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I recently got my second tattoo done. And getting my mom to be onboard was a task on its own. This is how I convinced my mother – a doctor – to let me get a tattoo.
The first time I ever wanted to get a tattoo was when I turned 18 because I had just crossed the threshold to adulthood, and I wanted to mark that. So, I went to my mum and asked her, politely, if I could get a tattoo. She looked at me, straight in the eye, and said, “No.”
When I asked her why, she gave me the age-old answer of “because I say so.” Being myself, I obviously kept pestering her and asking her why over and over again till she finally relented.
She said, “Do you know just how many infections you can catch if you get a tattoo? You don’t understand hygiene, neither do you know if the tattoo people understand hygiene. I am not letting any person go ahead and hurt my daughter with the needle and what not!”
It made sense, her logic. But I was 18 and I wanted to rebel, and I just really really wanted a tattoo. And so, I did the next best thing, I went to my father. Spoiler alert! That was a bad idea for he was worse than mum.
He said and I quote, “Oh you want a tattoo? Something permanent on your skin? Why don’t you also go and get your tongue and eyebrows pierced while you’re at it!”
Clearly, a tattoo wasn’t going to happen then!
I grew up, without a tattoo, seeing other get theirs. Trust me, it was sad!
But I didn’t give up. I was also a stubborn person! So, I tried again, this time on my 21st birthday. And this time, I was prepared! I had a power-point ready; I had a list of reasons why I should get a tattoo, I had names of tattoo artists and how they’re hygienic and clean! Like I said, I was prepared.
And in I went, confident that they would let me get the tattoo now! Being my parents, they were a step ahead. Before they even saw the presentation (sigh, beautiful presentation) they refused, point blank. I had arguments ready, court worthy, arguments, I might add.
I stood in front of them and said, “I am an adult, I am eligible to vote, to drink, to get married, why can’t get something as simple as a tattoo. It won’t cost much…”
To which they replied, “You are certainly eligible to vote and to drink, but neither do you vote every day, nor do you drink. As for the third part, get married and get your whole body tattooed for all we care! Till you live under this roof, you are getting no tattoo done and that’s final!”
To say, I was heartbroken is an understatement! It hurt but I promised myself that I will get a tattoo once I moved out of the house.
And move out I did. In 2017, I went to Cardiff to study. I, technically, wasn’t living under my parents’ roof. Little technicalities, you see!
So, in November 2017, two of my friends and I got our tattoos on an impulse! (A story for another time.) Now, in December, I was supposed to go home but my parents didn’t know about the tattoo! I was in a dilemma of either having to tell them or wearing socks around them for the rest of my life.
As the homecoming loomed closer, I panicked a little more. The day of my flight arrived. I sit in the flight, trying not to think of what to tell my parents. I reach home and there they were! Happy to see them, I rushed to hug them, and I was delighted to be back home.
I knew I couldn’t hide it anymore. When we reached home, I slowly removed my shoes and peeled off my socks, I called my mum in the room. And I told her that there was something she needed to know. Here’s how that conversation went:
Me: M, I need to tell you something. I did something.
Mother: You killed someone?
Mother: You’re pregnant?
Me: Oh my! No!!
Mother: (breathing a relieved sigh) Okay. What is it?
Me: I got a tattoo done. Don’t worry, it was safe and clean. The artist is very particular about cleanliness and hygiene and changing needles. I checked the place before I went. Promise.
Mother: Now that you’ve done it, can I say anything? Not like I’ll ask you to remove it.
She finally accepted the tattoo after a long time. But by then I wanted my second tattoo. Now convincing her was a task on its own.
I called her and I told her, that over the weekend, I might get my second tattoo and while I didn’t expect her to be onboard just yet, I just wanted approval. Quite obviously, she didn’t agree.
Thus, began the new tattoo campaign. This time, I wasn’t at home, so I had to do everything via phone calls.
My stubbornness took to new heights because I drafted a long email to her, telling her the perks of having a new tattoo. The email did nothing. I didn’t give up. Obviously. I wanted the tattoo and I was going to get it.
Convincing mum was quite hard, but she finally relented saying, “At least, you’re telling me. But this does NOT mean I approve. I may accept it. But it doesn’t have my approval.”
I am taking that as a win and last weekend, I got my second tattoo done.
Here’s hoping that by my next tattoo, she is more accepting and approving of it!
Ps. Both my tattoos hold a deep meaning for me, something that my mum does understand and is accepting of.
Picture credits: YouTube
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Reader, writer and currently an Associate Editor at Women's Web, I survive on coffee
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