My Name On Your Arm
I was listening to talk radio this morning because radio stations refuse to play music in the morning for an extended period of time. The show I tuned in to had a woman as a guest who wanted to share a horror story about a tattoo she’d gotten about a year ago. After dating for a few months, she and her girlfriend had decided that they were going to be together for the rest of their lives. To add to that permanence, they both got each other’s names tattooed on their bodies; the woman on the show got her girlfriend’s name on her hand. A few months after that, the relationship ended. Unfortunately for them, their lease had another four months to go and at a New Year’s party, the ex shot the woman in her other hand during an argument. Her ex went to jail for a month and she’s has plastic surgery and physical/emotional therapy to move past it, but her ex’s name is still on her hand for her to see every day.
After getting the woman with a doctor who would provide free tattoo removal services, the discussion turned to the idea of getting your significant other’s name tattooed on yourself. They called it the kiss of death to any relationship. Once that name is inked on your body, the relationship is doomed to fail. You see it happen with celebrities (Depp, Jolie, etc.) and you see it with friends or family members. Saying you want to be together forever is one thing, but inking it only your body is an entirely different thing. The relationship can end, but that name sure as hell isn’t going anywhere unless you can find an artist to provide a proper and GOOD cover-up or unless you want to endure the painful removal process.
Last year, I got my husband’s initials on my arm in Kryptonian lettering, along with a cherry skull male and female, so I think it’s safe to say that I don’t buy into the idea that the tattoo is a curse to the relationship. I feel like I did mine the right way though; it’s obscure enough to where one wouldn’t know what it was upon first glance, but significant enough to where it still has meaning (my husband is big into Superman). We know what it means and I’m vocal about what it means to everyone who asks, and even to some who don’t. I had absolutely no hesitation in getting it either. I know we’re in it for the long haul and I know that our relationship won’t crumble over some ink on my arm.
The tattoo itself is hardly a curse to any relationship and it’s silly to think of it as one. It’s the decision to get it that brings upon the so-called curse. A tattoo is a very permanent thing and definitely not something that should be decided on at the spur of the moment. For every one of my tattoos except my third, a year or more of serious thinking was behind them. My third tattoo was done on a whim and I’m just lucky it isn’t in a very visible area. Just because you’re in love and feeling as though nothing can touch the two of you does not mean it’s a fantastic idea to ink your love’s name on your body. I was with my husband for four years before I was ready for his initials to be on my body. Time is important here. If you’re going to be with someone forever, the tattoo does not need to happen right at this moment. It can wait.
I am totally in support of inking names, wedding or anniversary dates, or any other type of tribute to the person you adore. It’s a great way to show your love and affection for somebody and to be able to carry them with you always. That said, it’s not a necessary step in any relationship. Just because the two or you are into ink doesn’t mean you need to get your names on each other to prove your love to yourselves or anyone else. It is your body, no one else’s, and the decision to get the ink must be one that is not only your idea, but is something that is fully in your control. If you let anyone influence you, chances are that things are going to end badly. I suspect that is the reason for so many failed relationships after the ink dries.
Get the tattoo, but think long and hard before getting it. Don’t think that you’re limited to a name in a heart or some other typical and common design. Don’t do it just because your significant other has already gotten your name on them. Don’t rush into it and speed over to the nearest shop to have work done. Don’t do it simply because it would be “cute” to do. If you feel the urge, start with brainstorming ideas and designs. Think long and hard about placement. Research shops to find the perfect artist. Take your damn time and do it right, otherwise you’ll find yourself single and alone with an awful “I Heart Brian” tattoo above your ass crack. No one wants that.