The Story Behind My Lower Back Tattoo

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

I have a lower back tattoo.



While it's not my favorite thing on my body, I don't completely regret it either because I feel like it keeps me humble. I'd like to think that me from so many years ago got it knowing that future-me would see the humor in it.

However, that's not the truth. If you'd like to know the real origins of my lower back tat we have to travel back several years to the early 2000s when I was a mere 16 year old. That's correct, my parents allowed me to get a tattoo when I was only 16. As I've gotten older I've often wondered why they allowed me to do this and the only conclusion I can come up with is that they felt bad for me. I imagine the conversation went like this.

"Hey, Taylor wants to get a tattoo," my mom.

"As in our daughter? Seriously?" my dad.

"I know, I was surprised too. This is literally the only cool thing she has ever attempted to do, ever."

"For real. I count the beer in our fridge every weekend hoping she'll sneak just one, but it's never happened. Not even once....  I think we should let her."

"Maybe she'll get more friends out of it?"

"Or at least weekend plans. It can't hurt."

"Should I suggest she get two?"

And so on and so forth.

The weekend I got my tattoo I was in Vegas, attending a State Farm Insurance convention with parents, because like I said, I was very cool. Although I wasn't attending the actual convention, I was mostly just sulking around the hotel looking for food. The last convention my parents drug me along to was in Chicago and I remembered there was free Haagen Dasz bars everywhere at the hotel. That was pretty much the main reason I agreed to go along to Vegas, was to get free ice-cream bars. My mom never bought Haagen Dasz because it was expensive AF so it was a real treat to get it.

Unfortunately, this convention really had to "cut costs" as my dad told me, and no free ice-cream was given. My dad said even the lunch buffet was a let down. Apparently, all the State Farm agents were talking about it, not just me. If you've ever attended a work convention, you know that the type of food served is a very BIG DEAL.

I was pouting by the pool, probably NOT drinking a virgin daiquiri, because I was too shy to order one and say the word "virgin," out loud, when I saw a cool looking girl, with a cool looking tat, and thought to myself, "I'm bored, I should get a tattoo today."

And that's how my tattoo idea was born. Out of boredom. I also thought to myself, I bet everyone back in Norfolk would be so jealous if I came home with a tattoo from VEGAS. Two perfectly good reasons for a 16 year old to get a tattoo.

Two hours later I was lying belly down in my Hollister pink corduroy short-shorts, in a skeezy tattoo shop on the strip, while a large old man inked by body. Don't worry, my mom was with me!

I got something I'd been wanting forever and that was really important to me! Jk, I got a symbol I had just found 10 minutes earlier in that man's tattoo portfolio book. Like I said, it keeps me humble, you guys!

It's a Chinese symbol. What does it mean? I change it from time to time. But usually I say "strength," or "power," or "serenity," blah blah blah. When I used to be a beer cart girl at a golf course and old men would see it under my shirt and they'd grossly ask what it meant I'd snap back, "it means you shouldn't be looking there." (I didn't do well as a beer cart girl.)

Also, I refuse to call it a "tramp stamp" because I don't think we'd ever call a tattoo on a man a tramp stamp. So like, let's get over that phrase. It's very outdated.

Only a handful of people know what it really means. Let's just say it's laughable. And I will never share it with the world, ever ever. Sixteen year old me has terrible taste or a real sick sense of humor. Perhaps both?

I'll never get another tattoo, but I'm in no way against them. I've seen a lot of cool ones and who am I to judge what brings someone else joy? Should my future child ever want one will I let them? Absolutely! I've turned out okay... ish.

What's your tattoo mean?


28 comments:

  1. Your parents are so cool, haha. Mine are unconventional as heck but I could never see them allowing me to get a tattoo when I was 16! (Not sure if it's even legal here in Hong Kong)

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

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  2. I have zero tattoos bc I am too fickle and afraid of pain and needles. Eric got his first tattoo of a panther on his back when he was also 16. He was THE COOLEST KID especially during swim meets. All the parents talked.

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    1. I also find it hilarious that Eric now has a black cat (his best friend Denzel) that looks exactly like his tattoo. I'll text you a pic later. It's awesome.

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  3. My tattoo means that you shouldn't make decisions when you're 19 and on Spring Break in Panama City, FL. Thankfully I had the sense to get something small, tasteful, and easily hidden. But really, what was I thinking in getting a "tropical fish" that in reality doesn't exist and why is the fish blowing bubbles? Fish don't blow bubbles! But, like you, I thought it would make me "cooler" when I got home to the midwestern city that was home at the time.

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    1. My Mom was not pleased when I got home but wasn't too made because of the size and location. But I was the first girl in high school to have her belly button pierced! My Mom didn't want to take me to get it done as she was worried about Hepatitis, so, like the nurse she was at the time, she took some supplies from the hospital and pierced me herself. Just like she did with my ears as a kid. It lasted a few months til it grew out.

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  4. "Also, I refuse to call it a "tramp stamp" because I don't think we'd ever call a tattoo on a man a tramp stamp. So like, let's get over that phrase. It's very outdated."
    THIS IS EVERYTHING!!! TELL EM

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    1. But I would totally call that shit a tramp stamp on anyone whether they have a penis or vagina or neither. haha. I totally have a tattoo there too! For shame... :)

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  5. Oh my god are we the same person??? I have a lower back tattoo that I got at 17 (2003) and my mom had to give her permission. I got it at a very classy place on the Jersey Shore boardwalk and the guy tattooing me had a long gray beard and was smoking a cigarette. I picked my sweet design out from options hanging on the wall. Don't know what the hell I was thinking... 14 years later all my friends still make fun of it.

    The best part is I remember telling my parents "I'm either getting a nose ring or a tattoo" and my mom agreed to a tattoo because "you're not mutilating your face." I guess no one realized a tattoo was permanent and a nose ring I could simply remove. I ended up getting the nose ring 5 months later in college. :)

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  6. Hahaha - tramp stamps! ;) I have legit "tribal art" on my lower back. It means absolutely fucking nothing to me, but my parents saw it for the first time on Easter Sunday at church when I bent over to get a paper and the old ladies behind us saw it too...my Mom was mortified. I have 5 others and all have a significant meaning behind them...I learned that lesson real quick.

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  7. My dad worked for an insurance company too, and we also had free Haagen Dazs bars on our convention trips! Running around the hotel with another man's daughter (so much freedom!) eating all the free Haagen Dazs was the best part of my summer.

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  8. My first tattoo was inspired by the artwork on the first Taylor Swift DVD - not the cover, the actual disc. Unfortunately the tattoo artist said the placement wouldn't last and to get it elsewhere. I now have a random heart that hurt like H-E-double hockey sticks in the middle of my foot. I plan to one day make it into something else...maybe once needles stop hurting?
    https://hotmesscoolday.wordpress.com

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  9. I do not have any tattoos but if I followed through with the dream tattoos I wanted I would have: a dove on my hip (just above my hip bone), a tree on my side starting on my hip, growing up my side transforming into many birds flying away. Me today would hate myself if I got those, but ya know humble :)

    www.amymarieblog.com

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  10. Now I just really need to know what it means

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  11. My mom and I were bored and decided to get matching tattoos by the bottom of the hairline towards the neck. We got crowns that look like Rapunzel's crown because we love Disney, particularly Rapunzel. WELL, 2 years later and I'm teaching in a Chicago public school. I learned students aren't allowed to have anything with crowns, particularly 5 points because it is a GANG SIGN. My sweet Rapunzel tattoo is suddenly a little less sweet now that I know it's a gang tattoo haha

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  12. I have two the one on my left arm is a flower with Tim's name and the one on my right hand is a little red hand with the name Leo underneath, the little red hand matches a tattoo Jessica has on her right hand and Leo well Leo is Jessica's son and oh so special to me and his papa

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  13. This story is literally fascinating to me and I love it. What a brave 16 year old you were!

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  14. I got a stupid tattoo on my foot when I was 18. I'm pretty sure I came up with the idea while drunk sitting in my dorm with friends who dared me to do it. I originally wanted a tiny star on my foot, but that turned into a big star. Then, I hated the big star so I turned it into a shooting star with a smaller star by it. It's completely ugly and the dumbest thing I ever did. My two year old now pokes at my foot asking what it is. I've contemplated getting another tattoo because I really do like them. But, I can't think of anything that I'd actually not hate. I think I'll save up for laser removal instead ;)

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  15. OMG hahahah. My 18th birthday - got the Chinese symbol for "fire" on my hip. It's v classy. Great conversation piece.

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  16. I was 16 when we were visiting my sister at Iowa State. My parents took me to get my belly button pierced after tailgating all morning. I hope to be the type of parent that will, while buzzed, take their teenager to get tattooed/pierced.

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  17. Well, this is shocking to everyone, but I have 4 tattoos. I love them all!

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  18. Oh my goodness, I laughed so hard at this! You're leaving me so curious to what it means haha I'm a big chicken and have zero tattoos because the minute it was on my body I'd freak out and want it off!

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  19. In my (very conservative tiny Christian) college classes I would draw little hearts on my wrist ... does that count?

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  20. Haha, I love this post and yes, your parents must have been a little crazy to let you get one at 16!!!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

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  21. I got my first tattoo at 37 yrs old...both my daughters names on my wrist. I love it and I do want more!

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  22. This is hilarious.

    I have two tattoos, and they are actually quite meaningful to me!

    My first is Soixante dix huit written on my right foot. That's 78 in French, which refers to where I lived and worked as an au pair for a year. My 3 best friends and I all got matching tattoos.

    My second is a fleur-de-lis on my back. It reflects my love for my sorority (Kappa) and France.

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  23. haha I got a tattoo at 16 too! with my mothers blessing. I wanted my lip pierced for ages and she was so against it and when I wanted a tattoo she was like okay! I was like....this is WAY more permanent than a lip ring but OKAY. I also had my lip pierced for a few years at 19 so like...I really got both. Anyway this is a great story haha. I don't necessarily regret my 16 year old self's tattoo but let's just say I wouldn't get it again today. and I have several more now haha

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