On December 29th 2014 my best friend and I got our first tattoos together. We were both extremely nervous but excited. I got a beautifully stylized Deathly Hallows tattoo in cobalt blue (the Hallows symbol) and turquoise (the stylized swirls).
I was nervous, the pain to a lesser extent, but primarily the tattoo itself. Would it be well done? Like to my high standards well done? Would I regret having a tattoo, regardless of the image? I know I love Harry Potter, always have, so I doubted the symbolism would ever be a mistake, but a tattoo is permanent. It is a huge commitment, probably the biggest (children don't stay with you forever even, and sometimes things happen even with your spouse, but a tattoo is in your skin forever).
I mean, I had thought about it, and I did want it, but part of me thought about how I was partially getting it just to be a rebel, to have a talking point in my skin, and maybe that is the purpose of a tattoo. Maybe the meaning doesn't need to be weightier. And I wanted to commemorate my dear friendship with Rose. I haven't felt so happy with a friend or a friendship in years. I only have maybe 3 others who are on par with what she and I share, and even those 3 are very different friendships, of which only 1 still lives in my town!
I've had past friends I was immensely close to as well, and also ones who I love dearly now but it isn't the same, you know? Soul mates kind of, versus someone you love but it isn't "easy". I hope that makes sense. Becky was a very close friend, I loved her like no other friend, but it wasn't easy, and we lost it. I really loved Emily too, but she and I apparently were not politically like minded enough for her, because it didn't bother me that we had differences of opinions. Kari was entirely my mistake, jealousy and hurt ruined it due to me feeling immensely close to her, and hurt that I wasn't invited to her wedding and a tiny but jealous she got her happy ending way before mine (she'd been dating him less than a year, and I'd been dating Mike 2-3 years and wasn't even engaged yet).
I honestly think of those three ladies often, but I don't think I'm brave enough to fix anything :'(
I have many many great friends, but to click with someone on the level I'm talking about is rare. To agree with so many of the same things, to look forward to seeing one another no matter how frequently you see each other and to be able to pick up where you left off after years is a rare and wondrous gift.
So here we (Rose and I) are at Clovis Ink, at 5:00 on a Monday evening. We chatted about tattoos, how much we'd heard it hurt, and how cool tiny teacup tattoos on our pinkies would be (maybe later we'll get them together) so that as you are actually drinking out of a teacup and your pinkie is extended you show it off).
We filled out our paperwork (liability releases), and got to talking about handwriting. I can't do cursive, whereas Rose likes her cursive best.
I decided to go first, (which I guess was Rose's idea too. She is a self described "pull off the bandaid" type too) and I just hoped that I'd be brave! I tried to breathe (that was hard initially) and I kinda failed at first! I got dizzy and lightheaded like I do when I get my blood drawn and IVs put in. I think I lasted maybe 2-5 minutes until I needed a break. I put my head in my hands and asked for water. It didn't take too long to feel better once I drank some water, and I went for it again. At some point I ended up holding Rose's hand for moral support. I said colorful things like, "oh this is bothersome" and "this isn't the most pleasant thing ever", ha ha! I don't think I swore once somehow!
I discovered my ability to distract myself and Rose by keeping the conversation flowing. I asked her about her siblings, her family, her first pet, her favorite book series, her first fandom (Anime, Yu-Gi-Oh and Naruto), etc. I also gave my answers as well, and it took up enough time to breeze through the remainder if my tattoo. It was annoying, but easily forgotten while we were talking.
Once mine was finished we swapped seats and Rose got her crescent moon with swirling interior, and three tiny stars.
Her placement was her left wrist on the interior side. It hurt quite a but judging by her reaction. I held her hand for support and she worried she was hurting me (she didn't at all). I tried to keep the conversation rolling. We talked to our tattooist Brian, asked him about how long he'd been tattooing (5 years), what got him into that profession, his art hanging on the walls, etc.
Anyway we also talked about Lost Girl, Lord of the Rings (plus how Mike and I had "remet"), movie marathons, actors, Guardians of the Galaxy, how we'd found fandoms, and all things geeky. It was a very fun conversation and it was enlightening, I think even with all the time we've spent talking (and talking and talking) in the past few months we still have barely scratched the surface of topics! We've spent at least a full 24+ hours talking about the world and we still haven't had a lull in conversation!
After our tattoos were finished, we paid Brian and thanked him. Now we'll both have a permanent reminder of one another. This is one friendship that is destined to last. I think I chose the right friend to make such a permanent decision with <3
I feel so incredibly blessed to have found a great friend like Rose, and it is so bittersweet that she is leaving soon. I'm the "Good Luck Chuck" of my friends. If you want to move at some point, all you need to to get remotely close to me and within a year you'll be deployed, find a job offer you or your spouse can't refuse, or somehow you'll end up across the country (or in this case, across the world!).
I intend to still keep in as much contact as possible with my busy schedule, and I know things work out how they are meant to.