Top 10 worst times to get a tattoo

I love tattoos. I always have. They are becoming more socially acceptable and you may be surprised to find out how many people you know that are inked these days. My mom used to have issues with tattoos. Now all of her children have tats. It is comforting that in case of tragedy, there is one less thing to worry about. We had a tragedy several years ago where a tattoo could have saved some serious emotional trauma. I always tell my children, who happen to have five inked parents among them, that there is a reason you have to be a certain age to get tattoos. If I had gotten mine when I started getting into body art at fourteen, I would hate a few of my pieces. As an adult, I have given my work more thoughtful consideration. Other than while you are yet a minor, there are some times when getting a tattoo probably isn't the best idea: 
1. When you are mourning: Memorial tattoos can be a beautiful tribute and even aid in the healing process, BUT it is better to wait until the shock has worn off. We, as humans, don't always make the best decisions when we are emotional.

2. When you are drunk/high: Most artists aren't going to ink you if they suspect drug or alcohol use anyway, but if they don't notice, you could end up with a piece you don't remember getting and hate in the morning. If you find an artist that is willing to do the work while you are under the influence, they may not make the best decisions either. From a medical and artistic standpoint: alcohol increases bleeding. You probably won't bleed to death or anything, but the more you bleed, the more ink you lose with it.

3. New love: Call me superstitious, but I think names are bad luck altogether. Even if you aren't getting your new love's name inked on your body, this goes back to #1. Choosing body art while in the whirlwind of a new romance can cause poor decisions to be made and that beautiful piece to stir up negative feelings later if your relationship goes south.

4. Angry: Don't get me wrong, I love a good body-mod to channel anger. We are back to emotions, though. I once new a guy that got tattooed after his divorce: two wedding bands, a dagger, and the words, "never again". His second wife did not love that. Just like we say hurtful things in anger, angry tattoos can also be outside of our normal selves. Wearing your emotions on your sleeve, in the metaphorical sense is one thing, but maybe in the literal sense, you don't want your past emotions out there like that.

5. Impulsively: "Hey, what should we do today?" Your answer probably shouldn't be "Tattoos!" Unless you have put some thought into your ink beforehand. Now, if you have your work in mind and have just been waiting for the right time, I say, "Let's do this!". Passing a shop and wandering in with no prior thought may not be your best bet.

6. When the artist is drunk/high: Okay, this should be a no-brainer, but I have seen it more than once. This is unacceptable on many levels, but if your artist is willing to work under the influence, what other regulations are they violating?

7. In someone's house: Even if the artist is professionally licensed, unless the room you are in is state approved, it probably doesn't meet standards and can be seriously dangerous. Porous surfaces can collect and grow bacteria that can be seriously dangerous; even deadly.

8. When your friends talk you into it: If you aren't sure, or need to be convinced, it is NOT the right time. You wouldn't get plastic surgery without being sure. A tattoo is no different. It permanently changes your body.

These last two are for the ladies:

9. Pregnant: When you are pregnant, your body is already working on a lot of things. Your immune system is working on keeping you and baby healthy. Adding to the workload with the "injury" tattoos cause can make you more tired and more susceptible to infection. Certain parts of your body can be very tender as well.

10. On your period: Many people don't know this, but during certain times in your cycle, pain is intensified. Your nerves are on edge and being poked with a needle repeatedly can get pretty painful.

It all boils down to this:
1. Tattoos are permanent.
2. If you do get your ink removed, it is going to hurt a hundred times worse than the tat and take a very long time.
3. Removal is usually not perfect, either.
4. Cover-ups are not always possible.
5. Tattoos are literally a bunch of needles jack-hammering an artistic vision into your flesh.

Tattoos are not to be entered into lightly. Give your work some serious thought. Get a piece that MEANS something to you. You are going to have it for a long time!

Thanks for reading. I would love to hear about your tats in the comments.


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