Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Souvenirs of Life!

 You know how people go away and bring home souvenirs of their trip?  I used to bring home bracelets that were made out of spoons.  Well, to me, tattoos are the spoon bracelets of life.  They're souvenirs of our lifetime that we carry with us forever.  And the great part is they don't collect dust or clutter up small spaces!  

The morning after I got my first tattoo, I woke up full of regret.  Which is ironic, considering the tattoo was the Edith Piaf lyric, "Non, je ne regrette rien."  But eventually, I got over it.  And it's funny... because while it's not my favorite tattoo... it does carry one of my favorite memories.  Waking up excited, getting on a train with Kelly, Trevor and Marty, going out to lunch in Allston, actually getting the tattoo (and being surprised it didn't hurt), going out for dinner at Kelly's Roast Beef afterwards, hanging out in Marty and Trevor's dorm room (because yes, they still lived in a dorm!) and spending the weekend with a complete stranger sent my way by Alison Royer.  (Who actually helped to convince me that I shouldn't regret my tattoo.)  

And then there are the other ones: 

The birds that I got on my chest/shoulder area with Mary and Kelly after performing in one of my first matinee shows with the mainstage for my birthday!  It was such a fun day.  And then we went out for my birthday and I was so excited to show it off.  And then, of course, people teased me about it.  And Matt said that I had crow boob.  But that's what's so great about it!

The glasses and clown nose, my own Patty Barrett logo, that I got later that summer all by my lonesome.  That was during one of my favorite times in my life.  I made the decision while at work and as soon as I got out, I practically ran to the train, put on "She and Him Volume Two" and felt nervous and excited to get my next tattoo! During that time, I was starting to really come into my own and figure out what I wanted (and didn't want) out of life.  I started seeing someone new... and then another new person.   I remember feeling empowered and happy for doing something on my own - it was an incredibly gratifying experience.  And because I felt empowered, I decided to text flirt with a guy that I really liked.  And I sent him a picture of myself with my new tattoo - and he told me how pretty he thought I was.  So, there was that. ;)

Then the last tattoo I got, an ampersand on the back of my shoulder.  I got that one alone, after quitting my full-time job, while feeling super antsy about a guy (that same one who called me pretty a year before) and feeling like I was just getting a tattoo to get a tattoo because I had a gift certificate.  But, Mary got me that tattoo.  And I remember (in the midst of all that anxiety) writing in a super hipster coffee shop and not feeling hip enough to be there.  I remember listening to Michael Jackson and telling the tattoo artist that I was getting it because I'm an improviser and told him what my job was and he was impressed that I was able to perform full-time for a living.  So was I.  It made me excited and proud.  

I understand that tattoos are going to be with us forever and they're going to look weird when we're old.  But, who cares?  It's my skin.  And it's not covered in tattoos - it's covered in personal memories and designs I love.  I love being able to show them off or hide them when I need to.  I love the way they look and the way they make me feel.  And most of all, I love the times in my life that they remind me of.  I certainly don't have any of those spoon bracelets lying around anywhere, nor do I have a whole lot of pictures of specific days and memories.  But I can always look at my tattoos and immediately become flooded with great memories. 

So, still, years later: Non, je ne regrette rien.

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