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He ignored me for an entire day and then made some excuse to go hang out with his friends, ditching me on the fourth of July. I started crying as he pulled out of the driveway, clueless as to why he had given me the silent treatment all day. I’d tried to talk to him, made him breakfast and dinner, and flirted a little bit, but all I got back were cold stares. So when he walked out the door, I couldn’t take it anymore. I texted him.
“Obviously you don’t want to be around me if you’ve been giving me dirty looks all day, barely said two words and then ditched me to go hang out with people without inviting me.”
I decided I might be overanalyzing, because I do that very well. I opened a beer with tears streaming down my face. Twenty minutes went by before I allowed myself to text him again.
“I guess I don’t deserve a response or explanation.”
I knew this would get his attention. It did.
“We’ll talk about it later.”
Obviously I wasn’t going to leave it at that. He left me alone on the fourth of July! I had even bought fireworks for fucks sake! After a few more minutes of my frantic messages, he finally let the cat out of the bag:
“Ok your tattoo is what’s bothering me, I think it was a bad idea. But obviously it’s too late now so it’s pointless.”
I looked down at my arm. Inside, I knew that must have been it. But hearing it.. I mean.. reading it.. was unbearable. And led to another twenty minutes of ferocious text-fighting.
I got the tattoo yesterday. It’s a “friendship tattoo” that I got with my best friend in Georgia. My husband is in the Army, so I moved across the country to be with him. Being naturally shy, I never thought that I would make any friends. But I met Kristin at a party and we clicked. We’ve spent the last three plus years becoming closer, enduring a deployment together, and swapping life stories, often over a bottle of wine. Kristin loves tattoos, and I always wished that I had more than the two tiny ones hidden on my body. So after many drunken nights of saying “We should totally get a tattoo together!” we made it happen. We chose a traditional style wine bottle with grapes and a glass half full of red.
It all happened kind of fast. I wanted to make an appointment to think about it, but the tattoo artist said he was open for the evening. Kristin said, “Let’s just get it now!” and I somewhat reluctantly agreed. It wasn’t that I didn’t like that tattoo that we had chosen, it was cute. I guess I just didn’t know what to expect.
When it was over, I was happy with the result. I felt the high you only get after a tattoo, a combination of excitement, relief, and pride for having made it through. We stopped at the grocery store afterwards — I wanted to buy champagne to celebrate my husband finally clearing his duty station. We snapped a picture of our tattoos side by side, and naturally uploaded them to Instagram and Facebook. I had never felt so close to my best friend, we were bonded for life.
When I got home and showed my husband, he let out a half-hearted “Sweet” and said no more. I knew right away that he didn’t like it, but I didn’t feel like hearing his reasons. I figured that it was my body. I want to get more tattoos, and I don’t necessarily care if he likes the ideas I have for them. It’s not that I don’t value his opinion, but at the end of the day, we don’t always have to agree or have the same tastes. I went to bed not really worrying about anything other than taking care of my fresh ink.
Let me stop right now, because I know what you’re thinking. Like my husband, you’re screaming at me through your computer.
“You got a wine bottle! What a stupid idea! You’re basically telling the world you love to drink! How will you ever get a job! You have student loan debt! Who is going to want to hire you now!”
If I could turn back time, I would have made the appointment. Told him about it, and he probably would have talked me out of it. Not because I think that it is a bad idea, but because he thought it was a bad idea. Because I do value his opinion. But more importantly because I wouldn’t want him to hate something about me.
And it’s too late now. My husband hates my tattoo. He made that very clear in several paragraphs of angry text messages. And now every time I look down at my arm, I’ll remember this night where I sat alone crying in front of my computer screen telling strangers my story while the fireworks went off outside my window.