As I was lying around doing nothing all weekend because of a nasty sinus infection, I happened to come across a marathon of NY Ink. I’m not really into tattoos, but I was too lazy to change the channel and ended up watching the whole thing. The show itself is decent, although most of the cast makes me want to drive into the city just to punch them in the face.
Despite being somewhat watchable when there’s nothing else on, this show is horribly depressing. Does anyone get a tattoo for a happy reason?? My goodness, it seemed like every person who walked through the door was getting something in honor of their friend/parent/child who passed away. Every single one! Maybe they only show those ones on tv because they have stories attached? I suppose watching a bunch of 20-something girls get tramp-stamps and butterflies wouldn’t make for very good television, but still. I was on the verge of tears the entire time.
I started thinking about people I know with tattoos, and the majority of them chose things to honor lost loved ones, too. I understand the reasoning and I think it’s a nice gesture, but I was just so surprised to see so many people going through such difficult times. This one young woman came in and asked for her daughter’s footprints on her forearm. Before she even said anything, I knew that the daughter didn’t make it. Sure enough, the woman went into labor early, had complications, and the baby only lived a couple of hours. A couple of hours! I can’t even imagine her pain. The tattoo artist (Tony) told her that maybe her daughter had to die so her future brothers and sisters can live (which I didn’t think was all that comforting) and the woman left with a whole new perspective.
Other people had portraits done, but mostly the images were symbolic and those were my favorites. My absolute favorite one was the first one I saw. This young woman lost her dad when she was in high school and had a really hard time dealing with it. She rebelled against her mom and got into a bunch of trouble. They’ve since repaired their relationship. She decided to get a tattoo of a few different flowers and a hummingbird, over her left ribcage where her heart is. Each element of the design represented a different person in her immediate family and she said this way she will always have them close to her heart.