Friday, November 27, 2009

My Biggest Adventure to Date...

If you had trouble believing that I did our last activity, hold on to your horses for this one...

No, it’s not the zip’s something that I never in a million years imagined myself doing, though. Here’s the story...and I'll go ahead and apologize for the length of this post!

So I mentioned that while I ran back to the room to get our forgotten voucher that B made friends with one of the beach guys. He worked for a different tour group, and when I walked back up, B and this guy were talking about shops in town. Apparently, B had asked Jesse where in Cabo he would recommend for tattoos. You see where I’m going with this, right? LOL.

B has four tattoos. All of them were done while he was an active Marine, one coming from Australia and one from Japan when he was on tours to both places. They are all military in nature, and personal and meaningful to him. He mentioned several months ago that he was thinking about getting another one after the wedding settled down and we had “extra” money again, but he hadn’t mentioned it recently. So I was shocked to hear that he would consider getting one while we were in Mexico. We didn’t have a chance to talk about it until after we finished parasailing and got back to the hotel.

Apparently, once the idea took hold, it really took hold. He had gotten a name from the guy on the beach and after eating lunch and spending a few hours at the pool, wanted to venture into town and check the place out. He wasn’t sure about doing it and going through with things until he had met the guy and seen his work...and the cleanliness of his shop. So, late that afternoon we ventured off of our resort and into town. We got lucky and caught a taxi with some ladies that we had made friends with who were going shopping in town also. They were shocked to hear where we were going and they immediately asked if I was getting one.

No! Was the immediate response. You see, I hate blood. I hate needles. I have a SEVERE reaction to both items, especially when used on my body in some form or fashion. Never believe a report that I overdosed on drugs because there is no way that I could make it through the process of sticking a needle in one of my own veins. Seriously. Search for the murderer at that point.

But one of the ladies showed me a tattoo that she had gotten of her kids initials and it was very pretty. Plus, I have several friends with tattoos that I just love. I just can’t imagine me surviving the process of getting one. But I digress...

So we wander through town and find the shop. The guy, Bruno, is a great big Mexican and speaks no English to either B or myself. But he has a nice girl working in his shop and she translates for us and shows us Bruno’s work. B talks to her about what he’s wanting and pretty soon Bruno realizes that B wants a custom design. They converse back and forth for a few minutes (through the girl) and settle on us coming back the next morning to see a sketch and decide whether to go through with it at that time. The whole time that they’re talking, I’m just in there flipping through books. And trying not to stare at the girl getting the tattoo by Bruno while we’re all talking. I can’t see anything gross, and she looks like it doesn’t hurt so much...

Anyway. We leave the shop, and wander through town checking out the sites. We come across these two bars, and stop to snap pictures. Totally tourist of me, I know.
Anne, this one’s for you!As we’re meandering through town I start to ask B about his tattoos and how much it hurts. He gets all excited about the thought of me getting a tattoo of my own, but is honest with me and tells me that it’s been 4 or 5 years since he’s gotten one and maybe can’t describe the process for me well enough. We decide to go back to the shop and talk to the girl again. After visiting with her for about 30 minutes, I’m sold on the idea of getting a tattoo souvenir as well, much to my shock and amazement. We settle on a flower design, and select a lily for Bruno to also sketch something up for me to see the next morning and we leave the shop.

Taking another taxi back to the resort, B gets really quiet. Truthfully, I didn’t really notice. But once we were back at the resort and settled comfortably in our sun chairs again, I noticed how quiet he was. Apparently, he was feeling a little bit of guilt over my decision, being afraid that I was getting a tattoo for the wrong reasons. Luckily, having been in bad relationships in the past, communication is a key point for us and we’re willing and able to talk about anything with the other person. So he opened up to me and told me how he felt.

And I was equally honest with him. I told him that I wasn’t sure that I wanted to go through with it, but was kind of excited at the idea all at the same time. That I was worried about the pain, and my fainting during the process, and that I would regret it afterwards. It’s just so permanent, you know? But that I was equally fascinated by some designs that I’d seen and was willing to consider the thought of getting one. I must have put his fears at rest, because he ended the conversation with telling me that I needed to get a tattoo for myself and myself only. That if I changed my mind and decided not to go through with it that no one, not him and not Bruno, would be upset or disappointed in me in any way. Having his unconditional support whichever way I went really freed me up and allowed me to make my decision myself without any pressure.

But you know what happened? I warmed up to the idea. I really like the idea of getting a know, granting that I didn’t pass out before or during the process! But what I wasn’t sold on was the lily. Truthfully, I like lilies, but they’re not my favorites. They don’t mean anything to me. They’re B’s favorite flower. So at one point that night – many drinks into our time at the bar – I sat up straight and told B that I wasn’t going to get a lily if I did get a tattoo. That a lily was HIS favorite flower, not mine, and that if I did this, it would be something that meant something to me. I must have been a wee bit tipsy, because I’m not usually so direct and forceful!

Lucky for me, I’ve got a great man who loves and understands what I was trying to matter how badly I might have delivered the message. He agreed with me whole-heartedly and asked what I was going to get instead. I promptly told him that I didn’t know. But that I was thinking on it. I’m just so funny.

By the next morning, when we ventured back into town (via city bus this time) I had made up my mind. I was going to do this and I was going to get a magnolia blossom put on my shoulder. I’m from Louisiana originally, but never really lived there. It’s the state flower from Louisiana, and I’ve always been proud of my birth state. When I was growing up, I was in love with all things magnolia-related, and both of my grandmothers had magnolia trees in their yards. I’ve associated magnolias with these two wonderful women for as long as I can remember, and in fact, one of my grandmothers painted ceramics and one of my favorite pieces of hers was a magnolia blossom that was given to my mother years and years ago. Not to get too gloomy, but November is also the anniversary of my grandmother’s death just three years ago. This is the same MeMa whose blue clip on earrings I carried on my bridal bouquet as I walked down the aisle to keep her close to me. A magnolia blossom symbolized all of this and more for me, and it was the perfect choice.

The snag? Bruno, having been raised in Mexico, had never seen a magnolia blossom before! Luckily for us, Google images came through with many options for him to work off of, and he agreed with me changing my mind about my choice. (B had assured me that Bruno would understand my change, but I was still a little worried – he’s a big guy!) I really wanted a standard cream blossom, but Bruno was quick to point out that on my pale skin, the cream just wouldn’t work. He was more than willing to do a version of the pink magnolia blossom though, and we left happy with our sketches and our appointment sent for 8pm that evening.

Since there are so many restrictions on what you can and cannot do after getting a tattoo, we soaked up the last of our rays and had thoughtfully scheduled this activity for our last night in Cabo. Lucky for me, right about the time that afternoon when I started to freak out a little about my decision, I ran into a girl from Seattle that we had met a few nights earlier who had two tattoos and was able to talk to her about the pain level and process. She reassured me and I was confident with my decision.

That doesn’t mean that I wasn’t still nervous. Or that I didn’t require a little liquid courage before leaving...That’s our favorite bartender, Luis, doing his infamous rainbow shots for us before we left. No, we didn’t have all of them...but I think that I drank three or four. They were SO yummy! Like liquid popsicles, not shots at all!

One bus ride later...and we were there. I was really nervous. I mean, really nervous. The shots had worn off, and Bruno was taking his time getting ready for me. The guy working on B was ready for him and I managed to get these pictures of them laying on the transfer of the tattoo before they actually started. Not wanting to see anything else, I was not able to take any pictures of B getting his tattoo actually done. I was worried that I would chicken out...or pass out if I saw the process! You can't even see where his transfer laid, since it was just an outline...
Before I knew it, Bruno was ready. I had thought ahead (or B had thought ahead for me) and worn a bikini top under my shirt so that I didn’t feel “exposed” while being worked on. I stood there like a brave little girl and had the image transferred to me. I started feeling a little woozy (too much time to think things through) and Robert (another helper) ran across the street and grabbed me a Coke. After sipping on it for a few minutes, and laying down on the table, Bruno got to work on me.

Surprisingly, it really wasn’t that bad. I was making it WAY worse in my mind than it was actually, and the tattoo process went well for me. It took forever, but that’s what happens when the owner of the shop works on you. He constantly had to stop and talk to other people and customers, so there were lots of breaks. B actually ended up being finished about an hour before I was done, so he had time to get some shots of me on the table. I picked the least gory one that I could! So the pain was manageable, and really only the constant rubbing bothered me. The actual needled process didn’t hurt that much. Sure, some spots hurt worse than others, but for the most part, it didn’t even make me cringe. It was WAY less painful than laser hair removal, I can tell you that!

It seemed to take forever, but I was finally done. I got up and walked over to the mirrored wall and got my first look at it. It looked great! I stood patiently and started to get taped up and then made the mistake of looking over at B’s shirt. Since he had finished so much earlier, he had been taped up for a while and had already put his undershirt back on. But his guy hadn’t done that great of a job on the tape job, because he had “leaked” through his shirt. And instead of just being ink and being all black and fake looking (like what I’d previously seen) this was all blood.

And that’s when I got sick.

I managed to hold it together until Robert got me all taped up, and I even almost made it down to the ground...but I didn’t make it all the way. B was there to catch me before I hit my head, but I was out for the count. When I came to, everyone was standing over me looking very concerned. Once they were assured that I was ok, the jokes started. Yes, I made it through the worst part just to pass out when it was finished. Haha. Not so funny. Well, it’s a little funny now...but it wasn’t as funny then let me tell you.

We took a taxi “home” to the resort and B put me to bed. I felt fine, but he was a little worried about me, having never seen me pass out before. By the next morning, I was 100% recovered and nervous about seeing the damage on my shoulder. I caught a break though, and my tattoo didn’t seep or anything like B’s did. That was good for me. I was a little worried about caring for it without being able to look at it, you know?

It’s been over a week now, and most of the healing is over and done. It’s still a little dry, but getting better every day. Would you like to see the whole thing? Here you go...

I love it. I love the meaning behind it. I loved the reasoning why I chose what I chose, and I love that I made it through the process. I can’t say for certain if I would for sure get another one...that remains to be seen. But I love the one that I have.

Thanks Bruno and the rest of the crew from Psycho Tattoo...I would HIHGLY recommend their shop if you’re in the area... LOL!


  1. That IS adventurous!!
    I am so happy that you are in love with your tattoo... I have 5 of them and don't regret a single one :)

  2. Wait...there is no picture of the tattoo!!! I want to see it!!! :)