Admittedly, they are a couple years late. Suanna and I celebrated our fifteenth anniversary in 2008, so we should have been getting our third tattoos then. As with the ten-years, a good part of the delay was deciding what, exactly, we wanted to get engraved on our bodies in perpetuity. And then it was a matter of finding a time when Suanna could get off work a little early and when Adam Jeffrey, who did a splendid job on our second tattoos, was working from the Alexandria branch of the Great Southern Tattoo company and available to do our thirds.
Getting tattoos for every five years of our marriage seemed like a great idea in our twenties, and while there have been plenty of people skeptical of the notion — “But you’ll be covered in them when you’re 80!”, as if that was a bad thing — we remain cheerfully committed. Suanna’s seem to get bigger and more complicated each time. I think I’ll keep mine low key until year 50 or so, when I’ll put down the big bucks for my dream tattoo: an Amazon with a laser rifle riding a saber-toothed tiger, across my whole back.
Great Southern hadn’t changed all that much since the last time, though it was the differences that stuck out. Uncle Charlie had a few fewer teeth. Adam’s beard was longer. All the tattoo artists had iPhones. The last time, Ella was eighteen months old and charming the socks off everyone there. This time she ignored everybody and spent her time playing a game on the iPod or reading Magic Tree House #1, with me not quite getting my mind around the fact that she didn’t need any help whatsoever to read it. Dominic, who looked at comic books the whole time, didn’t even exist the last time we were there.
To get back on track we’ll come back in three years for our twentieth anniversary. Not sure what I’ll get yet, but I’ll make a point of deciding well beforehand. Ella will be nine, Dom will be six, Suanna and I will have known each other for more of our lives than we haven’t, and Uncle Charlie will still be there to greet us when we walk in the door. Here’s hopin’.
Oh, and the tattoos, of course:
Suanna’s is a willow branch, designed by Sara Fynewevermuyskens. Mine is a triskelion, a motif from a variety of cultures though I first came across it researching medieval Brittany. I just think it looks cool.