AlannaCA

Dropping the Bomb, how your parents found out about your first tattoo!

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I got my first tattoo not long after I turned 18. It was a memorial for my mother that had recently passed away and when my father saw he didnt really care either way. I have never had a very good relationship with him, so it was one of those "there isnt anything you can do about it anyway" things, he knew i was going to do as I saw fit. haha. even becoming more covered he doesnt really have much to say, when he notices something new he nods and says "oh thats nice". My in-laws however, yikes! My husband has a few tattoos and his brother is getting rather covered right now as well and every time their mom notices a new tattoo she calls them later and crys about how she has failed as a parent etc etc etc. My father in law however, I think he secretly wants a tattoo but doesnt want to deal with the wrath of the wifey.

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I was 15 and I forgot to bring my clothes into the bathroom with me to shower(so I was fully dressed when exiting). I went out to get my shirt and my mom saw the tattoo on my arm. After gasping she said, "well I guess I should've expected this". Soon after she kicked me out of the house. Four years later she let me move back in for a little and let me set up a 'home studio' in the garage and even tolerated all the cholos coming over to get tattooed. Very hip lady

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walking to the shower, the tattoo was on the inside of my upper arm, so i had my arm pressed against my side trying to hide it, but just a little bit was still visible, my mum with a look of extreme horror on her face said "WHAT'S THAT?!", i said "a tattoo", we just kind of looked at each other in silence for about 10 seconds, i walked into the room with the shower in and she *slammed* the door behind me. she soon calmed down thankfully.

tattoo's are still now refered to as "things", such as, when they're still healing.. it will be "how's your... thing..?"..

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My first tattoo was a skull with fangs about the size of a dime, smack in the middle of my upper arm. When I went home for Christmas I covered it with a bandaid. But, the fangs poked out a bit. My dad saw it and asked if it was a tattoo. I told him it was a pimple I had scratched at. End of conversation. When I finally made it back to Houston, a thousand miles away, I called him and told him it was a tattoo. What could he do then? Also, when I got my first sleeve started my mother told me " I think you have enough tattoos that people know what you do. ( I tattoo ) she never even considered that I might be getting the tattoos because I loved them myself! Now 16 years into my career she's very proud and knows I made the right decision for me.

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Was living away from home, and before getting it I told her I was planning on getting one. She said all those motherly things she's suppost to say. The next year when I went back home for vacation, first time back after getting it. Maybe the second day I was home she knocks on my door after I take a shower and asks to see it. She looks at it says well that ain't to bad. It's a bmw roundel on my chest, so she didn't mind it cause size and placement. Planning to take her with me so she can see how tebori is done (and show her my legs) when she hopefully comes here later this year. I don't think she has ever walked into a tattoo studio, let alone heard skin snap from needles.

My mom and I have had a pretty open mother/son relationship, growing it was a little different.

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so the reason i started this thread is because i wanted to know how other peoples families reacted to their first tattoos and everyone who contributed to the thread did not disappoint! i was hoping that peoples stories might give me inspiration to get over my fear and just do it and that maybe one day i would be able to add another entry with my own story. well at a young age my dad put the "FEAR" into me and my brother which made him a very scary man to us,(thats why i said i was afraid that he might kick me out of the house, its so easy to imagine the worst possible scenario). we were sitting on the couch this evening watching the news about the Japan earthquake and i just decided to come out and say it. I gave him this long explanation in one breath and when i was done i had to try not to look away because thats when i usually get the "look". what i mean by the "look"- if you dont know already- is what we would see when we got in trouble as kids and it would scare the crap out of us. well the "look" did not come and neither did many words! actually no words at all, just a sound, something along the lines of hmuhff !?1? then he turned his attention back to the TV and i left the room and had to remember to breath again! i wonder if i shocked him or if my plan of leaving tattoo magazines strategicly placed all over the house(to desensitize him) worked? anyway whatever the reason im glad i got it over with!

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My parents lied about my age to the tattooist in order to get me my first tattoo.

It was a present for graduating early and the artist (biker shop, yeeehaw) wouldn't tattoo anyone under 16. I had just turned 15 and my Mom, a feisty Southern Baptist, did NOT like being told no. She she lied and said I was 16 but without a driver's license.

They were very supportive, my folks. Instead of family trips, they'd send my brother and I to tattoo conventions. We even managed to get my Dad to get a little tiny tattoo with us years back.

When I first started moving past the safety zones- onto the hands, throat... my Mom asked me if I "knew what I was doing". I said yes (I was working at a Fortune 100 at the time) and she never questioned it again.

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I think my parents are starting to become more inquisitive about my tattoos. Before they just did not want to talk about them. Now they ask if I have had more work done and what it was. I think they realize that it hasn't changed who I was because it is who I am.

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AlannaCa So did you tell him you have tattoos or are planning on getting them?

Probably a big weight lifted huh?

Deb,

first off, yes big weight lifted and i feel so much better!

i told him about the 2 that i already have, but i failed to mention anything about future tattoos, is it too much to hope that he will put 2 and 2 together and assume that since i started getting tattoos that im just going to keep going?!

i am hoping that the response i got last night was kind of his way of saying that im an adult now and no amount words that he could say would change my mind, so he just didnt use any at all! he raised me to be a very responsible person and i think really hard and research things really well that i want to do before jumping into them.

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My first tattoo wasn't what I hid from my mom.

Actually I asked her if I could get one (I was just 18 at the time), she said no way. A week or so later I asked her if I could get my labret pierced, she said hell no, I said ok, what if I got a small tattoo that is hidden by my short sleeve, she begrudgingly said "well, I guess", she didn't know my friends were waiting in the car in the driveway, I said thanks, and ran out to hop in the car and we went and got my tattoo (tribal arm band!!).

She demanded to see it when I got home, so I showed her, she just rolled her eyes. My old man (who was tattooless, but was in the navy for 25 years at this point), said that I better not go below the sleeve until I was independently wealthy (this was '98).

I started my first sleeve in '01, I lived with a roommate in an apartment, it was around late July, so I just waited to come over to their place until night and wore longsleeves. It was still so hot, and I was sweating, but I'd just stay outside and then say I have to run, and take off haha. For some reason, I decided to show it to my mom when I took her to dinner for her bday (maybe the worst day to do it in hindsight). I had my sleeve pulled up a little, hoping she'd see it (she didn't), so I just bit the bullet and showed her. She just said "Oh Daniel, what am I going to do with you". I never talked to my old man about it.

For years, she would be like, are you done yet? everytime I got tattooed again, I moved to CA in 2004, so when we would go visit her in Indiana, she would make me show off my new tattoos to everyone and called me her "tattooed wonder", although I have a little brother who has a dreamcatcher, wolfhead, and kanji tattoos, and little sister that has lower back dolphin jumping tattoo. It always made me laugh.

In 2007, my daughter was born, Eli Quinters was in town, so I was going to get a tattoo from him at Tattoo 13. My mom was in town to visit her granddaughter, and decided she wanted to get tattooed ha. I called Eli, he had space, so I got tattooed, then she got a yellow rose with an american flag draped around it. It was so wild to me, her first tattoo, which was for her dad (died in 06 in a motorcycle accident). Last year, I wake up to a picture message of a tattoo that was on my Grandmother (mom's mom). I had previously been weary about showing her my tattoos, and when she finally saw them, she said "well at least when you die, we'll know it was you" haha. Her tattoo was her first and also for her husband (my grandfather). Wild.

Sorry for the lengthy story haha.

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My mother never gave me any grief about getting tattoos, I know she doesn't agree with me getting them but she is keeping an open mind about my decisions, I told her my plans of getting one before having any done and she'd always laugh and say that she never believes me... I'm pretty sure if pops was still around he'd have no problem with them...

My younger brother likes them but says he'd would have to have them hidden for his line of work if he were to get any... he's a psychiatrist in California.

My older sister, a corporate type is totally against them. I guess it's the old school west Indian mentality...

Jonesy...

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I got my first tattoo when I was 21, and my parents first noticed it when I was opening a car door and my t-shirt sleeve rode up a little bit.

My mother was slightly shocked and starting to babble about how I was the first person in the family to ever get a tattoo, and that this was an unheralded and dramatic event. My dad jumped in and kind of slipped in that actually one of his uncles had joined the merchant navy as a kid ... and had some tattoos from that time. She'd forgotten about eccentric Uncle Billy - that took the wind out of her sails.

A few years on I have half-sleeves, chest plates, one leg done and none of them really bat an eyelid anymore. Periodically my mother tries to make me promise not to get any more tattoos. I never do.

To be honest it helped that my folks were always kind of liberal and although she might initially comment over something like a tattoo, my mother usually ends up supportive.

My girlfriend has none but has a consultation for a fairly large piece to go on her ribs. I know her plan is to never ever tell her parents (and she's 29). They're much more conservative than mine.

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When I was 15 my Mom took me to get my first at some old biker/stoners house. He did the tattoo upside down. Then he fixed it. My mom held my hand.

My Dad wasnt aware that I had any until a year ago when the cardigan i was wearing didnt cover all the way down to my wrist. The first thing out of his mouth was "Who is going to hire you or take you seriously with all of that!?" My answer was "You?!" Since I had worked for my Dad for 3 years and he never noticed them-- he considered that answer for a minute and hasnt brought it up again :)

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When my dad first found out (my moms passed away) he said "I'm not surprised, just that it took you so long, since you did about everything else i wouldn't want you to do when you were young". I didn't get my first tat until i was well into adulthood.

Then he said "Eh, what am i worrying about, you're over 40 and doing well, you don't need me telling you anything anymore".

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as long as i can remember i wanted tattoos. ever see those lil kids covered in temporary tattoos? that was me growing up.

as i became a teen my interest never waned, i was still itching to get my first ink and talked to anyone that would listen about it.

eventually my mom agreed to take me on my 17 birthday to get a tattoo.

i ended up getting a small ying yang with bear paws as the spots inside on my lower back, and the addiction started in earnest :)

my mom always supported my getting a tattoo because it was something she knew i was passionate about, and now that ive moved on from getting small tattoos to working on a FULL back piece my mom is even more supportive. (i should note my mom has zero tattoos of her own)

she is actually PROUD of me, i know how lucky i am to have a mom like her. it fills me with love.

on the other hand my dad, he isnt part of my life at all, havent seen him in years. i know he doesnt approve or agree with tattoos in general. so one time during a awkward phone call with him i told him i was on my way to becoming heavily tattooed. he responded negatively and i told him he didnt really get a say in anything i did, ever. and that was pretty much the end of anything to do with my dad....

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I was 15 just made $60 bucks doing yard work, went to a homies house to look for bud or something to do. Showed him how much I had and he said don't know where to get bud, but do you want a tattoo with a look in his eye and a sparkle in his smile. So off to Low Tide Tattoo we went owned by some biker looking dude named Harv Angel. Picked out a black and grey rose off the flash on the wall had and it tattooed on my left forearm which covered most of my forearm since I was soo small. Half hour later I was finished and all tripped out on what I had done. Got home first thing I did "Hey dad look what I got on my arm!" just to get it out of the way since I knew it would happen sooner or later. He took off his glasses looked at my arm then gave me the worst look I have ever seen him give me to this day then nothing but silence. Mom was like what did you do! They got over it though and realized that was just me crazy and different compared to my siblings. Oh and the rose is covered up now with a japanese sleeve as well as the rest of my body.

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I was 16 at the time. Did a thing on my forearm. My mother who is a believer in all things christian started going on about the oh so classic, "thou shalt not get tattooed since JC didn't!" or whatever it says, never really read that boring book...but anyways. That was the only time she complained. 2 weeks after the first I got another one and so on...now she don't even notice my tattoos...not even the "forbidden" ones, hands, throat/neck...well she did ask about my palm, why I did that and such. I told her I did that one just too see how much it really hurts. True story! And yeah it did kinda hurt...

I'm trying to get her to get a tattoo one of these days now.

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I was 16 when I got it and living away from home studying. It wasn't until nearly a year later I went with my mum the council office to pay the rates, with a low slung skirt that just showed my hip tattoo. She saw it but couldn't erupt in front of all those people, so she quietly expressed her disappointment and that was it. I've shown her more recent ones but she doesn't really react, they're pretty small & not too visible.

Dad was encouraging me to get one before I did! So he was fine when I showed him

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Put my first one on myself when I was like 13, but since that was the same year dear ol' mom signed me over to the State of Illinois, she didn't have much to say about it.

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I was (am) 23 when i got my first one so my parents couldn't say much.

I told my dad on the way to a show, I could tell he was real unhappy about it at first, all he said was "I don't understand why you would do that to yourself." During the show (Allman Brothers Band) I think he looked around and noticed how many people there had tattoos and came to terms with it. By the time we were leaving, he was taking pictures of my tattoo on his phone to text to his friends haha.

I told my mom before I even got it, she was excited... she said she had always wanted a big Japanese-style piece on her back but never pulled the trigger on it... I'm still trying to convince her to do it!

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My mom found out about mine and my sister's on the same day--swimming at a family friend's house. I was 22, my sister was 28 at the time. My mom pulled a melodramatic, "Where have I gone wrong? Both my daughters have tattoos!" We just laughed. My sister stopped at one little one. Since I have continued to collect them, my mom has not softened any on the idea. My dad never minded, on the other hand. He says if it makes me happy it makes him happy. I like that mindset.

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I called my parents when I got my first one because I was over 30, married, in a stable job, living on the other side of the country from them, and Facebook and what not being what it is and that this tattoo can't quite be covered by a short-sleeved shirt that they would likely end up seeing it in pictures before they saw me in person anyway, I figured that it was best to just straight-up tell them about it. My dad was okay with it in a "it's your body, you're an adult" kind of way, but my mom was really upset and said that she was going to cry once she got off the phone with me. I've since heard from my sister that my mom was more upset than I realised and that she questioned herself about what she did wrong as a mother and there was also usual sort of thing about the kind of people who have tattoos (one of her best friends got one for beating cancer, but that's something different entirely, apparently) and all of that. That said, she has seemingly accepted that they're my choice even if she doesn't personally approve of them and doesn't say anything about them. Funnily enough, my granny likes my tattoos I think mostly because they're colourful.

My in-laws don't know about them yet (either on me or my wife) and I'm really not looking forward to them finding out. Starting a full sleeve soon so it's really only a matter of time...

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