How I Found the Perfect Tattoo

I recently read a post where a woman explained that she didn’t have a tattoo because “Why would you put a bumper sticker on a Ferrari?”

While this is clever and noble and high-minded, it is not why I have waffled about getting my own tattoo.

No….my reasons are far more mundane and un-glamorous.

I simply can’t decide what I want and where I want it.

Many years ago this indecision saved me from venturing into the seedier parts of town where “tattoo parlors” existed.

Back in the day, tattoos were a peculiar oddity and aside from the blurry blue shapes on war veterans, were only seen when the circus came to town.

Tattoo parlor.

The phrase conjured up visions of smoky back rooms populated by worldly, avaricious, jaded men and women who sported designs on body parts not generally spoken of in mixed company.

“Nice” people did not have anything to do with tattoos.

And then there was the ink quality and skill issue of tattoo artists back then: a few years ago I started an IV on a WWII vet whose anchor and ribbon had morphed into something that looked like a duck; discerning the original design was like trying to find shapes in clouds.

Thank heaven for indecision or I could now be sporting my own blue smudge.

Fast forward to today: Times (and hopefully ink and technique) have changed.

Tattoos are now known as “body art” or by the friendlier terms “tat” and “ink”,  and artists ply their trade in the bright light of day, are featured in TV series, hold huge conventions and of course have FaceBook pages.

There are gorgeous tats out there, along with spectacular flops. I don’t want to find my tat on the “tattoo fail” page, ya know?

So what’s an art-loving, indecisive girl like me to do?


Henna, or Mehndi, has been around for centuries ( and booths for this body art are now very popular at festivals and faires.

The lines are always long and I think this is because deep down, humans secretly crave art and beauty more than we realize.

Henna designs on their own are gorgeous and now they have been taken one step farther: color and sparkle are added to the paste to delight the eye as the design sets.

It’s a twofer!

With these things in mind, Sarah and I got in line at a local arts fest figuring we would have enough time to decide what to get. She knew exactly.

Me, not so much.

I dithered and considered the same questions that have always haunted me: what and where?

In the end I gave up and told the artist my price range and that she had to decide for me. The only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted purple sparkles in the paste.

Fifteen minutes later, I was the proud owner of this:

henna w sparkles

The paste dried and came off a few hours later and I sadly said goodbye to the glitter. I enjoyed my design for another week or so, knowing I could do it all again. A renewable resource.

Simple and elegant.


Mine, but not permanently so.

In short, the perfect tat.

If you need me, I will be in line at the henna booth.