I got my tattoos today! It took a long time, longer than I had thought, but they are on my body and I have no regrets and they are beautiful. I was in the tattoo parlour for almost eight hours, though not all of that was spent in the chair being poked and prodded, as the artist spent some time modifying my designs a bit to suit.
I got an axe on my right arm, because that is my weapon arm. A shield on my left. And it is a wyvern, dammit, not a dragon. See the stinger on the tail.
I was actually pretty surprised at how good the detail managed to be on my pictures. I wasn't really expecting to get the pictures to look so good under a close inspection but I am so pleased. The shop was closing and my skin was starting to be very angry about the abuse so we didn't end up filling in the entirety of the shield with a grey background. I can get it finished up later if I do end up wanting that - I can't quite decide yet what I think. It looks good, but maybe with a steel grey it would be even better? Hard to say.
The artist just next to the one that did these tattoos is apparently an armour specialist, and was listening to a DnD podcast while working, and loves all things fantasy. He was talking about playing a gnome in an upcoming DnD game, and while I can't say I am behind the whole gnome thing, he sounds perfect for my next tattoo. I want a paladin (heavily armoured warrior) on my lower back. So I might be going back for more pain and suffering, and also more looking awesome!
I had some fantastic conversations with the artist about all kinds of things, and faced a bit of a conundrum. She and I had a lot of things in common - we discussed science fiction novels, authors, roleplaying games, video games we loved, politics, and polyamory, which both of us are involved in. If I had a multiple hour conversation with someone with so much in common in most contexts I would ask them out in a heartbeat, but I hesitate in doing such things when someone is at work. For one, there are often restrictions surrounding flirting and/or dating customers at work, especially when giving out contact information could be a professional issue because of worries about poaching customers. For two, women get hit on at work all the time and have to grin and bear it or face the consequences, and I hate that. I don't want to be that guy. I assume that goes double for female tattoo artists since they end up spending so much time in close proximity to clients.
(Aside: I have never spent half a day with my hand dangling in someone's lap without somebody's clothes coming off before!)
So I ended up concluding that I had no reason to think I should actually ask her out, and good reasons not to. It is tricky, because I dislike not doing things that could be fun for everyone because of propriety, but I really don't want to assume that a professional relationship can be more than that without some kind of unmistakable signal, and I didn't have that.
And hell, I can't complain because it was a fun few hours no matter how you slice it.