I’ve never been one to do anything particularly crazy. Yeah, I drink more than I am willing to admit to a doctor, I’ve tried my fair share of drugs and, for a short (re: extremely long) period in high school, I did think that I could pull off a platinum blonde bob. But I mostly err on the side of sensibility.
My choices are always well thought out. When I turned sixteen, I let my dreams of driving a tiny VW beetle like some sort of Regina George wannabe die and purchased a cheap, spacious and safe secondhand car, because it was the reasonable choice to make. I didn’t get a nose ring when I turned eighteen because I wasn’t sure if it would have affected me during any of my college interviews. I didn’t lose my virginity to the first college guy who showed interest in me, because, to be honest, he was kind of gross and a little bit rude. I like to think my actions through, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Unlike me, my big is crazy. Her motto is try everything twice – once to see if you like it, and once more, just to make sure. It seemed like we wouldn’t mesh and I was hesitant, but it always balances. She convinces me to go out on the weekdays, even if I have exams in the morning, and I keep her from accepting a fourth shot from the creepy stranger in the bar.
So, one fateful evening, we decided to go out together. Going out together for us means that she goes insanely overboard and I get to hang out with coolest girl in the bar. We were both still sober, and she was strapped for cash, so she found a stranger, got a him to get her a drink and started to grind in appreciation. I bought and sipped my vodka and coke and contemplated why I wasn’t grinding on a stranger I had met. Maybe it was because, with dancing skills that rival Taylor Swift, I wasn’t super confident with my ability. Maybe I didn’t love grinding or strangers. Maybe I was too cautious.
I was always so cautious. I never went out and drank until my face felt like it was melting off. I would only buy drugs from people I knew and trusted. I would wear a fucking sweater to bars in case I got cold. And in that moment, watching my big laughing and shaking it like she was working at Watergate and didn’t know she was being filmed, I decided that I wanted to be like that. Not grinding on strangers, per se, but being the girl having the most fun for no one but herself. I didn’t want to be cautious, because caution isn’t fun. I wanted to drink so much I felt like a train had hit me, or break a heel dancing on a table, or tattoo my ass, just for the hell of it.
I love tattoos. I love them on men, women, teenagers, even the temporary tattoos running down the arms of sugar-high snot-nosed brats at birthday parties. I had never gotten one because I’m terrified of needles, not a masochist and am constantly being reminded by my mother that no self-respecting company is going to want to hire me if I have visible ink. But it’s an art form and I didn’t spend a semester in Italy staring at art because I like cheap wine (at least, not entirely).
I wanted a tattoo, and fuck it, I was going to get one. I shot a text off to my big, told a mutual friend where I was headed and walked the half a block to a tattoo and piercing shop near campus. Normally, I wouldn’t ever set foot in a place that is willing to tattoo you without an appointment, but I was a little tipsy and angry at myself for being too safe, so I went in with reckless abandon.
Seventy dollars and twenty-eight minutes later, I emerged, a new woman. I was no longer safe and secure Sally, who always has a plan and three backups. I was the kind of girl who woke up, decided to do something, and fucking did it. There is something freeing about decided to throw caution to the wind and doing whatever you please, despite the consequences. Did sitting hurt for a couple of days? Yes. Have I had some potential suitors tell me that it’s trashy? Sure. If my mother ever finds out, will I lose both her respect and her life, as she will have a heart attack and die right there? I can almost guarantee it.
But those things don’t matter when I look in the mirror and can be reminded that taking risks is the only way to really be living. Plans are great and all, but no one wants to hear stories about how you carefully outlined the steps to accomplish a goal. You can’t plan your entire life. Sometimes you just gotta say “fuck it,” drop trou and let someone poke your bare ass with ink. .