Screen shot 2012-03-14 at 7.40.16 PM

Sometimes my skin feels like a repository for a thousand embarrassing secrets. Here’s one I haven’t shared before.

(20+ years ago. Homemade tattoo needle. Guy named “Raven.” Oh my god, I KNOW.)

(Laser removal, someday.)

Poof! Every cringey truth is a new set of wings.


50 Responses to “All of me”

  1. Sunshyn on March 14th, 2012 8:00 pm

    Just get a professional to fill it in with good lines and color! I have roses on my boobs! Love ’em! Want more ink!!

  2. Shannon (@ShannonSheh) on March 14th, 2012 8:01 pm

    Raven, heh. So much awesome. Also, that top/blouse/dress/torso cover is pretty.

  3. Erica on March 14th, 2012 8:06 pm

    I think we’ve all been there. In junior high, I used an exacto knife (that I stole from shop class) to carve my then-boyfriend’s name into my ankle. Thank God, the scar has faded.

    When my older daughter was 13, she used a razor blade to cut a star into her chest and pushed craft paint into it to make her own tattoo.

    Bless you for sharing!

  4. Terri on March 14th, 2012 8:09 pm

    You are beyond awesome for sharing that! I had to tell you that :)

  5. Trina on March 14th, 2012 8:14 pm

    When I was in Middle School (in the EARLY 90’s) the BIG trend was to use and eraser and put your boyfriend/girlfriend/BFF’s initials somewhere on your body. It was like burning your skin. Thank the baby Jesus it faded away. My parents were PISSED and I would so embarrassed if it were still there today.

    As for bad tattoos, my husband had his ex-fiance’s name tattooed on his back. They were super young (like teenagers) when they got engaged. It never bothered him because it was on his back so he never had to look at it. It took 2 years of bitching for him to get it covered up. If you want it fixed or covered up with something else, my husband’s tattoo guy in Bellevue is AWESOME. I’d be happy to send you his info.

  6. Heather Verstat on March 14th, 2012 8:20 pm

    I have a shark wearing sunglasses on my leg. He’s my constant reminder of one drunk moment 15 years ago. Sobriety has been a good thing. currently trying to figure out what I’m going to get it covered with. love your honesty. :-)

  7. Lanie on March 14th, 2012 8:41 pm

    Awesome. Now doesn’t that feel good? :)

    When people ask me where my tattoo is, instead of trying make “my lower back” sound artistic and cringing horribly at their reaction. I now just say “Tramp Stamp!”.


  8. oregongurl on March 14th, 2012 8:46 pm


  9. Mary on March 14th, 2012 8:51 pm

    I once knew a tattoo artist named Dirt. That’s all I’m sharing.

  10. Cally on March 14th, 2012 9:04 pm

    Wow. The part I’m mostly stuck on is the guy named Raven.
    And I totally forgot about the eraser thing until Trina mentioned it above! Luckily the one I did was on a very hidden piece of leg, because criminy that took over six months to fade. And we definitely broke up before that window ended.
    Teenagers really should not be allowed out in the world. At all.

  11. Leah on March 14th, 2012 9:21 pm

    Lmao. All you have to say is horrible DIY tattoos from our teenage years and we all cringe. I made the horrible mistake of letting a boyfriend tattoo a black widow spider on my ankle( which is totally gone from a fab tattoo artist, now transformed into a dove taking flight.) but -sigh I did an infinity symbol on my hand that I can’t cover, so one day I’ll be lasering that bad boy off..I’m in constant terror of the teenage years to come with my teenage girls. If they show up with any cartoon character tattooed anywhere, I’ll be forced to disinherit them..

  12. Edith on March 14th, 2012 9:22 pm

    My reader went from stranger danger post to WHOA. Lol so cool.

  13. gingerest on March 14th, 2012 9:46 pm

    Sundry, honey, don’t take this the wrong way, but … it’s a rosebud, right? Or an unopened dandelion blossom?
    One way or another – “homemade tattoo needle” == “badass pain threshold” in my book.

  14. Harmony on March 14th, 2012 9:54 pm

    I have one too. Same place. 20 years ago. Homemade tattoo gun, made by a guy who had just been released after 11 years in prison, and a drawing by my then-girlfriend. Laser removal… someday.

    Thanks for sharing. It’s oddly nice to know I’m not the only one.

  15. Linda on March 14th, 2012 10:06 pm

    Jesus eff I love you guys.

  16. Rachel on March 14th, 2012 10:23 pm

    In the eighth grade I used a straight pin on the side of my calf to give myself a totally klassy scar in the shape of that TLA (for True Love Always, fersher) thing that late 80s lovestruck middle-school girls would put on everything. I was well into high school before it faded and I bet if I really looked for it I could probably still find some vestiges of it in among the spider veins.

  17. Scott Dierdorf on March 14th, 2012 10:24 pm

    Tramp Stamp = LOL! That was a new one for me, and I’m finding the Google results to be richly rewarding. (To the anonymous woman whose “Duck Hunt” tramp stamp is on the Internet: I would totally date you.)

  18. Michelle on March 15th, 2012 12:35 am

    Ha! I have a horrible tramp stamp from college. My toddler has tried many times to wipe my “dirt” off with a wipe. Wonderful.

  19. Sarah on March 15th, 2012 4:58 am

    Word, Michelle. Same goes on in my house for the same reasons. It’s great!

  20. Bethany on March 15th, 2012 5:09 am

    Oh, I’ve started calling mine a tramp stamp too! I’ve even had EIGHT laser treatments to get rid of it and it’s still there, just even more attractive because now it’s patchy and grey.

  21. jen on March 15th, 2012 5:14 am

    I have a dragon from when I was sixteen and told my mom I was going out to get a tattoo. She didn’t believe I was, of course I had to come back with one. Done in an underground tattoo shop above a tow truck company. Most likely super safe. Haha. My fiance keeps telling me to get it covered up or fixed but I have no idea of what to do with it..

  22. Ris on March 15th, 2012 5:58 am

    I don’t have any tattoos, but I do have a truly horrifying DIY story. When I was 15, my parents would not let me get my bellybutton pierced (gee I wonder why). I found some guy whose friend would do it for me for like $10. Which is how I got my bellybutton pierced in the front seat of a parked car with a stolen piercing gun by some stranger named Flash. I’m horrified by my 15-year-old self, and also grateful that I somehow didn’t get hepatitis or something.

  23. Ang on March 15th, 2012 6:13 am

    I’m just a little too old for the tattoo thing – or too straight-laced – and my forty year old self is very happy about that! Of course if I had gotten one it would have been like Tweety bird or something – a rose is much nicer!

  24. hala on March 15th, 2012 7:03 am

    Oh too funny! Your story-telling is unmatched, I could totally see Raven inking you :) Agree with Ang, at least it’s a rose and not something else!
    Love your blog

  25. Lisa on March 15th, 2012 7:08 am

    I decided, on a whim, to get a tattoo and was at least smart enough to put it someplace that could only be shared if/when I chose to do so…on my upper butt cheek. However, having not put much thought into the whole plan,I wasn’t very smart about what I picked out….a dolphin. (The choice of most drunken, spring breakers!) 15 years, 3 kids, and much sagging/stretching later, my youngest has asked me several times why I have a whale on my butt.

  26. Nikki on March 15th, 2012 7:34 am

    haha Raven?? That’s hilarious – I bet back then you were so into his obscure name! I often wonder if I will feel this way about my tattoo when I’m older. It’s on my hip bone area so hidden from plain sight, but lord the trouble there could be if I ever have babies.

  27. HereWeGoHarris on March 15th, 2012 8:47 am

    Oh, Linda, I can relate to this one! The week after I turned 18 (circa 1992) I had the logo f

  28. kim on March 15th, 2012 8:52 am

    I LOVE your top in that picture! (so cute I barely notice that, uh, tatoo). Please can you tell us where you got it?! thanks!

  29. HereWeGoHarris on March 15th, 2012 8:52 am

    Using an iphone to type sucks sometimes! Anyway.. My tattoo on my lower back is the logo on the cardgame SkipBo Why a cardgame logo? Who knows! I was 18 and thought it was cool! I did have it covered up when I was 32 with a lotus flower. Much better but I still know the logo is lurking there. You could consider a coverup instead of removal. :)

  30. Judy on March 15th, 2012 8:53 am

    It’s not that bad…I’ve seen much worse, and the people wearing them were proud of them!

    I’m jealous of you guys’ tattoo artist names. Raven, Flash… wow! The one I knew was named Hondo and he kept encouraging a pink panther pushing a lawn mower on…let’s say the lower belly… but I resisted.

  31. Julie on March 15th, 2012 8:56 am

    No tatts, but one helluva motorcycle muffler burn scar on my right calf from when I was 16!

  32. Kimberly on March 15th, 2012 9:15 am

    I now have ‘Every Rose Has It’s Thorn’ playing on an endless loop in my head. I went to get a Plumeria tattoo in Hawaii and when I showed up for my appointment the owner of the studio said my guy was late because he had a fight with his wife. That was a hint and a half to maybe not go thru with that permanent of a souvenir. So he started on it and I felt him stop suddenly, pause, and then start again a few seconds later. When I saw the finished tattoo it looked NOTHING like what I had them draw out. My delicate flowing flower looks like someone drew it in with a sharpie. He filled in part of one of the petals by mistake so to make it even he filled them all in. It is on my back so I can’t see it but boy do I want to cover it. But I don’t really trust anyone anymore!

  33. Donna on March 15th, 2012 10:59 am

    I thought it was going to be a tattoo of the name RAVEN, lol! Not so bad, needs color tho. I have no tattoos, but love henna, the tattoo for people who can’t commit! I just can’t find anything that I want to look at for the rest of my life you know?
    Although I have a mole on my leg that I want to make into an acorn. Then maybe scrat on the other leg reaching for it?

  34. Megan on March 15th, 2012 12:37 pm

    I’m reading this post on my phone and thought the tattoo was a bird on a perch at first, like maybe you got a raven tattoo FOR RAVEN or something, haaaa.

    These are my favorite comments ever, by the way! I have an infinity symbol on my right shoulder, done by a very tiny blonde girl at some tattoo place in Raleigh, NC. She didn’t have any visible tattoos, which kind of freaked me out, but I decided clearly she must be the most talented tattoo artist ever and obviously couldn’t tattoo herself so she didn’t get any at all. I’m an idiot but it made me less nervous!

  35. Amy on March 15th, 2012 1:03 pm

    Ha! I had a crooked peace sign on my ankle that looked like a prison tat that was the result of a heavy night (or possibly nights) of partying. I finally had it covered with flowers…looks so innocent now that most don’t know the dark past it hides. Drug and alcohol free is the way to be :)

  36. sal on March 15th, 2012 1:28 pm

    Heather V.’s “a shark wearing sunglasses” admission in the comments above just totally made my day.

  37. Kami on March 15th, 2012 2:36 pm

    No tats for me but my daughter (21) has two. Neither time did she tell me because she knew what I would say. Sighs. Other than that she is a great girl, lol.

  38. sooboo on March 15th, 2012 2:46 pm

    That’s so Raven.

  39. Caroline on March 15th, 2012 4:29 pm

    Honestly, just when I think I couldn’t possibly adore you more, you bust out with this.

    My shameful reminder is about 15 inches lower – on my hip… it involves initials, the meaning of which I will literally take to my grave. 18 year-olds do dumb things!

  40. Jon on March 15th, 2012 5:44 pm

    If I weren’t a bit of a procrastinator and indecisive, I’d have had a big lightning bolt on my thigh and probably hep C.

  41. NancyB on March 16th, 2012 6:11 am

    I wanted until I was in my 40s to get tattoos! I have a tramp stamp that I regret only that I had it placed too low. The center is right at my butt crack which hurt like hell! I’ve since added to it and it goes up to my shoulder blades!
    What I really wanted when I got the tramp stamp but was afraid was a bracelet. Which I got a year or so after the first. It’s a vine with a heart in the middle and I love it.
    My husband was the one who started it all with a “drunk tattoo” of a cross on his shoulder that he had covered up with more after about 20 years.

  42. Lynn on March 16th, 2012 6:25 am

    Linda, I love you. Also, you look SO thin in this picture!

  43. Heather on March 16th, 2012 7:54 am

    I also love the shirt you’re wearing in this picture!

  44. diane on March 16th, 2012 8:53 am

    When I was in my late teenage years I went through a 2 month period where I thought I was a badass. I got a heart with wings on my vagina. Ugh! So stupid. Then the guy took me in the back room to show me some “cool piercings”. They were on his Dick. It was the first one I had ever really seen. I was scared.

  45. Anne on March 16th, 2012 12:09 pm

    The truth will set you free! No matter how big or small…

  46. jodie on March 16th, 2012 6:39 pm

    Sigh. Glad Im not the only one. I have a butterfly tramp stamp, sooooooo original. Also, when I was 16, I use a razor to cut my leg to get blood to add to a clay molded heart to attract an ex-boyfriend (I put his initials on it). My friend did the same, and we threw the hearts into the Mississippi River. I still have that scar (and I swear to god it worked, the ex was up in my biz after that!).

  47. Liz on March 20th, 2012 10:38 am

    Did Raven have “POOR IMPULSE CONTROL” tattooed across his forehead?

    (please, somebody get this reference)

  48. Mod Podge Amy on March 20th, 2012 10:08 pm

    I knew a guy named Raven, here in Washington state, who made his own boots and had a beard. He used to hitchhike with his guitar. Is this the same guy? How many stinkin’ Ravens can there be?

  49. Jo on March 21st, 2012 4:52 pm

    Add something pretty over that!

    (Raven..ha ha)

  50. Tricia on April 5th, 2012 4:42 am

    I did the eraser thing too! Luckily, I could only stand the pain for one initial. Which is my initial too, so I just pretend now. I dont think its really actually visible anymore, but I sure can still see it.

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