My wife and I had talked about getting some form of tattoo as a sign of devotion to our marriage for weeks leading up to our 1st anniversary, as if mutual debt, marital property, matching towels, and a Yorkie weren’t enough? As part of the Surprise Memphis Night Out, my wife had made me an appointment with Vanessa Waites to discuss my matrimonial tattoo. (So much for being able to plan ahead.) Upon entering Underground Tattoo, the scent of incense filled my nose. The Rev. Maynard Keenan was singing from another room. I felt comfortable immediately. The casual atmosphere and … eclectic decor was ok with me. *NOTE: I have never felt more comfortable around multiple speculum.* I met Vanessa and we discussed the ins and outs of my tattoo ideas. It became clear to me during that initial discussion that her attitude and humor were well suited for the person I was going to choose to adorn my body with the name of my beloved wife. Her comments about marriage and how she “marked” her husband were pretty funny and appropriate. It was a good time. We said our “thanks yous” and left after making a date for the application of the ink.
When Sabrina and I arrived for the tat. My research on Mrs. Waites was complete. I had looked at her painting and tattoo gallery. (LINKS ARE BELOW) I was impressed by her artistic ability and not at all wary of her tattooing my wife’s name into (or onto…I don’t know which is more appropriate in the tattoo world) my back.
As she began tattooing me, I was constantly reminded to keep my head down and “slunch” over. As my wife took pics, we talked about education, art, tattoo apprenticeship, food and Carl Sagan. I couldn’t have drawn up a better discussion list to be involved in as ink was jammed into my dermal layer of skin.
This was the best experience in tattooing that I have ever been apart of. I have other tattoos before Vanessa. No one has yet to tattoo me twice. Vanessa will be the first. ( Assuming she agrees to…)
Vanessa is an artist at Underground Art in Memphis, TN.
A gallery of her tattoo work is here.
A summary of her bio is here.
*BE SURE TO ASK HER HOW SHE “MARKED” HER HUSBAND*