I want a tattoo.

So, you know how old I am.


I’m so old that I’ve had the song “We Got a Bill of Sale Right Here” stuck in my head for days and I can say that I haven’t seen Pete’s Dragon in TWENTY-FIVE YEARS.

I’m so old that when I was in elementary school, girls didn’t wear much pink. I don’t think I have one picture of my childhood where I’m wearing pink. I don’t think I even owned pink toys.  Whereas when my nieces play in their playroom, you couldn’t find a pink elephant in that pile of pink.

So now that I’m in my mid-thirties, I am coveting this tattoo that reader @carolineanne got because, as she wrote to me, “the only thing I could guarantee I would still like in 5, 10, 20, 50 years is Pittsburgh.”

Isn’t that awesome? She lives in Minnesota for now and wrote, “Every time I see Pittsburgh, particularly on Penguins or Steelers game broadcasts, I lift my wrist up to my face and compare. So dorky, but it makes me grin, every time.”

She used the All-Star game logo as her template:

And then went to Cara at Black Cat Tattoos in Oakland on Craig Street.

Now I want a Pittsburgh tattoo on the inside of my wrist. SOMEBODY STOP ME.

I can actually hear my father rushing over here all, “Five daughters, forty years, and NOW one of them wants a tattoo?!”


  1. Al Lambrini
    November 22, 2010 11:09 am

    don’t do it! very scungey

  2. Ug Lee
    November 22, 2010 11:18 am

    I hope you aren’t saying people with tattoos are “very scungey.” This is about to turn into a war zone.

  3. Tracy in SC
    November 22, 2010 11:32 am

    That tattoo is… AWESOME. My husband and I have Steelers tattoos. And I have plans for a Penguins tattoo at some point.

  4. Lauren
    November 22, 2010 11:37 am

    Think about it like this: When your daughter comes to you at 17 wanting to get a tattoo of her boyfriend’s name across her forehead, you’ll be able to point out that YOU don’t have any tattoos and are therefore justified in telling her she can’t get one. Otherwise it’s going to be “MOM YOU HAVE ONE AND I’M GETTING IT” (door slam.)

    I tried : )

  5. Di
    November 22, 2010 11:38 am

    that would be a tatoo worth considering. very cool!

  6. PA Girl in VA
    November 22, 2010 11:38 am

    My husband has the Steelers symbol on his leg and a friend got a modified Steelers symbol – it’s a ring of shamrocks with 3 shamrocks in place of the hypocycloids (“stars”) in the middle. She’s Irish and from Pittsburgh and wanted to celebrate both – she used Steelers colors, too, so there’s no doubt as to what it’s supposed to be.

  7. Stacey
    November 22, 2010 11:47 am

    I have 7 tattoos – all of which can be hidden by every day clothing. I thought I was done at 1 but it became an addiction. I also thought I was done at 7 but that Pittsburgh tattoo rocks. Plus, it would be a lot less painful than all the detailed ones I already have – way too many colors…

  8. Jill
    November 22, 2010 12:00 pm

    I’ve wanted one for years, but haven’t figured out what I want, or where I would put it.

    Made me think of the Daniel Tosh joke…”Do you think chinese teenagers are getting tattoos of English words on their body?” LOL

    Very cool….seriously considering the steelers logo though…

  9. Monty
    November 22, 2010 12:13 pm

    Have two, regret both. The only thing I’d ever consider from here on out is inking my kids’ signatures from when they first learned to write their letters.

  10. DG
    November 22, 2010 12:18 pm

    Wait until you are sure, because there’s no going back. @ Lauren: I thought about that before I got mine. My answer now will be, “You can get one just as soon as you turn 40, like I did.”

  11. Christina
    November 22, 2010 12:25 pm

    I have three tattoos, but No 1 and No 3 are melted together to one big arm-over-sholder design. In January I get the other arm with No. 2 done as well with No 4 framing it and go over the other sholder. It’s big. I’ll show in February when I am in PGH. All designs are related to things, people (no names!) and places I love.

    I will be 37 in December btw.. I seriously think that 30+ is the right age for getting a tattoo – and not earlier. And that is what I will explain my still possible kids as well. You need to be very clear about who you are to make this decision, which makes it a no go for teenagers and some people may never grow out of that no go zone.

    I am also totally against tattoos for pure body decoration. Who does that will hate it within 5 years latest.
    The picture needs to be something you have been true to for a long time in your life and will be very likely for the rest your time on earth. It does have to have a strong meaning for yourself. If you do it like that the tattoo will be part of your “that’s me” quickly. I do not even recognize mine as something which were artificially put there anymore.

    Since Pittsburgh is a big part of who you are a PGH related tattoo would perfectly fit to you. Just take some time to think about the right picture, the right position on your body and do a lot of research about the place to go to.

    The one of @carolineanne is AWESOME – cool design, nice work with fine lines. I can totally understand that she loves it. It’s just like Corey, my artist in New York, who did design for No 2, said when I met him with a tattoo magazin picture in my hand:
    “You don’t want somebodyelse’s tattoo. You want your own, don’t you?”
    So he just put the basic idea and made MY tattoo out of it, which only me and one other person (and that’s for a reason) has on earth except me.

    BTW … if anymore has an idea for a small symbol which would represent PGH, which can be integrated easily in a bigger design context – except the 3 Steelers stars – let me know ;)

  12. YinzerInExile
    November 22, 2010 12:30 pm

    I’ve got 3 — one of which (inside of my wrist) is pretty much always visible unless I’m wearing long-sleeves pulled all the way down. Not only do I not regret a one of them (the largest takes up most of the middle of my back), I love them more and more each and every day, and plan on getting more (half sleeves). First was done at 18, most recent was done 2 years ago, at 28. And after 2 years, I still spend a good minute or two checking it out before I get in the shower.

    All of that is to make 5 points about tattoos:
    1. inside-of-the-wrist. You think it’s going to hurt like a mofo: it does not.
    2. As long as you’ve carefully considered it and it’s something you really, really want (and you go to a reputable artist), regret potential can be mitigated
    3. tattoos are ageless in the sense that you’re never too old to get one, and growing old does not necessarily mean you’ll regret the ones you had when you were younger.
    4. Because invariably, it will come up: *nobody* is going to look at their 75 year old body, inked or un-inked, and think that shit is beautiful. You can be old and wrinkly and skin-colored, or you can be old and wrinkly and colored upon. Either way, you’re not likely getting approached by Playboy.
    5. Adults do a lot of things things their children aren’t allowed to do: would you give up legally consuming alcohol, or driving?

  13. Jenny
    November 22, 2010 12:33 pm

    I’m almost 38 and have never gotten a tattoo because it would break my mother’s heart. Even if I got a portrait of her via tattoo, she would say “Tattoos are for sailors and whores”. She’s not very progressive in her thinking, you see.

  14. elysianfantasy
    November 22, 2010 12:40 pm

    I have 3, I’ve been wanting another one and I’m definitely digging the Pittsburgh tattoo concept! There are few things I love with a passion, and this city is at the top of the list. And Ginny, if you’re worried about having something on your body for the rest of your life, do as I did and put them in places you can’t see easily! I kid, I kid! I’ll admit, I do sometimes forget I have two of them because they’re on my back. Still, all three mean so much to me, and I think that’s the key. You must really LOVE something to get it permanently etched on your body, so you might wanna think really hard before jumping in!

    If the Pittsburgh skyline doesn’t work for you, you could always get “Cult of Personality” in Olde English font and rose-colored shades on top of it tattooed on you. ;)

    Everyone’s entitled to their own opinions about the subject, but just because someone has 1, 2, or 20 tattoos or wants to get 1, 2, or 20 doesn’t make them “scungey” IMHO.

  15. Christina
    November 22, 2010 12:46 pm

    @ Jenny: That is what my mom ALWAYS said and so I felt sooo bad, when I confessed (silly – I was already an adulut, but still) and presented her No. 1.
    She looked at it and finally said: “Pretty cool – just a bit small, don’t you think?”

    I was like: “WHAT???????????????”

    Two years later she went off to make her motorcycling license (and buy a Yamaha Dragstar 650) what she had forbidden me forever by death penalty. MOTHERS!!!!!

    Miss her a LOT (she died in 2006).

  16. empirechick
    November 22, 2010 12:46 pm

    I got my first (and so far only) tattoo shortly after I turned 30. I thought long and hard about it and didn’t do it until I found the absolutely right one for me. I have wanted a second one since about 15 minutes after I got the first (nearly 10 years ago), but haven’t come up with anything I like as well.

    Mine is on the small of my back – I can show anyone I want to without disrobing, but it’s covered otherwise. Also, I’m hoping that’s the one part of my body that won’t stretch or sag so much as to distort my work of art! ;-)

  17. empirechick
    November 22, 2010 12:52 pm

    @Jenny and Christina –

    LOL – My mom is a puritan, too. I had mine for 6 months (at age 30) before I finally told her, and then I only did it because I kept having dreams that she would find out somehow and be MORE pissed that I hadn’t told her myself. My subconscience is a funny thing sometimes…

  18. Al Lambrini
    November 22, 2010 1:16 pm

    I do not think people with tattoos are necessarily scungy. I do think putting that tattoo on your wrist makes one look quite scungy, however

  19. Ms. Redd
    November 22, 2010 1:20 pm

    Let me just say this- I am a nurse and I have seen tattoos on old people- and I do mean old like past 65 and 70, which may have been great when they were your age, but it is not a pretty site now. Something to consider.

  20. Angry Mongo
    November 22, 2010 1:23 pm

    The only thing I’ve got tattooed on me is the song “Every Little Piece” on my brain thanks to you, Ginny.

    “Money, money, money, by the pound!”

  21. JennyMoon
    November 22, 2010 1:23 pm

    What does IMHO mean??? I keep seeing it and all I can think of is I’m a Ho and why would anyone shout that out like they are proud!

  22. YinzerInExile
    November 22, 2010 1:24 pm

    @Ms. Redd — see?! It totally came up! :P

    Honestly, though. While I’m sure the ink is dull and faded (assuming the tattoos are old), could you *really* say that that person’s body would have been much more attractive *without* the ink?

  23. Christina
    November 22, 2010 1:32 pm


    in my humble opinion :)

  24. Margie
    November 22, 2010 1:38 pm

    @JennyMoon – it means “in my honest opinion”

    I too have a tattoo, I thought long and hard about what I wanted and where I wanted it at. It then took me three weeks to work up the courage to call the place and get it done. I have no regrets and I am glad I waited to do it till I was 39.

  25. rickh
    November 22, 2010 1:47 pm

    Just don’t make it a tramp stamp. That would be sad.

  26. YinzerInExile
    November 22, 2010 1:56 pm

    Ugh @ “tramp stamp.”

    That’s excellent real estate for someone who wants a “safe” area, resilient to stretching, which can be shown off when appropriate and covered when necessary.

  27. Coco
    November 22, 2010 2:16 pm

    I’m not fond of tattoos, especially on women, but if I were to be converted, that would be the one that I would get.

  28. hater
    November 22, 2010 2:19 pm

    i am thankful that i am not an individual that would or would not do something as an adult because my mom would be upset. i’m also thankful that i have parents that realize that as an adult, i can make my own decisions and they can be proud that i have the will to do so, rather than the will to do what everyone else says i should do.

    that said, i love tattoo’s, when done well. i have 4 myself. my husband has 3. my sister has too many to count. my mom has 2. my tattooing, and my mothers, started long after my sister got hers and began to change our minds.

    however, i do not like tattoos that are sports logos or anything like that. too….unoriginal & tacky. i would die before getting inked with the pens logo on me (and i HEART the pens). nothing says yinzer like a steelers/pens/pirates tattoo.

    oh. and black cat? amazing. they were more amazing when they were eye candy & brian was there. they are a little less amazing, and a little more pretentious, now that they are black cat and minus brian. but they still do darn good work and we continue to be clients of theirs.

  29. bluzdude
    November 22, 2010 2:40 pm

    I think the old “PittGirl” silohette logo would make a good tattoo for you. Or me.

  30. Carly
    November 22, 2010 5:25 pm

    I love tattoos and I can’t wait to see what & where you choose if you decide to get a ‘burgh tat. My personal opinion is that it’s not the tattoo that makes a person trashy, it’s a culmination of many other characteristics & personality traits that accomplishes that, and I can’t imagine you EVER being perceived as trashy.

    I’m curious what your husband thinks…

  31. Jenny
    November 22, 2010 6:48 pm

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with me choosing not to get a tattoo because it would break my mother’s heart. I respect her immensely. I also don’t want to be an old lady with a faded tattoo on my wrinkled skin. It’s just gross. We all get old…I prefer to do it with class and grace and not with pictures drawn all over me.

  32. Cassie
    November 22, 2010 7:04 pm

    I have 6 tattoos and love them all. And honestly, give it up already about the ‘tramp stamps.’ I’m not ho, never have been, never will be. But it will never stretch, it will always look nice and can be covered.

    People who get tattoos typically think long and hard about what they want. They put thought and time into it. Nothing wrong with that. If people don’t want tattoos, that’s their choice.

    Two of my six are on my inner wrists. I have worked with the same people for 4 years now where I wear scrubs and several of them just now realized that I have them there. I’ve had them for over 6 years now. Obviously, they’re not really noticeable and they’re tasteful.

    I say do what you want. It’s your body. And when my kids say, “Mom, I want a tattoo.” I’ll say, “Wait until you were 18 like I did.”

  33. CarolineFB
    November 22, 2010 7:50 pm

    Since many people know me better by my tattoo than my face, obviously I’m not able to give you an unbiased opinion. My only advice would be to put it somewhere you can cover it easily (should the occasion arise).

    That said, if you do decide to go for it, I know an amazing artist with a great shop, an amazing personality and she’s local. :D

  34. Caroline
    November 22, 2010 9:39 pm

    comment #33, are you pretending to be me, the actual owner of this tattoo?? no idea I was famous enough for someone to steal my identity…

    anyway, thanks for the compliments guys. I think it’s interesting how many opinions people have on tattoos–especially on women. Sometimes it starts to bug me a little bit, but then I just think “Eff it. It’s MY wrist.” And that’s all that should matter, really.

    Honestly I find it weird when I look at other wrists and they are naked there. So strange…

  35. Callser
    November 23, 2010 1:29 am

    I have one tattoo that I got last summer at the age of 41. I had always wanted one but had no idea what to get. I was so inspired by my wonderful nephew who became a U. S. Marine at the age of 18 that I got a tattoo of the Marine mascot. If it’s a tattoo of something you love, you won’t regret it.

  36. empirechick
    November 23, 2010 1:49 am

    Amen @Jenny #31 – I respect my mom and her opinion, even when I disagree with it.

    @rickh: It’s only a ‘tramp stamp’ if the world can see it (and your too small thong and half your ass crack) sticking out of your hip-hugger-muffin-top-accentuating-white wash-1990’s jeans while you’re chasing after your wife-beater wearing (and doing) prince of a boyfriend on COPS.

    Otherwise, it’s the perfect place for your discreet and personally meaningful tattoo.

  37. CarolineFB
    November 23, 2010 11:43 am

    #34 — hardly. I don’t need to pretend anything or to be anyone. There are other Caroline’s on this planet with tattoos.

  38. burghgal
    November 23, 2010 12:53 pm

    I have 2 tattoos as well as permanent liner on my eyes. My tats don’t show unless I’m in a bathing suit..

    Go for it. I just got one this summer and I’m 47.

  39. Al Lambrini
    November 23, 2010 1:02 pm

    i rest my case

  40. Dan (Not Onorato)
    November 24, 2010 9:08 am

    I used to think tats on a girl were hot when only a few had them now…not so much