“Mom, will you get a tattoo with me?” Makenna asked me way back when it was still warm outside.
“No way, no no no no,” I told her adamantly.
“But it will be a bonding experience that we will never forget.”
“Yeah, but I am not a lover of intense pain.”
She continued to show me possible images we could pay someone a large amount of money to inject into our already healthy and fine skin, and I rejected them all. But years of living with me taught her the important fact that persistence wins.
“Mom,” she said with imploring eyes, “for your birthday I want to buy us mother/daughter tattoos. Our family has Irish roots, so I think it would be neat if we get the Celtic symbol for a mother/daughter love knot.”
“Err, uh, gah,” I grumbled.
“Then Emery can get one if she wants to when she turns 18, and we will all have a permanent reminder of our love.”
Even if she has masterfully manipulated me into intense pain, what mother could resist such a thing?
“It’s a long drive, but this place has the most street-cred,” Makenna told me.
“Even I know you are way too Yuppie to say street-cred,” I said.
We took a deep breath and walked inside. A man with bright colors all over his skin walked toward us, and I was not pleased to see that his right hand was a hook. As in, he did not have a right hand. At all. Just a hook. I was spared worrying about it though because Makenna did not have an ID to prove that she was 18, so we had to leave. Phew.
“This place is closer and has the second best street-cred,” Makenna told me, as she navigated me into an area of town I haven’t much frequented.
“Again with the street-cred.”
“The guy says to just go to this address and park in the alley,” she said reading from her phone. “He will meet us at the car because the shop doesn’t have a sign.”
“That’s just what I was hoping you would say.”
After about twenty minutes of confusing texting directions, Makenna sat with her foot on a stool while a man with two beautifully complete hands prepared the equipment. I told my heart to slow down and tried to focus on my happy place, when I was startled by a shriek at my side.
“I CHANGED MY MIND! I CAN’T! I CAN’T!” Makenna screamed.
“It’s totally bearable, Makenna,” I lied because there was no way I was going to be the only one sporting a mother/daughter tattoo.
“IT’S NOT BEARABLE!” is the only thing I remember hearing before my arm was gripped with vice-like hands for the duration of the tattoo.
She’s right – I’ll never forget it.