Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Turn 42, First Tattoo

I turned 42 last week.

Georgina threw me a party at her house, which was loads of fun. We ate delicious food, including a pesto pate thingie that was demolished and a roasted veggie soup that Brooke made. I know there was a can of Campbell's soup in there, and according to Brooke, that was the magic ingredient. Andy brought a cake that eventually was blazing on its entire top surface. We also demolished a case of Dark Corner.

I missed Julie, who didn't make it because she was sick. I guess the upside is, as I decided to wear something lowcut, at least she wasn't there to steal my boob thunder.

We danced! Thanks to Brooke and Shawn for providing the tunes, as well as entertaining us with their dance routines. A highlight of the evening was reenacting Tara's fourth grade dance routine to Devo's Whip It. We did that twice.

I also did double duty in the spanking machine. It was supposed to be a progressive spanking machine, although the first time it didn't work out that way so we redid it. I ended up with elbow burns since there was some low-clearance areas that required some elbow-shimmying. It was an all-ages spanking machine, and there were some young 'uns that were more challenging to get through. Our parties are family-friendly, after all.

I felt lucky to have such great friends to celebrate with. I am glad to have the vim and vigor to make it through a spanking machine. I hope to still go through spanking machines when I'm 82, truly.

The day after the party, I got my first tattoo. I met up with Leo Zulueta of Spiral Tattoo, and he proceeded to draw the design on my wrist. I had been into his place before and looked at this portfolio, and I loved the wrist tattoo that he had done on another woman. It's not his usual style. He is known for his work in tribal tattooing, the big bold Polynesian style tattoos. Another thing about Leo is that he draws the tattoo freehand, which apparently is unusual because a lot of tattoo artists use stencils. That's my understanding anyway, but like I said, this was my first one.

I spent a probably a total of three hours there, and I'd say that it took two hours to draw, and one to actually tattoo. Leo was meticulous, and kept redoing the art. Other than starting to feel a little hypoglycemic, I really enjoyed the whole process. Leo is very knowledgeable about the history of tattooing, and talked a lot about that. His partner, Diane, was there, a tattoo artist herself and photographer, and they were the cutest thing together. She oohed and aahed over my tattoo, and they smooched each other when they crossed paths, and he told me how she was his biggest supporter. He told me how he thought tattoos are a sort of rite of passage, and that those are missing in our society. He told me he thought the tattoo would help me, and how he knew they helped Diane. I asked her in what way, and she told me about how it's helped her claim her body and herself, no matter what society tells her is appropriate. She showed me something that she had framed on the wall, that was attributed to Nelson Mandela but when I looked it up I found that it was actually written by Marianne Williamson, and it goes like this:

"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, handsome, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some; it is in everyone. And, as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Other than the God stuff, I can relate.

I love my little tattoo. I like that I can see it, because I do think of it as a little ritual that is marking this time in my life. There are a lot of changes going on with me now, and it's kind of a hard time because I'm juggling a lot with home and school. I look at my tattoo, and I think--I can do it, I have to do it. I like that there was pain involved in the process. I like that the design is evocative of water and feathers, and that it encircles my wrist, one of the toughest parts of my body on one side, and one of the most vulnerable on the inside. The two dots on the inside represent my babies, and I didn't think of this at the time, but I think it's fitting that they are on the side where the skin is thinnest and you can see the vessels that carry my blood.


Laura Jacquez said...

Your tattoo is beautiful and I love that it symbolizes for you!

Stella said...

It's beautiful! Congratulations.

YPR said...

I like that you bring a spiritual/philosophical perspective to getting a tattoo. That guy did a nice job. It's pretty bold and trusting to let someone come up with a permanent design for your skin on the spot, but it looks like you were able to get on the same page with the guy and the end result is satisfying artistically and conceptually. A fine collaborative effort.

Glad you had a good time on your birthday.

Andre said...

The Tattoo is fantastic. I'm so happy you finally got to get it.

Anonymous said...

stacey, it's so beautiful and i love the two dots for your sweet boys who were once that size before all this in-the-world business. i'm getting ready to head back for another tattoo myself-- any chance you have the bug and want to join me...???!!

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