At 9:05 a.m. CST, I walked into my office building’s lobby and saw the scrolling headline on the TV: “BREAKING: SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS MARRIAGE EQUALITY” and cried the whole way up the elevator. In disbelief, I checked my phone for articles, thinking maybe I’d misread the TV at a glance, and I couldn’t find anything online for another 10 minutes. But once I’d booted my computer and jumped on Facebook, the headlines flooded my feed, and tears streamed down my face for the rest of the hour. I was so unexpectedly overwhelmed with joy. I’d never before experienced such a strong reaction to happy news, and though I actually support marriage abolition, the news of marriage equality hit me hard.
I continued to break out into tears throughout the day as new articles, photos, and art crossed my feed. Mid-afternoon I posted a status half-jokingly asking the cost of tattoos because I now wanted a rainbow. A few hours later, my roommate texted to say she had an appointment that evening with her tattoo artist and to ask if I wanted to get one, too. Yes, let’s do it. She’d been thinking of getting her next tattoo, and my post spurred her to make the call.
I left work a little early to go to happy hour at Sue Ellen’s because I really wanted to share the joy in a group setting but didn’t have the spoons for the huge event later that evening. An hour and a half and a single drink was the perfect way to wind down the day and bask in the warm glow all around me. Then I walked back to my car to go to the tattoo studio.
The drive was swifter than expected, so I arrived a few minutes early and waited. And waited. I’m told that artist time is like that. An hour after my appointment time, I got to talk to the artist about what I wanted. I’d googled “cute rainbow art” that afternoon and found two possible drawings I liked and a third with colors I liked. I chose the first drawing, a half rainbow with a smiling cloud, and requested bright colors instead of the pastels its creator had chosen.
I had it tattooed just behind my left ear. It was my first tattoo, so I didn’t know what to expect in terms of pain, but I figured that a lifetime of migraine made this a reasonable gamble on my pain tolerance. It wasn’t that bad. We had to stop a couple times because my body was shaky, adrenaline or whatever, and it did hurt really bad right against the ear, but the skull bit was alright.
The healing scabby part sucked, but I survived. It brings me joy. People immediately asked if I was planning on my second, but I think that may be a ways off. I have some ideas, but interrupting training for healing is a big thing to plan for, and this is the first time in my life I’ve ever wanted something enough to have it done permanently.
I'll add a photo when I'm able.
Update: Two months later, I still love it.