Tattoo Etiquette

Today’s lesson on Tattoo Etiquette

At the grocery store today, the guy bagging my groceries asked me two questions that you should never, ever ask someone about their tattoos.

1) How much did your sleeve cost?

This was the first thing this complete stranger said to me. No “hi” or “I like your tattoos.” He just said “how much did it cost?” right off the bat. I answered this in a roundabout way, by saying “I get it worked on every few months, so it’s hard to say.” He then went so far as to ask me how much it cost per session, and I said it depends on the work being done, then busied myself by getting out my wallet.

Lesson: This is extremely FUCKING RUDE. I don’t even know this guy, and he wants to know financial details of my life? Fuck off. Tell me you like my tattoo. Ask me how many hours I have put into it. Don’t ask me about money when I don’t even know your fucking name. It’s RUDE.

2) Did it hurt?

Are you for real? I had a needle full of ink jabbed into my skin thousands of times, YES IT HURT. Dumbass. This question isn’t rude, so must as just fucking stupid. Congratulations, I now can’t take you seriously as an intelligent life form.

That being said, I don’t want this to discourage you from talking to people about their tattoos. If they have tattoos in a visible place, that means they had something they wanted the world to know. I love ALL tattoos, even the shitty ones, because there is a story behind every damn one. If you want to know more about someone’s tattoos, open up with “wow, I love your work!” or if you don’t love it, tell them it’s interesting. After all, if you weren’t interested in it (even if it is butt-ugly) you wouldn’t be asking about it.  I love receiving compliments, or telling you where I got them done. I like hearing about other people’s work, or their ideas. I like talking about tattoos. I don’t like talking about money, or being asked stupid questions. I’m not going to walk up to a random stranger and ask them how much they get paid at their job. Don’t walk up to a random tattooed person and ask them how much their work cost.

Anyone currently recalling an instance in which you presented one of these two questions to a complete stranger, don’t be angry with me or feel ashamed. Once you get to know someone, it’s perfectly okay to ask more detailed questions. Also, everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes the only way to discover that something is offensive is to have already done it. It’s okay. Just learn from your mistakes.