They say you can take the boy out of the Midwest, but you can’t take the Midwest off the boy’s chest. I think that’s the saying. Well it’s true.

So I went and got a tattoo Monday night! It was both short-sighted and years in the works at the same time. Struggling with occasional home sickness for three years, I’d long been toying with the idea of getting the state outlines of South Dakota and Minnesota as a reminder of my humble upbringing, but the outlines themselves seemed very boring. South Dakota is nothing more than a rectangle with a few little juts here in there on the eastern side. Minnesota is a much more recognizable shape, but nothing particularly interesting either. Even as a professional graphic designer, I could absolutely not think of any way to make these designs more interesting, like filling them in with a road map, license plate, or state symbols, and not look weird to me.

On a whim Saturday I was driving by the local tattoo shop and just swung in to feel it out and the guy was like “sure I can take you back right now!” I balked at that idea but did schedule an appointment for Monday.

I decided to put the two states together as they appear geographically and just leave them as the plain old outlines for now. I can always fill them in with something later on. I also decided to have them done on my chest. If it was on my back I would never be able to see it. This may not have been the greatest placement because anytime I move my arm South Dakota gets warped/stretched. In order for it to look right I have to be seen perfectly still. And soon my chest hair (I shaved it in that area) will grow back and Minnesota will be covered and probably less visible. But then again how often do I go running around shirtless? No one is going to see it unless I’m swimming or get sucked into the porn industry to make ends meet.

Anyway, Mo at Steadfast Tattoo did a fine job and I was in and out in under twenty minutes. I have a very low tolerance for pain, but it was relatively painless. Much less so than someone popping a zit on my back.

It really isn’t much to see. But like I said I will someday think of some way to get it filled in with something more interesting.

The fresh new tattoo in the shaved area of my chest.
The fresh new tattoo in the shaved area of my chest.