Tattoo #2–The Wedding Pumpkin

Posted: March 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

Time to highlight another one of my illustrations. Today’s pick is the wedding pumpkin tattoo which is located on my upper right arm.

This tattoo was obviously chosen to commemorate my wedding date. I married Matt on October 31, 2001. For those who know me, you are not surprised at all by my desire to get married on Halloween. It was actually a no-brainer. Were my parents thrilled? My dad was a HUGE Halloween fan and I think deep down he loved the idea and really wanted to dress up in costume for the wedding. I suppose in a way he did, Mom made him wear a tux. For a man who was a biker, a tux is the kiss of death. My mom was a different story. She always envisioned me walking down the aisle in some white frilly nightmare in a church somewhere loving her Christian God. Um, so not me and I think deep down she knew that but she held on to her fantasies to the very end. I wanted to be married in a black and red dress. At the time, I had a friend (we will call her “S”) who volunteered to sew my dress. This was mistake #1. Just like getting a tattoo, one should ALWAYS look at the artist’s portfolio. Never take their word that they do good tattoos or make pretty dresses. See examples. I should have insisted on seeing what she had designed in the past other than her “pillowcase dresses” which mostly consisted of her cutting out a neck hole and some arm holes and wearing the damn thing in public. That’s not sewing. That’s being poor.

So, S volunteered to sew my dress. Okay. Fine. That left Matt and I to plan the wedding. I am fortunate that I have an artist husband who wanted to participate in the wedding plans. The only thing I wanted for myself was the music. Music has always been important to me and I am constantly updating the soundtrack to my life so I knew I had to be in control of what music played at the wedding. Matt did have one request. I couldn’t play more than two Cure songs otherwise it would turn into a “Cure-fest” and we would end up listening to various Cure albums all night long.

We rented out a local historic hall/home for our wedding and reception. Both took place in the same room. We were married on a stage decorated in red and black balloons, crepe paper, cauldrons, spiderwebs and dry ice. There were probably other really cool things up there as well but I wouldn’t know because I was home waiting for my wedding to dress to be Fed-exed to me while the hall was decorated. Oh yes. So, throughout the months leading up to the wedding, S had stopped by with her dress design. Things looked okay. I wasn’t nervous just yet although I thought more progress should have been made already but I had faith that she would do what she said she would. Mistake #2. If you have that feeling in your gut that things are about to go horribly wrong, LISTEN. Don’t push them aside and think “things will work out.” Shit, they won’t. Trust me on this. So the day BEFORE the wedding she shows up at our house (yes Matt and I were living together in sin. GASP) and I try on the dress. I can’t even tell you the horror. I wish I could. It was the most awful-looking thing I had ever seen. It looked like blind children had cut and pasted fabric and just stitched it together any old way they pleased. I knew I was screwed when she said, “Hmm. Well, maybe we could just wrap your veil around you and no one will notice.” Are you kidding me? That’s her answer? The big solution? To wear a shitty dress and mummify myself in my veil? I wanted a Halloween wedding but I did not want to look like an actual freaking monster. I run off crying to Matt. I am hysterical. My worst fear is that I will end up having to choose something out of the closet to wear. Something he had already seen me in a million times. He wants to kill S but murder the night before our wedding just doesn’t seem like the best plan so we opt for “plan b.” The mall. We were hoping that since it was Halloween season that we might score a black dress somewhere. No. Nothing. Zip. Nada. My mom decided to take me to a few bridal stores in town. I think she secretly hoped I would cave in at that point and wear a white gown out of sheer desperation and defeat. So, not going to happen even in the eleventh hour. Not even in the bridesmaids section were there black dresses. I was beyond screwed. I went back home empty-handed and ready to throw myself into traffic when Matt decided as a last ditch effort to contact the goth store in New York that we had bought the bridesmaid dresses from. We went to their website and selected a dress that might work. He called them and explained the situation and they said they would mail the dress Fed-Ex straight away and that it should arrive by 10a the next day…my wedding day. It was our only option. So that is what we did. We ordered and let the rest up to fate.

During the rehearsal that night, I cried. A lot. I didn’t know if I would have anything to wear the next day and I wanted my wedding to be perfect. But how can it be if you have nothing to wear! My friends and family were sympathetic and I wish I could say I felt bad for S. She was one of my bridesmaids so there she was profusely apologizing but unless she could pull a dress out of her ass, no one cared. The next morning Matt and everyone else went to the hall to start decorating and I got to stay at home waiting for a Fed-Ex truck to arrive. Praying that the dress would a) show up in time and b)  fit. Because if it didn’t fit, I would have to either staple it to my body or do something else just as drastic. Well, the dress did show up in time. It fit everywhere but the boob area but I ended up safety pinning the dress to by bra. Minor problem considering the complete scrap of crap S wanted me wear the day before. Even though the situation was not ideal, the wedding was amazing and Matt cried when I walked out with my parents. And not because I was mummified.

I wrote the entire ceremony from start to finish. We had an ordained minister so I just handed him the script the night before and said, “read this.” We wrote our own vows as well. There was not a dry eye in the house. We brought it down. But the tears were short-lived. When it was time to exchange rings, I could not get his past his knuckle. That baby wasn’t going on. Not going to happen. I had no idea what to do. Stand there and keep trying? I know only a couple of seconds had passed but it felt like hours. I started to panic. Hell, I was already nervous. I couldn’t handle this. So I did the only thing I knew to do. I said, “Oh fuck it” and stuck his entire finger in my mouth. Yes, I deep-throated my husband’s finger. There I admit it.  Audience tears were replaced with hysterical laughter. Didn’t matter though. I improvise like nobody’s business.

A couple of weeks later, I got the pumpkin tattoo. The idea was that Matt would get the same tattoo that day but things happened and he ended up getting it a year later in New Orleans on our one-year anniversary by a different artist. But we share the same tattoo nonetheless. I know some of you may be thinking why not put each other’s names with the tattoo? And to that I ask, “Are you freaking crazy?” That is just asking for a divorce. Seriously. Names are NEVER a good idea unless they are of your children. But a date is okay. Or the same image. But names, hell no. I’ve been married to Matt for ten years and I still would not tattoo his name on me. We don’t play like that.

So, that’s the story of the pumpkin tattoo. It isn’t the best tattoo I have. In fact, it’s not even close. I got the tattoo at a time when I did not know what good tattoos were. But I wouldn’t change it. It symbolizes an important day in my life. While the the colors may fade and the shape disfigures over time as I age (gracefully of course), my love for Matt will be ever vibrant. He’s like the tattoo ink itself, forever under my skin.

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Comments
  1. Laura says:

    Awwww, that’s an amazing story! I laughed, I cried, I was nauseous, and then love triumphed. Perfect.

  2. Barb Stahura says:

    I remember using material from the dress to decorate the arch. Yes, it was a nail-biter right down ’til the Fed Ex guy arrived. Next step might have been working up a dress from nearby drapes, ala Carol Burnett in her “Gone With The Wind” skit. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6bOpJ5elW8

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