You know what they say, "Do one thing a day that scares you.' Or at least one thing in your twenties.
I try to be a person that does not live in fear. When life puts me in hot water, which has been frequently enough over the past decade, I try to keep a little more fight than flight. People and situations don't intimidate me. I am in no way, however, a thrill seeker. Bungee jumping, sky diving, moving to a new city alone are all perspective expanding experiences I've quietly avoided. For the most part, they didn't interest me enough to swallow the butterflies to pursue them. Then I heard the siren song of a rock and roll tattoo.
When I first heard of the Friday the 13th tattoo tradition and Dallas' record breaking involvement (Elm Street Tattoo hold the Guinness World Record on Friday the 13 for most tattoos in 24 hours), I wanted in. I had a few reasons in addition to my love for Dallas that made the idea interesting to me. I am pretty plain and simple with a sprinkle of rebellious that I think a small tattoo appropriately signifies. Of the few things I am afraid of, needles take all. Getting my ass in a chair for a needle is a serious feat, and I thought a gang of Deep Ellum die hards might be the only people in town who intimidate me enough to desensitize me. Taking the experience of a tattoo, typically designed to be deeply personal, down to the art of selecting an image off a poster and getting it inked on for $20 in the spirit of everyone else doing it was the layer of satire I was always looking for in my permanent body art experience. In my mind, it was done.
2013 was a year of very few Friday the 13s, and the only ones that came up I seemed to have a conflict. The regret I felt about missing out made me more sure. 2014 I essentially took the year off from going for it to make sure it felt like something I wanted to do in my mom skin, which I wanted to walk around in for a while. I was sure. And now Markus was in, so five years after we got married we were going to make this a thing - ink and all. The first Friday the 13 of 2015 was February which couldn't be more romantic...
except it was cold and the line was, in the words of Lionel Richie, all night long. It was a bust, but I walked away with hope for a new game plan in time for Friday, March 13.
Thankfully, I work with one of the all-knowing super cool kids who can pull of full sleeves and ombre hair and told me I was supposed to sign up the night before at Anvil Pub. Cuz everyone just goes down to Deep Ellum multiple nights in a row and stuff. All the time.
We were at Anvil on Thursday at 5:00 pm sharp and the first ones to sign our lives away. 13 tattoo enthusiasts: I suggest following @elmstreettattoo on instagram for your updates since event logistics, like all good times, are subject to change.
All that was left for Friday was to hang out inside with our valid ID for a while and try to play it off like my ghostly white face, darting eyes and layer of sweat was just how I keep things real.
A note: The hardest thing for me to get a handle for before the night was how the selection went. Basically, you pick off their one flash sheet and go for it. I would highly suggest rolling up with a plan B in terms of design and where you want it. My original pick was just too large on the flash for me to want to put it on my shoulder, and Markus needed a new spot for his. Any look of confusion or wavering is seen as very uncool. Be ready to roll with the punches or know it's ok to let them have your $20 for the sake of not being hasty when it comes to a tattoo on your bod. (Note: John Hughes movies really confirmed my love for the use of the word bod).
When they called my name I saw my arteest and thought, "Shit, the hardest guy in here. No freaking out now." Good news is the ponytail tat star was a big softy and I still freaked out and did ask Markus to stand by me before I shouted NO! and reminded myself this was a me, not us, moment of the night. I have seriously never been so scared in my life and then...