So here are YOUR responses. I got enough that I’m going to split it up into two posts so stay tuned for the rest. Thanks to all who wrote back with your pictures. Let me introduce you to the cast of characters:
Jeremy – My brother in law
Grace – Friend and business partners wife
Gabe – Friend from high school in CA and current facebook friend.
As I’ve told you I’m in the “I’m not cool enough for a tattoo” crowd.
My aesthetic senses are so poor that any design I would choose would instantly hit 10 on the regretibility scale (even if others think its cool I would never really know) but I definitely love your reasons for getting them.
If someone was holding a gun to my head demanding I get a tat I’d do something Celtic; the stuff that was sooo in 10 years ago (I’m still stuck in that era aesthetically, but I sense even I’m about to move on).
I must admit I sensed a tinge of the coolness when I saw this
Regretability Scale: 10 out of 10
(and he hasn’t even got the tatoo yet)
Here’s the gecko… There’s a lot of thoughts and feelings I have been experiencing since Ben asked that I post about this particular tattoo. It came at a point in my life that seems the most “strange” for lack of a better word. And a time that I mostly try hard to forget. But for anyone reading I will make my story somewhat short.
I was 18, a senior in high school. I was going through my “rebellious stage.” I say this not necessarily in agreement of the term, but just because most of you might understand what I mean instead of having to go into much detail. I had already gotten a tattoo with my best friend, Sarah. And as I found out – once you get one, well, there’s just no stopping. At least that’s how I work. Go big or go home. I am actually surprised that I don’t have full sleeves yet. 😉
To somewhat set the stage for right before I got this tattoo, my parent’s had tried many times and many different things to deal with me at the time. After much prayer they came to the decision of taking me out of high school and enrolling me in the Internet Academy.
Of course it didn’t take long before I realized that I really just wanted to do my own thing and that it wasn’t going to happen living with my parent’s. So I decided to move in with my brother and girlfriend at the time (now wife).
I had been scribbling some ideas down for a while. (Okay, I’ll be honest, probably a week or so.) I had drawn up a few turtles and a gecko or two and then looked online for some more intricate designs. Katie was at work and Isaac and I had gotten a few “tall boys” at a local food mart. (Also known as a tall can. A 24 oz. can of beer. Not to be confused with a pounder – a 16 oz. can of beer or a deuce deuce – a 22 oz. can of beer) It was a day of beer and video games. That is, until I decided after a little too much beer (of which term I didn’t agree with at the time) that “Today’s the day I get my tattoo!” Isaac asked several times, “Grace, are you sure?” After getting frustrated with him questioning me on my decision and telling him I’d get it with or without him, and definitely not before loading up my purse with a few mini hard-A bottles, off we went to Adam’s Tattoo on Pac Highway.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Federal Way I can’t think of a place that compares to it, but I think its safe to say that generally speaking a tattoo shop on Pacific Highway doesn’t necessarily have the type of artist that you’d want if you were looking for someone to be putting a permanent mark on your body.
When we get there I show the lady my printed out turtle design and tell her I want it on my foot. (very original, right?) She looks at me questionably and after a short pause tells me she doesn’t think it’s a good idea. She proceeds to tell me that the skin on your foot is different from most skin on your body and with the design I had chosen it would most likely fade and blend together in as little as 6 months. “Alright then, I’ll get the gecko on my ankle!” Talk about a quick decision, huh? Well after a couple quick trips to the bathroom with my purse, if you catch my drift, and about 40 minutes later, there was my gecko.
Bright green and ready to be seen. Unfortunately, that’s not quite true. It only took walking out the door when I thought, “What did I just do? I have a bright green gecko on my ankle.” So needless to say it didn’t take more than a couple minutes for me to regret this one. Since then I have thought many times of getting something else put over it. Ben, as you’ve read previously, doesn’t agree with this idea, however, I am still contemplating whether or not I want to live the rest of my life with this one or not. My vote on the
Regretabiltiy Scale: 10 out of 10
Other than the fact that it does remind me of where I’ve come from and the grace that God has shown me, I still think I’d prefer to remember it another way. Maybe just tying a ribbon around my finger, or better yet, a ribbon tattooed on my finger. Hey, that’s not a bad idea. Maybe I’ll run to the local food mart and/or liquor store and head to a nice little shop on Highway 99 right now. 😉
On a side note: Colin and I were walking around somewhere a while back and I said to him, “What’s the deal with all the dumb butterfly tattoos that people get?” He just looked at me and said, “As opposed to a sweet gecko tattoo?”
Grace: “Oh yeah.”
(We both got a pretty good laugh out of that one.)
Location On Body: Back
Shop Location: Rack ‘n Ruin Skateshop/Tattoo Parlor, Lake Forest, CA (now closed)
How Long It Took: about 3 1/2 hours
I drew this design in my high school government class. Actually, I stole the sun and waves design from the kid I sat next to, and added a few personal touches. I looked up the kanji symbol in a English-Japanese dictionary in the library a few days later. The symbol itself means “tide”, as in the ebb and flow of the ocean. At the time, I couldn’t think of any real philosophical meaning for the symbol, other than it had something to do with the beach. I thought it went well with the waves. I ended up getting the tattoo several months later, just after my eighteenth birthday.
A decade later, I still love this tattoo! The “tide” kanji has taken on new meaning for me as the years roll on. Now it symbolizes the seasons of change that I’ve gone through, and will continue to experience for the rest of my life. “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven” Ecclesiastes 3:1
Following Ben’s regretability scale, I’d give this a 2 out of 10. I really wish I would’ve paid more attention while the guy was doing the work. The symbol is missing a “leg”, so I’m not sure what it really means…EEK! Once I get it touched up, and the symbol fixed, I’d give it a
Regretability Scale: 0 out of 10
I really like this one.
Location On Body: Right Leg
Shop Location: Chronic Tattoo – San Diego, CA
How Long It Took: about 1 hour
I sketched this one over the course of a couple of weeks before my 20th birthday, and got it inked as a present to myself. The symbolish thing is the letter P, which stands for my last name, Paduganan. The original idea was to get a P on my right leg, and a G on my left leg…but I’ve yet to finish the set. I still haven’t been able to come up with a good sketch for the other leg.
I’m continually redefining the meaning behind this design. At present, it has come to represent the consuming fire of the Holy Spirit, which is transforming my old man into something more Christ-like. I’m sure the meaning will continue to develop over time…especially if I get its partner on my other leg.
This will go down if I complete the set. For now, it looks a little silly…especially when my dad tells me that I have “P” on my leg (say it aloud).
Regretability Scale: 4 out of 10
Location On Body: Left Wrist
Shop Location: Chronic Tattoo – White Lotus Tattoo – Mission Viejo, CA
How Long It Took: only took 20-30 mins
This one was inspired by a teaching by Bill Johnson from Bethel Church in Redding, CA. He called anegativity fast for his congregation, calling them to stay positive for 40 days. It was born through the belief that we are greatly affected by the words we speak and the thoughts we think. I decided that it was a worthy goal for the rest of my life and decided to get this tattoo as a reminder. Whenever I see it, I remember to be thankful for all that Cod has done for me, and to humble myself as Christ did, graciously bearing any circumstances that I find myself in…at least, to the best of my imperfect abilities.
Remembering the goodness of God, and being thankful for all that He has done will never get old or go out of style. Plus, it looks like a cross. If I were ever to get a job that didn’t allow visible tattoos, it easily covered by a watch…which was all in the design =)