Making a permanent change

Making a permanent change

By Misty Fritz

Earlier this month, I did something that apparently took some people by surprise: I got a tattoo (a cat on top of a book, on my inner left wrist) while visiting my friend Misti in Tulsa over Labor Day weekend.

My mom, in particular, was shocked. Right after it was finished, I sent her and my younger sister, Summer, a picture in our group text message; mom didn’t see it until a few hours later (she works midnights and was still sleeping when I sent it) and when she did, she thought Summer (who has a few tattoos already) was the one who had gotten it, because she never expected me to get one, especially in such a visible area. She even thought I might be playing a prank on them with a temporary tattoo, but I definitely wasn’t.

In college, one of my best friends at the time, Diana, often tried to convince me to get a tattoo, but back then I flat-out refused, citing my hatred of needles. That needle hatred still stands, but over the years my stance on getting tattoos has evolved. I’ve wanted one on my inner left wrist for several years now, though the design I wanted has changed many times. It also worked out that I don’t have much excess weight/skin in the wrist area, which means the tattoo won’t get distorted too much as I lose weight, which would be a risk with a tattoo in other spots.

Misti has gotten several tattoos from the same artist, Daniel Gulick at Colour Studios in Tulsa, and, after checking out more of his work on Facebook, I decided I wanted one from him, as well. Misti and her husband, Adam, put down a deposit for me to secure an appointment, and I sent Daniel a few images of what I had in mind, including a very crude Photoshop mock-up, and let him work his magic; the design he came up with was even better than I expected it to be. I love watercolor-style tattoos, but I knew they have a tendency to fade quickly, so he did his own take a watercolor-inspired design, with a black outline and just a few shades of purple and turquoise. It may not be the fanciest, most complex tattoo in the world, but that’s why I love it so much; I wanted something fairly simple.

All told, the tattoo took about 45 minutes to complete. It hurt — burned, more than anything — but not nearly as much as I thought it would. I didn’t even yell once, to my surprise, though I know I was making some rather hilarious facial expressions.

Will I get another tattoo? Probably eventually, though at this point I don’t know what it would be or where I would put it. I’ve had friends say they get addicted to getting tattoos, and I can definitely see why. For the first couple weeks, I couldn’t stop looking at mine (though that partially was because I was irritated with and fascinated by the extremely itchy healing process), and I love having this new, colorful part of me.