A day at the tattoo parlour

We showed up about 45 minutes after they opened and already there was someone in getting a tattoo on their ankle. The shop was otherwise filled with people looking around and thinking about getting a tattoo. We had been there earlier in the week and had already decided upon the tattoos we all wanted. I emailed mine to them a few days before, my son settled on a gargoyle and my wife a flower. Merchant Marie’s is a small little shop located in Dartmouth Nova Scotia, run by, of course Marie and her husband Rick.

When you walk in the place is all showroom, pictures on the wall of images that people have had tattooed on, a few display cases of piercing stuff, fish tanks filled with odd/rare fish and skulls of every kind all over the walls. The black and white checkerboard floor completely offsets the colourful pictures on the walls.

We queued up and told them what we all wanted, and paid, then the waiting began. It was decided that I would go first, as my son had to take his antibiotics an hour before he could have his tattoo done, so he took his pills and we waited. After waiting for about an hour, we waited some more. Marie finally finished the girls ankle tattoo so by then we decided my son would go first as his antibiotics had more than enough time to kick in. While they prepared for my son, Marie and Rick wasted alot of time yakking with another tattoo artist that had showed up at the store to just shoot the shit. I guess Marie was the only one that was open on Good Friday. Anyways, while we waited my son decided that he was going to pay to have his nipple pierced, and while we waited some more, he bought a freezing patch and put that on. Finally he sat down, arranged himself so that Marie could work on his upper left arm and she got to work on him. My wife an I were very curious as we’ve never had anything like this done to us before, so we were talking to her and my son while it was being done. Of course we forgot our camera, so we were trying to take pictures with our cell phones. Some of them turned out ok, but the camera would’ve been better. My sons’ gargoyle took her about 45 minutes to complete then it was piercing time. During our waiting period, two girls came in and also wanted to have their nipples pierced, so after my son had his done, they had theirs done. My son did pretty well, he didn’t scream all that much compared to the two girls even though the pressure on him not to scream was intense (because of the two girls of course).

After some more waiting, and more yakking with yet even more other tattoo artists who just showed up I finally took to the chair and she started her work on my bear-paw tattoo. Anyone who tells you getting a tattoo doesn’t hurt is just plain telling ya a fib. It hurts like hell, well maybe not that bad. Its endurable, but it does hurt. As we’re chatting while she’s working, she’s telling us all about her dogs, her fish, the other tattoo artists in the area and why they’re all bad and she’s better than them, etc, she asked me why I was getting this bear-paw tattoo. It was a very “Miami Ink” type of moment. I think she was expecting some profound explanation about why this particular tattoo was of interest to me, like on the TV show. I suppose I could have teared up and described how the bear-paw represented my native tribal instincts and how my long lost great grand mother had fought a bear with her bare hands, killed it, skinned it and had the bear skin in her house until someone broke in and stole it and how after 30 years was found, but that would be a big lie. My reply was that I like bears and this bear-paw, aside from it being my moniker on the web is my subtle way of demonstrating that. Thats it, nothing too exciting. Anyways about an hour later I was done. We then went into yet another waiting bought where more yakking ensued and finally my wife got to sit down for her tattoo. My wife’s tattoo was one chosen from the stock photos that they have on display, but that likely they’ve never drawn themselves, which was ok. It was of an Orchid, purple in colour. It’s nice. She got it done on her back-right-shoulder. It was worthy of a picture taken by Marie, whereas mine and my sons wasn’t.

All in all we were very pleased with the work done on us but I think it was a little eclipsed by the amount of time we waited. We were there at about 12:45 and didn’t get home until well after 19:30. The reason we went through all of this was that it was my sons birthday, and for quite a few years we told him that because of his heart surgery, he was not allowed to get a tattoo until he was old enough to make that decision for himself, so this being his 18th birthday was that time. My wife and I had always thought about getting a tattoo but had really never had any impetus to actually do so until now, so for his birthday we made a day of it.

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