I think maybe your situation might be deeper than you are letting on, or maybe don't even realize. Let's get the tattoo and your wife's belly button out of the way. Piercings can close up if left alone, so that isn't a problem, Tattoo's are forever, even if you have them removed, you still carry signs of it. That is a personal choice she has to make.
Now you have a military e-mail address, so do I. Have you been to Iraq lately? Is this about realizing how precious life is? If this is the case, you are not alone. We have all gone through this life changing experience. I am glad you and your wife have taken care of your bodies, but don't forget that no matter how good the bod looks, you are still your age. You sound like you are reaching out for something in life. This will be taken care of by a lot of soul searching on your part. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
hey, if that is what you want to do ..GO FOR IT !!! Would suggest your wife get a little tattto of a cruise ship around her belly button (porthole get it (VBG)-well I had to find a way to make a connection to cruising) and what the heck, you get one also
I am 55 and got my tattoo on my ankle about 10 years ago, I love it!!! Over the years I have added more flowers to it and another butterfly. Did it hurt, yeah cause not much meat on the bone, but I would do it again! If I were a think person I would probably get something on maybe my upper back, but I usually do not have that part exposed and I see no reason to get a tattoo if others can not see it. I SAY GO FOR THE TATTOO!!!
Personally I do not like the belly button piercing, but hey its not for me to like. Do what ever you please causes it your body.
Yeah, I'd also like to know what brought about this "awakening". If as Luanne asks it was perhaps a near-death or a life-and-death experience related to your military career, then I can only say "the more power to you". In that case, I would definitely say GO FOR IT! I also was in the Army during wartime, and I wouldn't blame you a single bit.
If on the other hand it came about just because you felt you were in a rut and needed to do some "wild" and life-altering, then I'd advise you to think it through a little more before taking the plunge. Not that having a tattoo applied is such a big deal (although I agree with MM when it comes to body piercings), but taking such an action would appear to be such a huge departure from your "normal" lifestyle that it might encourage you to take it a bit further and do something that you would later regret. I have nothing specific in mind (you don't sound like someone who would try the drug scene), but I think you know what I mean even if I'm not certain that I know myself.<G>
Tattoos and piercings: What to know before you go under the needle
Special to CNN.com
Whether you're watching NBA players on the basketball court or strolling through your local shopping mall, it's not hard to find people who set themselves apart by altering their appearance with tattoos and piercings. Men and women have been decoratively piercing their skin for thousands of years, and the practice is going strong today. These decorations may be used to express individuality, to indicate membership in a group or to attract attention.
But such body modification carries with it the risk of health problems ranging from minor bacterial infections to life-threatening illness. If you're considering a tattoo or piercing, understand the risks and research the process beforehand. Get your tattoo or piercing done correctly and use proper care afterward to reduce the risks involved.
Skin-deep: Tattoo and piercing basics
Estimates on just how many people are tattooed or pierced vary widely, but up to 20 million Americans may be sporting tattoos. An even larger number may have piercings, particularly if you include the number of people with pierced ears, which has been a traditionally accepted piercing site. So what exactly are these decorations, and how are they done?
A tattoo is a permanent mark or design made on your body with pigments inserted into your skin through pricks in the skin's top layer. A needle that's connected to a small machine with tubes containing dye pierces the skin repeatedly an action that resembles that of a sewing machine inserting tiny ink droplets with every puncture. The procedure, which may last up to several hours for a large tattoo, causes a small amount of bleeding and a level of pain that can vary from minor to significant.
Tattoo designs can range from small pictures of fish or flowers in inconspicuous places to large dragons or ornate designs covering the entire back or arms.
Body piercing is traditionally done without any anesthesia to dull the pain. The practitioner pushes a hollow needle through a body part, then inserts a piece of jewelry into the hole. Some practitioners may use piercing guns, but these are difficult to sterilize and can more easily damage the skin.
The ears both the earlobe and higher up in the cartilage are the most commonly pierced sites; up to 90 percent of females have at least one piercing in each ear. But other sites include the eyebrows, nose, lips, tongue, nipples, navel and genitals.
The risks of body decorations
Tattooed artwork and piercings can come at a price. Body modification involves breaching one of your body's main protective barriers the skin. Any time the needle pokes through your skin, you face the risk of an infection. And tattoo dyes and certain jewelry metals can cause skin reactions. Specific risks include:
* Allergic reactions. Tattoo dyes, particularly red dye, can cause allergic skin reactions, resulting in an itchy rash at the tattoo site. This may occur even years after you get the tattoo. Some piercing jewelry is made of nickel or brass, which also can cause allergic reactions.
* Blood-borne diseases. If the equipment used to do your tattoo or piercing is contaminated with an infected person's blood, you can contract a number of serious blood-borne diseases. These include hepatitis C and HIV, the virus that causes AIDS which both can be fatal as well as hepatitis B, tetanus and tuberculosis.
The risk is serious enough that the American Red Cross requires you to wait a year after getting a tattoo before you donate blood.
* Oral complications. Jewelry worn in tongue piercings can chip and crack your teeth and cause gum damage.
* Regret. At some point, you may decide you don't want your tattoo anymore, for example, if it no longer fits your image or if it affects your career choices. Tattoo artwork may also blur or fade, and you may not be happy with its appearance.
* Skin disorders. Your body may form bumps called granulomas around tattoo ink, especially if your tattoo includes red ink. Tattooing can also cause areas of raised, excessive scarring (keloids), if you're prone to them. Keloids are more common in those with darker skin.
* Skin infections. Tattoos and piercings can lead to local bacterial infections. Typical signs and symptoms of an infection include redness, warmth, swelling and a discharge containing pus.
Significant skin infections after tattooing are unusual. However, up to 30 percent of piercings result in such infections or bleeding. Navel piercings take longer to heal sometimes up to nine months since sweat under tight clothing can keep the area damp, increasing bacteria. Infections from piercings in the upper ear cartilage are especially serious. Because cartilage doesn't have its own blood supply, taking antibiotics is often ineffective since the drug can't travel to the infection site. Such infection can lead to cartilage damage and serious, permanent ear deformity.
# Nickel allergy
# Granuloma annulare
Get the job done properly
If you're considering body modification, you can decrease the possibility of complications if you go to a reputable tattoo or piercing studio. Choose an establishment that's clean, tidy and orderly. Also look for and ask about the following:
* An autoclave. An autoclave is a heat sterilization machine regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. It should be used to sterilize all nondisposable equipment after each customer.
* Fresh equipment. Watch the tattoo artist and make sure he or she removes an unused needle and tubes from a sealed package before your procedure begins. Any pigments, trays and containers should be unused, as well. An unused, sterile needle also should be used for piercings.
* Commercial disinfectant or bleach solution. Instruments and supplies that can't be sterilized with an autoclave should be disinfected with a commercial disinfectant or bleach solution after each use. These include pigment bottles, drawer handles, tables and sinks.
* Gloves. The artist or piercer must wash his or her hands and put on a fresh pair of latex gloves for each procedure. And those gloves should touch only you during the procedure. If piercers or tattoo artists open drawers or answer the phone while performing a procedure, they expose you to possible infection.
* No piercing gun. Don't receive a piercing from a piercing gun. These devices typically can't be autoclaved, which may increase your risk of infection. And such guns may crush your skin during the piercing, causing more injury.
* Appropriate hypoallergenic jewelry. Brass and nickel jewelry can cause allergic reactions. Look for surgical-grade steel, titanium, 14- or 18-karat gold, or a metal called niobium.
Any reputable piercer or tattoo parlor should be willing to discuss your health and safety issues. Ask plenty of questions about the qualifications and the cleanliness of the business. If the piercer or artist hesitates to answer your questions, take your business and your health elsewhere. Look for someone certified by the Alliance of Professional Tattooists or the Association of Professional Piercers. Both organizations offer safety training to members.
And check with your city or state health department to see if there are complaints against the studio you're thinking about using. Health departments often regulate these businesses.
Take good care of your new artwork
How you care for your new artwork depends on the type and extent of work done. Your tattoo artist should provide you with instructions on how to care for the body artwork afterward. These directions may require you to remove the dressing applied by the artist after a few hours; clean your tattoo regularly with soap and water, and then pat dry with a towel; and regularly apply a moisturizing product. In addition, avoid sun exposure during the first few weeks after your tattoo.
Tattoos may take up to several days to heal. Don't pick at scabs, which can increase the risk of infection, damage the design and cause scar formation.
Follow-up care for piercings depends on the body part pierced:
* Oral piercings (tongue or lip). Use an antibacterial, alcohol-free mouth rinse for 30 to 60 seconds after meals while your piercing heals.
Use a new soft-bristled toothbrush after the piercing to avoid introducing bacteria into your mouth.
* Skin piercings (nose, ears, eyebrow, navel). Clean the site with warm water and a cleanser once or twice a day; if you clean it more than that you'll irritate it. Before cleaning, wash your hands with soap and water to reduce the risk of introducing bacteria to the site. Rinse the site in warm water and gently remove any crusting with a cotton swab.
Then apply a dab of a liquid medicated cleanser the piercer might recommend an over-the-counter option to the area. Gently turn the jewelry back and forth to work the cleanser around the opening. Avoid alcohol and peroxide, as they can dry the skin, and avoid antibiotic ointments, which keep oxygen from reaching the piercing and can leave a sticky residue on the area.
What happens if you tire of your new look?
If you decide you no longer want your piercing or tattoo, you do have some options for removing them. Piercings often heal over, sometimes quickly, once you remove the jewelry that keeps the hole open. But know that tattoos are meant to be permanent, so complete removal of them is difficult. Several removal techniques exist, but regardless of the method used, scarring and skin color variations are likely to remain. Methods include:
* Laser surgery. This is the most effective way to get rid of a tattoo. Pulses of laser light break up the pigment in the tattoo and your body naturally processes it. You may require as many as 12 treatments over a year to reduce the appearance of the tattoo. The treatment might not be able to completely erase it. Black ink is the easiest to remove, and red and yellow are the most difficult.
* Dermabrasion. The tattoo area is chilled until numb, and then the skin that contains the tattoo is sanded down to deeper levels. This shouldn't be too painful, but it may leave a scar.
* Excision. A doctor can surgically cut out the tattoo and stitch the edges back together, but this also can leave a scar.
A piercing or tattoo may take only a few minutes or a few hours to acquire, but invest plenty of thought and research before getting one. Take steps to protect yourself against possible risks so that what seems like a cool idea now doesn't turn into a source of regret later.
I can't offer any thoughts on the piercing because it's not something I have considered for myself, but I do have 2 tattoos that I got 27 years ago when good girls weren't supposed to get tattoos (but I WAS a good girl, so they had to be hidden from public view and since I dressed very conservatively then it was easy to do.)
If your wife wants a tattoo near her hip she should make sure it's on a pretty fleshy spot, not over the hip bone. I have one on my should blade that hurt like heck while I got it because it felt like the needle was drilling into the bone.
My tattoos held their color and outline pretty well for maybe 15 years but since then one has faded into an unrecogizable greyish blur. I might be able to get it touched up, but it is almost solid grey, so I doubt a touch up would be much help. It is supposed to be a butterfly, but it no longer looks like one.
The other one (a rose with small stem) has a faded and blurred outline but is still recognizable. It just has no inside color anymore, only the outline. It would be easy to touch up and might even look good again, but it's the one on my shoulder blade and it's gonna hurt like crazy to touch it up so I haven't done it.
Since your wife isn't as young as I was, even if hers fades 15 years from now it will be when she's enough older that maybe she won't care too much...or maybe she will. The main problem with mine is that I am still young enough that I like wearing low cut clothes once in awhile and that awful grey blob of a butterfly over my left breast can't be hidden.
No one can decide for you, but I think you need to know what you're getting into before you take the plunge. By the way...even after 27 years I'm not sorry I got the tattoos, I just wish they still looked like they did back then.
Carnival Elation 6/02
Dawn Princess 10/02(2 cruises, back 2 back)
Regal Princess 1/03
Regal Princess 4/03
Norwegian Star 11/03
Norwegian Wind 4/04
Dawn Princess 5/04
Norwegian Wind 9/04
Carnival Spirit 11/04
Norwegian Wind 3/05
Holland America Ryndam 5/05(2, back 2 back)
Carnival Liberty 9/05
NCL America, Pride of America 12/05
Norwegian Wind 4/06
Carnival Liberty 11/06
I, too, have a tattoo, in a place where the only time you see it is if I have a bathing suit on, and sometimes not even then. I got mine about 12 years ago and have not, for even a second, regretted it.
All you have to do is find a reputable tattoo artist and choose your design. Keep in mind that is is more painful over a bone, and much less painful on a more flessy part of the body....mine didn't hurt, it was annoying - like going to the dentist.
As long as you have all the facts, and make an educated decision, the decision is yours and yours alone, don't make the decision based upon what those of us repsponding to you have to say.
I got a small tattoo on my ankle a few years ago for my 22 birthday. It does not stand out a lot as it was done in lighter colors. I will say there were very painful parts to the tattoo because their is not much skin on the ankle - nearly all bone. But for the most part it was over relatively quickly. On a side note: I was always told once you get one tattoo you want another. That was very much true for me; however, I have yet to pursue another one as of yet even though I have one picked out.
The lovely Mrs. Jones just got her first tat near her right shoulder blade, and is loving it. As you can see, I'm a Marine, a Vietnam vet, and at age 63 decided to get the eagle, globe, and anchor that most Marines get when they are 18. I say, go for it!! You only live once, so enjoy life, and each other!
See you aboard,
Being a sailor and a Vietnam vet I still managed to remain free of any tattoos unitl I went to Tahiti at age 50 and got a couple of Tattoos and love them and get many great comments on them. Newer tech and better inks maen that tattoos keep their appearance longer now with less fading and blurring. You still need to go to a good tattoo artist and not one if these fly by night places that are popping up now. Same for any belly-button piercing. Make sure it is done by someone that has a excellent reputation and with the sanitary policies followed. Yes both hurt some but not very much and not for very long. My tattoos did not hurt at all and only a couple times did it feel like is got a little electrical shock feeling. Never hurt a bit after it was done but I do have a slightly higher tolerance for pain than most folks. Just make sure you are doing it for the right reason and that is because YOU want to do it, and not to please or impress anyone else. Also please make sure that they practice doing everything in a completely sterile enviroment as that is very important. Check the proper tattoo procedures as well and make sure that they follow ALL the recommended procedures like shaving the area, sterilizing everything and the area of the skin as well, use individual cups for the ink and not a container, use new needles that they unwrap in front of your eyes, make sure you see an autoclave there to sterilize the machine itself and also that everything is wrapped in plastic bags and he is wearing gloves. Be smart and it can be a very rewarding experiance.
So just how is getting a tattoo going to "cure" your midlife crises and improve your life?
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didnt do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
I'm not much older than you but I guess I'm more old fashioned than you. I'm sorry, but tatoos are UGLY in my opinion. You claim you both have worked out to keep your bodies in shape then why would you want to foul them with a tattoo?
I have a customer whose daughter in law got a tattoo on her leg. The red dye in the tattoo set off a series of reactions in her body and she has been struggling through various health problems for several years now. At one point they thought she was going to have to have her leg amputated, but they were able to save that. Now she is sick a lot, her vocal chords have restricted to the point where she speaks with such strain it's hard to understand her.
i also have a tattoo - mine is a pink butterfly on my shoulder blade, only visible with a bathing suit, halter top or something strapless. Tattoos sting more than they hurt, the more detail and color your tat the more it will sting. The more skin to work with the less the pain, pick a flessy area. I had a great tattoo artist, if you wanted to stop, take a break, he would understand, we chatted listened to music it wasn't bad at all. There is a lot of preventative maintence that you need to do right after you get your tattoo, Neosporin will become a good friend, you need to keep it covered for a few days, it will scab over and itch like crazy, do not scratch it!! you could get an infection. Eat yogurt with active cultures for a couple of days before you get your tat, seriously, this builds up good bacteria in your system to resist infection. You will also need to get a good sports sunscreen to protect your tattoo, i use the stick.
As for the belly-button piercing, i think it is fine if you have , a flat, tight tummy.
I don't like the look if there is any kind of belly bulge - that's my opinion.
On Carnival on my last cruise they were doing tatoos that wash off after 5 days I believe for about $10 at the pool area. I'd suggest doing this first in diferent locations and find what you want before the permanent one... Guess you'll have to book a cruise! haha
The girl I know had a tattoo on her chest and she regretted it because if she wore a low cut shirt it would show and in an office that would not be good at all. Also ankle would not be good and painful if in an office atmosphere. How about on the hip where it would show in a bikini but can be easialy hidden too.. Debbie
My sis and I had our navals pierced 2 years ago - sort of a mid-life thing. I was 47 and she was 45. I haven't put my diamond there yet but I plan too. She let her's grow back but she is planning on having it pierced again. Hardly anyone knows I had it done. I can't believe I had the guts to do it. It DID NOT hurt. It was sore for a while afterwards and low cut pants are best for it - regular waist jeans irritate it after a while.
Being the manager of a golf club where we do a lot of weddings, I can't tell you how many otherwise beautiful brides ruin their beauty by showing a tattoo......on a shoulder, back, forearm, ankle, wherever.
Several of my female employees in their 30's and 40's have tattoos and every one of them regrets it. They might look cool and "in" and hip at age 20, but I daresay in a few years there will be a lot of little kids asking, "Grandma, why is that butterfly crashing toward the ground?"
You asked for advice - mine is for your wife to enjoy her great body, sans tattoos or piercings.