Ribbon tattoo reminds freshman of grandmother

Lilli Hime

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Upon first glance, a ribbon may appear as no more than a girly whimsical tattoo.  However, for freshman Jordan Welch, the design symbolizes so much more.  The design engraved on her and her mom’s right wrist is in memory of the student’s late grandmother and the close bond they shared.  She explains the story behind why she chose a bow.

“When I was little, I wouldn’t wear anything unless it had a bow on it.  So, (my grandma) made a gallon-sized bag of little mini bows and sewed them on all of my clothing. So, that was just something that always reminded me of her growing up…  So, now I always have my bow on me.”

Welch’s grandmother passed away her freshman year in high school and, soon after, the mother-daughter duo conceded on the idea of a bow tattoo for both of them to honor her memory.  They reached this decision because of their mutual desire for tattoos.  However, as the student sees herself as an astute planner, it wasn’t until three thoughtful years later that they finally went down to Sixth Street, seeking a family friend who was a tattoo artist to do the piece.  Welch describes the nerve-racking experience.

“The place was sketch-looking.  You open the door, and it’s a really steep staircase and you go all the way up, and it’s a dimly lit area with big couches and things, and you go into the guy’s room, and it’s all graffiti and spray paint, and it’s really cool.”

Welch described the infamous pain of getting her tattoo with a smile and a laugh, making light of her anxiety before hand. She felt most nervous as the tattoo artist was cleaning her skin, but when the actual process began, it proved to be surprisingly anticlimactic. 

“He starts (drawing the tattoo) and I was like, ‘Oh, okay. I can deal with that.’ So, it wasn’t a bad pain, just sort of annoying. I was more scared than I should have been.”

 The process of caring for the tattoo after was facilitated by the helpfulness of the tattoo artist, who wrapped the bow in saran wrap to stay for the next hour and told her later to compress it with a hot rag to withdraw the toxins. 

Upon the question of getting any more tattoos, Welch eagerly confirms that she eventually will get more.  Following a common phenomenon, she describes tattoos as addicting but assumes she won’t know what she wants, let alone get another, until another three years.

“I know that I want (more) but I don’t know what they would be. I have a Pinterest board dedicated to tattoo ideas. I like more of the feminine tattoos and I wouldn’t want a big piece. I’d probably want the small pieces.”

For now, the bow on Welch’s wrist serves as a perfect first tattoo and connection to her mother and grandmother.

Follow Lilli on Twitter @WWLD219​