Today, for the first time EVER, I got a tattoo on a whim. I’ve had two for over a year that both went through careful painstaking consideration and design processes. The tattoo is based on a quote from a young adult novel that resonated with me in a way I can’t entirely explain.
“Come, you have to admit that the mattress dance is just a dance. And love, with a cursive capital "L” is merely sleight of hand, doled out by genetic edict in order to keep DNA flowing. It’s all genetics. And beyond that, it’s all just zeros and ones. But friendship, with an unpretentious lowercase “f” is real, and right and valuable.“ - Mercutio, "Idlewild” by Nick Sagan
I hold this quote in the highest regard. My friends, my true friends, me more to me than anything. Every time I have a crisis, I have a friend who can talk me through it, and I do my best to do the same for them. I’d much rather have an incredible friend than an incredible romance. I’ve seen LOVE fade to hate, but true friendships never do.
One of my amazing friends actually invited me to go with her while she got an ear piercing. I wanted to spend the day with her, so I said yes. Then I brought up the idea of maybe getting a third tattoo. She was 100% on board, and we both talked through what tattoo I would get. I don’t have a favorite symbol, and the only other tattoo design I’ve been working through in my head is far from being completed. Then I brought up this quote, and the decision was final.
She got her ear piercing, and we spent another few minutes finalizing placement and size while in the tattoo shop. After that, it was just a matter of waiting for the artist to set up. I had a stress ball in one hand and her hand in the other, and it was on. I flinched every time his hand touched me, but never when the needle did. I grew up as a pretty twitchy kid who never had a problem getting shots, so that didn’t really surprise me. Sure it hurt, but so did the other tattoos.
The reaction I’ve received so far from friends is doing wonders to assuage my doubts. Everyone seems pleased with the turnout, and, as great friends, they appreciate the meaning. But I can’t seem to get over what an impulsive idea this was and am having trouble wrapping my head around the success of such a spur of the moment decision.
But. The more I think about it, and what it means to me, and how long I’ve adored the quote, and where it sits (under a tattoo I got to remind me of the importance of taking a second to breathe and calm down and talk things through with friends) the more I’m beginning to love it. However, I highly doubt I will ever get such an impulsive tattoo ever again.