a good high. As a result, after getting the ‘om’ done, my cousin has already planned out which other tatoos she wants to get (three, as of now). The ‘om’ took about 20 minutes to complete.

After some more wait, my wife took her turn and hers took about 35 minutes to get done. It came out well, and like my cousin, there is already a plan to get some more stuff done!

Both of them are quite proud of what they have done. Good for them. We got out of the store at about 8pm, after starting the tatoo-getting experience at about 3pm.

After all that apparent trouble, they want more. Is it worth it? Ask them. I did not think so before it started, and I still don’t think so 🙂

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