Yo, Gentle Reader. This is the story of how and why I got my solitary* tattoo.
You’ve heard me discuss Ex-Husband exhaustively.
Well, shortly after we began speaking again – scandalously shortly, actually: we rode together to a party, and people weren’t aware that we were on good terms again – we had a long conversation. That conversation is actually why I refer to him as Ex-Husband; it legitimized the tumultuous length of my adulthood. It recognized the bizarre relationship and Romantic Friendship, the codependency, the years of on-again-off-again. It was a gift, and one that has been healthy, healing. We arrived at N.’s party; I introduced him to an acquaintance as “my ex-husband,” for the first time, and we mingled†.
Now, he’s extensively tattooed – for my Ex-Husband, tattoos are both hobby and obsession. To be honest, I’ve always thought that while they’re attractive, they’re a bit of a waste of money – usually when we were arguing about whether we’d be able to pay bills, and he was showing off a new one. I’m all for creativity, bodily freedom, and self-expression, but those things are expensive. At any rate, I try not to impose my views on anyone else’s body, so while I thought they were a bit silly, I just refrained from getting any, myself.
Well, it came to pass that Ex-Husband was relocating to Germany for long, boring, reasons.
We were nearly inseparable during this period, as always – when we’re speaking. A month or so before he was supposed to fly out, I brought up the idea of getting matching tattoos, together – I’m emotionally unstable, as you may have gathered, and no matter what else is going on between he and I, or either of us and the world, he’s been there for me in a crisis, when I’m locked in a bathroom, sobbing on the floor to the point of vomiting, or when I feel lonely. Beyond all others, he has been stalwart, steadfast, and reliable on that score. With him abroad, I’d no longer have that available – well, not as readily§.
Therefore, we went in to get matching tattoos. When I was feeling lost, nearing self-harm, or about to become hysterical, I could look at it and remember that I’m not alone in this world. Since his name is Patrick – oh, well – we went with standard clovers. Three leaves – we haven’t exactly brought each other luck. It hurt rather less than I’d expected – although it took about an hour longer than a tattoo of that size ought to have, according to Ex-Husband. His was done in a quarter of the time, though, so I guess it averages out? At any rate, since I never got a ring, this will have to do.
*Okay, so it’s small and lame by itself. I’m thinking about getting some to keep it company. Also, there’s this marvelous thing where they inject a loved one’s cremated ashes into the ink or something, and I want to get one for my Dad, sometime soon.
†I like to imagine that the other party-goers gasped once we were out of earshot and said things like “Merciful Heavens! Was that the Doctor – with his Ex-Husband? They arrived together?” and then there was a susurrus of interesting gossip about the situation.
§ At least once a week I harass him online for the same purposes I used to harass him on the telephone. He is just as supportive.