I’m 59 years old and I just got a tattoo

I never wanted a tattoo. It isn’t that I had anything against them. I remember seeing them as a kid. It wasn’t very often but some of them were pretty cool. But I never had a drive to get one. Until now…

As I got into college, I was a blood donor cycle and I was told that tattoos meant you had to take a year off from donating.

Then there was the question of what tattoo. Since it wasn’t high on my priority list and I didn’t want to mess up the blood donation thing, the thought of what would I want permanently on my body seemed like an impossible decision.

My youngest, in the other hand, always wanted a tattoo. She started asking when she was around 16 years old. Given a normal 16 year old’s view of “forever”, the normal dad response of no seemed appropriate.

To be fair, while my words were something along the lines of “I’m sorry, but a tattoo is something for when you are older”, my actual internal dialog was “Oh HELL no”.

But she was persistent.

So I had to fall back on logic and other underhanded dad tricks. “If, every morning for six months, you tell me that you want the exact same tattoo in the exact same place, I will consider approving it. But you need to pay for it yourself.”

I didn’t hear much about it after that. I count that as a win. However, as I have learned since, my youngest was most likely sitting in the tattoo parlor on her eighteenth birthday. I don’t count that as a loss though, because she has been very thoughtful about the tattoos she has gotten. One to honor our wonderful black lab (click his picture for his story) and one in honor of a grandpa.

But she kept bringing it up. And this time, about 6 months ago, I decided to go ahead. While I would like to claim that it was a well thought out decision with lots of pros and cons examined and evaluated, I can’t claim that.

I did it because she wanted me to. She was asking for both of us get the same tattoo — a father-daughter tattoo. Hard to say no to that.

After searching for the image she wanted, and verifying that it actually was a father-daughter graphic, we met with the tattoo artist.

I had a little bit of angst about where to put it. I wanted it to be visible to her and I don’t wear sleeveless shirts so that left my forearms or neck. And the neck was a non-starter. So, as you can see above, I went with the inside of my arm and she went with her upper arm.

It has been a few months since I got it. It catches my eye from time to time — what’s that? oh yeah… The experience itself was different and not one I care to repeat. But I smile when I look at it, knowing that she has one too.

I am proud to have a shared tattoo with my daughter. I think it is pretty cool. So is she.

2 responses to “I’m 59 years old and I just got a tattoo”

  1. This is a great story – very much enjoyed it. Is that a Celtic cross? Irish cross? Any significance to either of you? It really does look cool. You are a good man, Charlie Brown.

    • Celtic meaning father-daughter. I googled it a bit and this design and other similar kept coming up. And I trusted Nissa and the tattoo artist to feel comfortable that I wasn’t tattooing “I abuse small dogs” on my arm.

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