‘MY MOMENT OF MADNESS IN LAS VEGAS’
Las Vegas was the scene of one of my most spontaneous, out of character decisions. No, it wasn’t a shotgun wedding presided over by an Elvis impersonator. I had just landed, for a work assignment, with my good friend, the hairdresser James Brown. We were jetlagged and bored out of our minds. We’d already killed time with spray tans, the roulette table and a Big Mac and fries, all available in the lobby of our hotel. The last hotel shop to peruse? The tattoo parlour. James was covered in them and fancied another. I decided to sit with him while he got it done, and he spent the whole time badgering me to get one, too. ‘Don’t be ridiculous,’ I said. ‘Not my thing at all.’ Him: ‘Oh, go on.’ This continued for a good 20 minutes before, exasperated, I said, ‘Look, why are you so desperate for me to get a tattoo?’ Arms waving flamboyantly, he said, ‘Because I think it would be a great story to say you did this wild thing on a whim. In Las Vegas.’ Something snapped then and I thought, ‘Hmm, actually I agree.’ Suddenly I was furiously thumbing through font choices for my design: a capital E on my right ankle, a pledge to my daughter, Evie. I know what you’re thinking, but no: I was stone-cold sober.
I was hyperventilating with the thought of making such a permanent decision in haste. I shrieked, ‘My husband will kill me!’ at the tattoo artist who just stared through me. I braced myself for pain as he grazed my ankle with the needle. Not even 60 seconds – and $160 – later, it was done. No pain at all. ‘What, all that hysteria and that’s it?!’ yelled the woman next to me, who was suffering greatly for a pair of angel wings spanning her back. I was giddy with rebellion and, yes, a bit of buyer’s remorse. I stared all night at the little black E inked on to my ankle. When I returned home, I hid it from my husband for three days before I nervously pulled down a sock for the reveal. He rolled his eyes and said, ‘How old are you?’ I was 40.
I suppose, like the women in our feature on page 34, getting a tattoo in middle age felt like a reconnection to being exciting and spirited. And, although my husband thinks everyone will assume the E is for Elvin and not Evie (fair point), I love telling the story of my tattoo. Even strangers stop me and ask about it sometimes. I like that, when I’m old, it will be a tiny nod to a life that had at least some adventures.
My hope for all our wonderful YOU readers is that women like those in our tattoo feature – whose reasons for tattooing are far more considered and poignant than mine – inspire you to fill your 2019 with new experiences. From all of us here, we wish you the happiest New Year.