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My Mother and my Tattoo

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Old 01-27-2008, 08:22 PM   #1
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I just finally got enough money to get my tattoo that I've been planning for 2 years. Its a purple faerie/tribal style butterfly with swirly purple and turquoise dust with floating white daisies, in honor of my mother (who is still alive). I've tried to talk to her about it gently, but all I get are strained silences and cold looks. She hates tattoos, and I respect that she doesn't like that I'm getting one, but I thought that since it was about her, she would at least be somewhat interested or have an opinion about it. Last time I asked, she got mad because she thought that tattoos about your family only happened when you were dead. I'm so hurt and frustrated right now that I'm about to forget the whole thing and just get something else. I wanted to have something on me that would always make me smile and think about my mom, since she's been my biggest supporter about almost everything, except this, in my life. I know I shouldn't need a tattoo to think about her, but I wanted my first to mean something special that was about something permanent in my life, so I wouldn't look at it and go "geez, why did I get this again?". So I don't know, I'm about to get a flower or something.
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Old 01-27-2008, 08:32 PM   #2
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Hi I rarely post in this section of the forum but I will anyways ...

You see I'm a mom and I don't like tattoos either what can I say? BUT my son got one in November, behind my back and I felt angry and disappointed that he would do this. The tattoo is not about me at all but now that I see it, all the time, well it's kinda grown on me and I like it ME like a tattoo, go figure. I just wouldn't get one myself though, I don't think ... What I am getting at here is, get the tattoo that you want that reminds you of your mom, you won't be happy with just an ole flower that means nothing to you... your mom will get used to it, I promise, specially if it's about her ...
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Old 01-27-2008, 08:37 PM   #3
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From someone with lots of ink and disapproving family, get what makes you happy and what you want.

It's going to be a part of you. You have to get what you want.

My grandma just shakes her head at me now, and my mom eventually took it in stride and helped me with ideas on my back piece about 6 years after my first.
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Old 01-27-2008, 08:39 PM   #4
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I agree with Ilene. where are you planning on getting it?

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Old 01-27-2008, 08:54 PM   #5
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I don't get honoring your mom with something she doesn't like - that's like making a donation in her name to a Pro Choice organization if she is Pro Life supporter - she wouldn't thank you for that either!

If you want a tattoo and she hates them, get a tattoo that you like (and get it to remind you of your mom if you want). Just don't expect her to get happy and excited about something she doesn't care for. A lot of people HATE tattoos and a lot of people will never like them/think they're attractive/appreciate the meaning or art - it's something to get used to when you have one.

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Old 01-27-2008, 08:55 PM   #6
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My mom has a butterfly shaped brown birthmark on her thigh that you can see when she wears shorts. Its her pride and joy, why she loves butterflies in the first place. I was going to have it put on the same thigh as hers, maybe with her birthday on it somewhere.
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Old 01-28-2008, 01:58 PM   #7
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I remember when i got my first tattoo on my 18th birthday. I showed it to my mom and she said "I'm your mother and i love you but I HATE IT!" lol. Get the tattoo that makes you feel good. You dont have to share it with your mom to know what it means
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Old 01-28-2008, 05:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
"I'm your mother and i love you but I HATE IT!"
That is so true, we love our children UNCONDITIONALLY, but it doesn't mean we have to like everything they do...
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Old 01-28-2008, 05:57 PM   #9
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I think that you might want to reconsider a tattoo with a special meaning to you that doesn't involve your mother. You said "... but I thought that since it was about her, she would at least be somewhat interested or have an opinion about it."

She does have an opinion about it - she hates tattoos, and that isn't going to change by you making it about her. In fact, I think it makes it worse, because it's a kind of emotional blackmail, it's as if you're saying "I know you don't like tattoos, and I respect that (well not really because I intend to find a way to make you like this one). In fact you HAVE to like this one, because it's about you. A GOOD mother would be flattered that her daughter wants to do this.

I know that's a bit of an exageration, but there's a shred of truth in there because it is obvious that you want the tattoo and your mother's approval, and are trying to find a way to get both. You can't, so if you really respect her, don't try.
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Old 01-29-2008, 03:53 AM   #10
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Hey there! Now that you've explained your rationale, with your mother's butterfly-shaped birthmark, I do get why you're connecting this with her in your head. But the thing is, if the poor woman loathes tattoos, it's a bit like celebrating a Jewish friend's birthday by giving them a roast pork dinner, you know? I mean, it's nice that you're thinking of her, but you can't expect her to start liking tattoos just because you're telling her it's in her honour. I think that ultimately the tattoo needs to be for you, regardless of whether parents, lovers, friends or whoever will approve or like it, and it needs to be something that you'll still enjoy in 40 years time. Because you're the one who's got to live with it 24/7 for the rest of your life.

So I think your design sounds cool, and the idea of it being significant to you because it reminds you of her is lovely - but I also think you need to accept that it's simply NOT going to signify the same thing her.

...and I think I sound a bit grumpy and bossy, which isn't at all what I meant to do! I got my first (and thus far, only) tattoo in May of this year. It took 6 hours, and it crosses my back from my left hip to my right shoulder, and I love it love it love it love it, and it's meaningful to me - but I know my mum isn't going to love it any time soon.

('Course, I'm 34 and live in another country, but I would love to be able to share it with her, because it makes me so happy. But - she hates tattoos. It's not going to make her happy.)
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:47 PM   #11
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Thanks everybody for the advice. I went in yesterday for my consultation, and the receptionist was impressed with my sketch. The artist was in the middle of another tattoo so she took it in for him to look at. Its a bit pricier than I thought with tip, but the receptionist really liked the design (and I liked her double lip rings). I'm scheduled for Tuesday, so cross your fingers!

My mother called me yesterday when she thought I was getting it that night. The conversation was absolutely hilarious. I felt it was well worth sharing.

Mom: So, did you get it?
Me: No, it was a consultation, thought I might have. I'm scheduled for Tuesday.
Mom: Was the place clean?
Me: Yea, the building was clean, and the website said that they're trained in first aid and everything is disposable.
Mom: You do realize that getting a tattoo hurts, right?
Me: -silence- Um... yea Mom, the whole needle thing kinda clued me in to that.
Mom: Just checking.

You just can't help but love her.
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:52 PM   #12
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A true Mom ...
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:14 PM   #13
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I love her to death, and I just could not stop laughing when I got off the phone with her. I'm still laughing now!
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Old 01-31-2008, 03:42 PM   #14
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When my son came in with his tatoo I said: '' You know that's FOREVER you know'' ... He probably got a good chuckle on my behalf too...
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Old 01-31-2008, 05:12 PM   #15
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About 25 years ago I poked some extra holes in my ear with a safety pin and my mother hit the roof (well, I was only 14 and this wasn't done often back then...). A couple of years later, she was buying funky earrings for me.

People adapt to things they don't like. You want this because you want something you like that reminds you of your mother. My mum also hates tattoos, but I've been debating getting something for a similar reason (not presently inked). I don't know if I'd show her - it's for me and my memories, but I might.

If it's an attractive design, I'll bet you she'll be admiring it in a year's time.

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