The topic of tattoos and piercings is put into (recent) historical context by Triticale.
Somehow I missed it, but apparently Owen is surveying his readership to determine who's inked.
For the record, I have two tattoos. One is regrettable, and someday I'm going to get it changed.
But I have a plethora of tattoo/piercing stories...
1) My father has a tattoo of a heart with my mother's name in it. They've been divorced since I was eleven.
2) I had my ear pierced for the first time when I was 18 and still in high school. It was part of a group effort among a bunch of guys who were about to go to a national competition. My parents were on vacation and this was my act of rebellion. When my grandfather saw it, he thought it was pretty cool. I think he wanted to be a pirate.
3) One of the friends with me when we got our ears pierced (at Boston Store, nonetheless) was 17. He had a credit card but claimed to have no ID. The piercer didn't want to do it. At the time, I worked at a bank and somehow managed to vouche for the guy's age. She pierced him. Things were pretty easy back then.
4) At the national competition, piercings were a big no-no, so we all removed them before our events (only days after we'd been pierced). I promptly returned to my hotel room and re-pierced my ear. It hurt like living hell.
5) By having re-pierced my ear, I learned how easy it was to do on my own. Two years later I had pierced my ears in my bathroom with a lot of paper towel and ice seven times. Years later I would come to discover that with that look I had scared the crap out of many of my classmates, but somehow made them think I was much cooler than them.
6) I got my first tattoo when I was 19 and my parents, once again, were on vacation. It's in a very painful place to have a tattoo and when I told the artist that I'd like to get a better grip on the arm rests she told me it was a bad idea as I would probably pass out. I bit my lip and lived through it, the entire time having my friend Diana laughing at me.
7) I hid it from my mother for a year and eventually moved out on my own. When I moved back home I fessed up. A year later she was actually recommending tattoo artists to me. Now, she has more tattoos than me (all small and lady-like). In fact, her and my sister went together once to get tattoos. Amazingly, we're not white trash!
8) When I was sitting in the waiting room for my second tattoo, another guy was there who was extremely nervous. He asked if I was waiting to get a tattoo done as well. I said, "No, I'm here for a haircut."
9) In my early twenties I got a non-ear piercing. I was very much in love with a girl I worked with and we agreed to get pierced together. I had my nipple done. She went much more private. I won't go into details, but her nickname after that was Delores.
10) Today I still have the tattoos but no piercings. The nipple-ring fell out while I was sleeping one night and I was never able to get it back in. I've grown out of the ear-piercing thing. Oddly enough, the only hole that's still open and allows me to throw in an earing for joke purposes from time to time is the one I had done when I first decided to desecrate my body.
Good times. Good times.