Saturday, October 26, 2013

Blaze and the Bovine

I got a tattoo in Connecticut yesterday. I wasn’t planning on wearing the cow suit. I wasn’t planning on blogging about it. I was hoping to go on about my mid-life crisis and embark upon tonight’s episode in my hunt for self in a little solitude and private reflection. Then I saw this as I walked in. It was a sign.  A lot of signs are flashing and screaming at me lately. I flit between looking and listening or getting shades and earplugs.  

I was over an hour late for my appointment. Traffic surprised me. I rushed from work but the only things rushing in that traffic were my pulse and rising frustration. There was not a darn thing I could do about it. I had to just turn on Katy Perry’s new album, and settle into the music and my own thoughts as I would get there when I got there.

Once traffic cleared, I flew. Even after my first 10 minutes of stillness and calm in the bright, quirky gallery, my average speed in Connecticut was still in the 80mph range. This wasn’t the pace I wanted going into such a big deal. When I called to tell them I would be late, Lari was chill and soothing .  When I arrived, Blaze and her husband Derek exuded a relaxed and accommodating energy and there was no rush at all. And a tranquility swept over the cow.
While Blaze sketched I took in the art and displays of the gallery. I wish I had taken more pictures. I was in my jeans, the day’s long sleeve button-up shirt and my dress Converse. I kept thinking about the flashing and screaming cow print beetle parked outside. As Blaze and I chatted while she got a feel for her new client, I was still nervous and preoccupied. I was explaining why Connecticut for the weekend [ a blog to come] and as I heard myself speak, I knew I had to sprint back to the car for a suit.  She was resketching and resizing anyway, so it wasn’t like she was going to be further waiting on me.  I hate making people wait on me.

I got both of my other tattoos with my friend Erin. I was feeling a bit vacant without her. When I sat down in Blaze’s chair, however, her professional certification was on the wall to the left.  “Erin Blaze Schwaller.”   Smirk.  Although alone in the chair, my friend was there. In fact, many were there in spirit as I gritted my teeth and winced in the Sprit Gallery yesterday.

As my time with Blaze mirrored a therapy session, we talked more about the cow suit. I explained much that is in Cow Suit Saturday and at one point she said, “that is why I changed my name. I knew I needed a more outgoing persona and a name to go with it. So, Blaze it was.”
Blaze is an introvert. My friend Erin was not.  Of my time in the studio in my cow suit yesterday, the theme and contemplations that rose to the top in my mind are the contrasts of intro- and extroversion. I had a conversation with another friend just last weekend on a bike ride about my friendship with Erin during my 20’s. We are both such extroverts that the elements of that friendship don’t exist in many of my other relationships with people. Most of my best friends are introverts. They’re everywhere, and I’m learning that I think they are weird. (Gasp—I am a jerk.) I love them, but I critique them and don’t understand their quiet and comfort with and need for solitude

Now hold on. I love my solitude. Having grown up an only child, I need and crave it, but I don’t get the same type of energy from it that introverts do.  I am reenergized by stimulating social interactions and laughter and noise and revelry—and Cow Suits!  Although, as I’m uncovering this element of me that is a writer… writing is solitude and quiet and I feel an energy from it. Oh good grief. I don’t think I can handle it if I discover that I’m a closet introvert.
Back to Blaze and my time at the Spirit Gallery. Yes, it hurt. She giggled a bit when I whined and confirmed that the wrist is one of the most sensitive places for the needle.  She told me it was a “legit” tattoo. Ah, a nice boost for this bovine from this talented artist.
There are a number of reasons I chose my right wrist. First of all, I can see it. One of my other tattoos is on my lower back (before they became called “tramp stamps!" )and I’m sad I can’t see it.
Another reason I chose my wrist is because it’s visible to others.  In my continuing caring of what others think, I am too much of a pleaser. I told a friend years ago that I think about the scratch ‘n’ sniff stickers we got on our papers in first grade often. I’m always striving for the sticker and the accompanying accolades from the teacher and I hate to disappoint or be a bad example. Pft. It’s my wrist and it’s about me, so there. (“And I can always wear a long sleeve shirt to cover it if I have to,” she mutters sheepishly.)
No mid-life crisis occasion is complete without a splash of Jesus talk which was spurred by their restroom’s décor. Blaze’s and my chapter on Jesus ended with: People just need to be nice to each other. He stood (stands) for that simple concept.  

I will post a picture of the tattoo later which is EXACTLY what I hoped it would be, but I need to show a few people in person first. I could write more about the experience, but right now I smell bacon. Everything comes to a halt when I smell bacon.

1 comment:

  1. It was a pleasure meeting you and an honor to do your tattoo! Thanks for posting about your experience - and so glad you had a good one. :)