Letter from the Mint editor: to ink or not to ink

JENNIFER LADWIG, Former Evergreen mint editor

In addition to beer and naps, tattoos are a staple in the college culture. From small wrist tattoos to full back pieces, we young adults use our new-found freedom, young skin and minimal funds to express ourselves through flowers, scrawling fonts and crosses.

Tattoos are a little scary to me. I have very low pain tolerance, so that alone makes me unsure about the inking process. I remember talking to my mom about her small shoulder tattoo, and how she passed out in the middle of it. And my mom is the strongest and toughest person I know. So I have a feeling I wouldn’t fare too well.

Besides the pain, there’s also the fact that I, along with most people I would think, go through phases of loving certain things. For example, I love maps. It’s actually really weird, like I have several posters of old city maps and world maps, I had a map calendar.

So I was like, “Oh, I can get a cute map tattoo: simple, dainty, and classy.” Now, three years after that passing thought, I see the exact map tattoo I wanted on people all the time. Saw one just this Monday, pretty happy I didn’t get that tattoo now.

I have this thing about being unique. I suppose most people do. I remember when I was in third grade, I got so pissed that my friend had the same favorite book as me. And not much has changed since. I saw the exact tattoo I was thinking about getting, and it was done only a few weeks ago here in Pullman. So much for being original, I suppose.

But, a great way to prevent this entire fiasco is getting a custom design of your tattoo, whether by your preferred tattoo artist or by a talented friend.

It was suggested to me by a close friend that I should want the same tattoo for a year before I go for the investment. This is great advice, but I think I should wait for three years or more. Because since coming to college, I have had about five tattoo ideas that I geeked out over, and now the ones I want aren’t even close to the original ideas I had my freshman year.

There are, of course, lots of things to consider when getting a tattoo, such as size, location and color. Even more reason why you should really think about it for a long time before you take the plunge. Do you want to be able to admire your ink? Don’t get it on your back. Do you want to be able to cover it up easily? Don’t get it on your chest or neck. Think it through, and be sure to cover all of your bases.

All in all, tattoos are permanent, which is great but also a little intense. So do your research, there are quite a few tattoo parlors around Pullman and Moscow. Talk to the artists, check out the prices and look at work samples and portfolios. Be picky, because this could be the best or the worst gift you ever give yourself.

Jennifer Ladwig is a senior communication major from Washougal. She can be contacted at [email protected].