Tattoo Nation by Leia Shaw

Today I’m talking about a topic very near to my heart – but not too near cause that shit hurts on your chest!


one of my most recent tattoos and a cover up

I got my first tattoo the very day I turned eighteen, which I’ve recently decided should be illegal. My best friend at the time brought me and paid for it – I think she was more excited than I was. I picked a random picture off the wall and since I was always a good kid, this was my own form of teenage rebellion. Ha! An ugly stain on my skin for eternity. Take that parents! Sidenote: I’ve since covered that one.

The pain didn’t scare me much – still doesn’t. I don’t go looking for needles to jab myself with, but I know the pain is temporary and I have a pretty high tolerance for it. As evidenced by, not one tattoo on my foot, but one original then one cover-up. So technically, I’ve been tattooed on my foot twice. I don’t recommend it, by the way. There are far easier spots that are just as nice.

Since my very first tattoo was on my upper back, I rarely saw it and mostly forgot about it. In the next several years, I marked my body with four more tattoos. Some brilliant, some not so brilliant. I’ve covered or modified my tattoos almost as often as I’ve put new ones on my body. At the time – this was about ten years ago – tattoos were just starting to spread from mostly bikers and prisoners to the general population. But I was still one of few in my circle of friends and considered pretty damned cool for getting one.

I took a tattoo break when I had my kids – did the whole mom thing. Or what I thought was the mom thing that didn’t really fit who I am inside. Why does being a mom mean you have to wear cardigans and take out most of your piercings?

When I turned thirty I said, to hell with it. I’m getting another tattoo.

me with my daughter a few years ago

And my, how the world has changed in the last decade!

I live in the city – a small city but still a city. There are two colleges nearby. One, right in my city, and the state university is in the town next door. I sit at Starbucks a lot to write. Or the little privately owned hipster coffee shop downtown. And eighty percent of the young adults that walk into both places are tattooed. I don’t mean they have a little heart on their hip where no one will ever see it. I mean women – no, girls – have entire sleeves tattooed on one or both arms. Several down their legs, back, necks, everywhere! Nothing is off limits anymore.

i got this when i turned 30

And it’s not just college kids either. Grandmothers are getting their grandkids names tattooed. Professional career men are covered beneath their formal wear. Now that I’ve grown up – kinda sorta – I worried for a fleeting moment that getting more tattoos was a bad idea. What will my body look like when I’m old and wrinkly? Well, I’ll tell you. It’ll look just like every other American’s old, wrinkled up, tattooed body because most people in my generation have them now anyway. It’ll look normal.

So after I turned 30, I got my 6th tattoo. Then I went a little tattoo crazy. I blame an early mid-life crisis. Or maybe I’ve always been a freak and just repressed it through my late twenties. I’m not really sure. Anyway, I got a brand new tattoo, covered two, then got my nose pierced (which I’d always wanted to do but never did because I thought since I was a mom I should look like, I don’t know, June Cleaver? Stepford wife? Whatever.).

I have an appointment next month for my seventh tattoo (I’ll post pics on facebook) and in the summer I plan to extend one on my leg to connect to the one on my foot. I’m a Johnny fan (if you didn’t already know) and this sums up my philosophy on tattoos:


So…how about you? Do you have tattoos? Do you like them but never got one? Are you afraid of them, fascinated, considering getting one? I wanna hear all about it. Leave me a comment and I’ll be replying on and off all day.



About Susan Hanniford Crowley

Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, and Science Fiction Author
This entry was posted in romance and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Tattoo Nation by Leia Shaw

  1. Mary Roya says:

    I have a tattoo, its my eye liner. It hurt and my eyes were red for a couple of days, but I love it.

    I would like something on my back, either a dragon or wings. But I thought I would have it done in heina first to see if I liked it. But I’m not in any hurry. Got other things to do. I love your peacock feather and coverup. Very clever.

  2. Jon says:

    I recently bought a ring bracelet combination that, when worn together, look like a skeletal hand. It was fun. I love it. I wouldn’t want to wear it every day. That is how I feel about tattoos…I can’t imagine wearing the same decorative statement every day.

    • Leia Shaw says:

      i understand. it is like wearing the same decoration every day. lol. that’s why they’re so addicting i think. you wanna change them or add to them or whatever. you can cover almost anything. but it’s not for everyone.

  3. Kitt Crescendo says:

    I don’t have a tattoo. I love looking at them, but just never could bring myself to ink my body. I think watching my friend’s Simba tattoo turn into the Lion King when she got pregnant made me rethink, since the main area I’d wanted to place one was at my hip.

    • Leia Shaw says:

      yes, placement is key. i don’t know how many young girls i’ve seen get one around their belly buttons. i cringe and think in my head, hope you’re not planning to get pregnant. of course everyone at that age thinks they’ll be young forever.

  4. Well I love Tattoo’s I have 12 planing to get lucky number 13 over Christmas holiday.. My gift to myself each one of my have a meaning to them from the memorial to my grandma and dad may they rest in peace to the frog that I have on my foot which I got cause all my life I have collected. To my little girls feet from her birth.. So I say to each is own. Get them if u like them but don’t judge us who have them.

    • Leia Shaw says:

      i’m getting my kids names incorporated into my leg one. i’ve seen people do their baby’s footprints. so cute! i love tattoos that have special meaning. most of mine do.

  5. mriamy says:

    I am 43 and have 4 tattoos now. My first one was at age 31 and I am totally addicted.
    For my first one my son, then 6, stood at the flash wall and said “I want this one mommy, when I get bigger.” My latest one was done for his 18th birthday and we each got one. 😊

  6. D'Ann Lindun says:

    Will you hate me if I tell you I hate them? I don’t have any, and never will. Maybe I’m just repressed. LOL

    • Mary Roya says:

      D’Ann, no, I will not hate you if you don’t like tattoos. I’ll be honest and say some people I have seen with tattoos make me really nervous to be around. But some of the skin art I’ve seen can be very appearing.

  7. I got my first tat November 2, 2010 and my second one December 2011. I have several more in mind, but I think the third will be a phoenix the middle of my upper back in blues, greens and purples instead of the usual reds. My tats are nods to my novels and I think I’ll keep going with that theme. Dragons are another favorite and have a design that I want to have put on my thigh of the veterinary symbol with a dragon curled around it instead of a snake.

    They definitely are not for everyone, but they are for me. Luckily I married a man in May who loves tats too! LOL

  8. Kate says:

    Had my first tattoo at 31, second at 32, third and final at 33. The first one was a VERY belated teenage rebellion and to this day I absolutely love it. The second one was done on impulse and I’ve since had it removed. The third one was done as a gesture and I love it to bits – but I didn’t know that tats on your lower back are known as tramp stamps! Men love them – women are a bit more undecided. I may regret it when I’m a little old lady but then again – maybe not!

  9. Pingback: Extra! Extra! Read All About It! « Lavoce: We Are People Too, Inc.

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