Family means a lot to Samantha Marie Safchinsky. At 20 years old, she has three tattoos and counting. However, if Samantha gets any more tattoos right now her mother has threatened not to pay for her college tuition anymore. Needless to say she is taking a little break from permanent ink on her body. This week she wanted to share with me (and with the rest of the world) her one of a kind tattoos about her heritage and dedication tattoos to her family members. These photos are courtesy of her Facebook page.
This week, I interviewed my 18-year-old cousin Kimberly Nicole of Delran, New Jersey about her first tattoo and what it means to her. She is the party supervisor at The Funplex and currently studies at Burlington County College. She had a first tattoo done April 22, 2010 on her eighteenth birthday, an age where some people think is too young be getting something done that will be there for the rest of her life.
Q: What is your tattoo of and what does it mean to you?
A: I drew my tattoo to symbolize my life up until my 18th birthday, and to show what I have become. The vein is in the shape of a heart and starts as nothing and turns to a beautiful flower and the leaves are the main people in my life. It may seem corny to some people, but that is what they symbolize. I got my tattoo on my side because it wouldn’t be seen very easily, and because I thought it was cute to have there.
Q: Where was the place you got your tattoo done at and how long did it take?
A: I had it done at Body Graphics in Cherry Hill, NJ and I think the guy’s name was Chris, but I’m not sure. My tattoo took a little over an hour, but it wasn’t too painful. Some of the shading was an irritating but not unbearable and I do not have a high tolerance for pain. It was pretty expensive, I believe it was over $200. It was my mom’s birthday present to me.
Q: Do you plan on getting any more tattoos, and if so what are your ideas for them?
A: Well I only have one so far, but I am considering another one maybe one day. I’m thinking something done on my foot, maybe a saying or another daisy in a different design. My dad was very upset when he found out about it, so maybe I’ll wait a little while before I get another one. He likes it now, though. A lot of people see it and know that I drew it, so they ask for sketches of their ideas. It’s pretty cool, actually.
Q: What is your advice for other people who want or are thinking about getting
A: Make sure you know what you want and have a good sketch. Think about it and don’t do it right away, give it time and see if you still want it a month after you draw up an idea. I loved my tattoo when I got it and still do. Every time I look at it I smile.
This post is different from all of the posts that I have written so far. I had planned to see a friend of mine this week to take pictures of his remarkable, one of a kind tattoos after I got out of work. I texted him right when I got out of work Thursday night and there wasn’t any response.
I brushed it off, thinking that maybe his phone died or got turned off or he may have even lost it. Saturday morning I went onto Facebook and saw that a friend of mine put in her status, “RIP Vince Pellegrino.” I was confused, I had just talked to him two days ago. So I looked onto his Facebook and learned why my friend hadn’t been texting me back for the past two days.
I found out through this social medium that my friend Vince “Stitch” Pellegrino, who I had just hung out with on Sunday and who I had talked to Thursday afternoon, had committed suicide. He was only 20 years old.
It seemed like every time I saw Vinny, he always had a new tattoo. He couldn’t get enough of them, tattoos were his life. The pain never seemed to bother him, he had his last tattoo done two Thursdays ago and the only thing that bothered him was that it kept sticking to his wife beater. Tattoos covered Vinny’s arms, legs, chest, back, you name a place and he’s had work done there. He loved piercings as well, pain was never an issue for him.
Not only did Vinny enjoy getting tattoos and piercings, he also enjoyed
going into mosh pits even though he was only a little bit taller than me (I’m 5’3) and skinnier than me. He was a tough guy, and he wasn’t afraid of anyone. Vinny found himself in a decent amount of fights, but it was never because he just wanted to pick a fight with someone. There was always a good reason why Vinny defended himself and others through his fists instead of his words.
I am not sure how long it has been going on for, but Vince had a history of drug and alcohol abuse. Life hadn’t been too kind for him, he told me he had been bounced around from foster home to foster home when he was younger.
He was living with his friend Jacob Callahan in Pine Hill, NJ just before his untimely passing and was trying to get his life back together. Vinny told me that he had a couple of job interviews lined up, he was working on his car, and that he had been happier then he had been for a long time. I can only hope that he was telling me the truth.
Vince Pellegrino will be truly missed by his friends and family members. Wherever you are, I hope you are happy and are free of the pain you felt when you were here. I love you and so many others love you too.
On Tuesday, November 8, 2011 his funeral will be held at the Mark C Tilghman Funeral Home on 38 North Forklanding Rd., Maple Shade, NJ 08052-2630 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. There will be donations at the service to help with the service cost.
For the most part, I have discussed and shown pictures of tattoos that people wanted to get and still loved to look at even after years of having them. That is not always the case with other people’s tattoos.
Neah Wilburn is a senior RTF major at Rowan University with a total of four tattoos. She received her fourth tattoo on her right hand in March of this year, and only eight months after it was done she already wishes she could change that tattoo if it were possible. I met up with her on Monday to discuss this particular tattoo, and why it is controversial to her and to other people who see her tattoo.
Q: What is your most recent tattoo of and why did you get it?
A: My tattoo is in cursive writing of the word, “Misunderstood.” I got that tattoo for many reasons. The first reason is my best cousin and I have the same tattoo, she’s like my partner in crime. Second, my cousin, who I also call my twin, has a small thunderbolt on his forehead representing the word, “Misunderstood.” The third reason is because I honestly feel like no one understands how I feel or the way I think. Lastly, I also got it because it was only $15 to get it done.
Q: Where did you get your last tattoo at and who did it?
A: A family member’s friend did it in his bedroom because he wasn’t licensed to tattoo. I am not allowed to say his name because it is illegal for him to tattoo and it is also illegal to have a tattoo done outside of a shop or a tattoo convention.
Q: How did your family feel about your tattoo?
A: They wanted to kill me. My mother not only didn’t like it because of her beliefs about tattoos but also because it was visible. My one older cousin who I looked up too didn’t like it because it was so visible and couldn’t be covered easily without it being noticed. My father still tries to wipe it off everyday thinking it’s just pen ink and not permanent ink. Everyone thinks I was stupid to get this tattoo, which is why I got it in the first place: they don’t understand how I think.
Q: Do you regret your tattoo does it affect your life?
A: I do not like the format of my tattoo. The “e” and the “r” in the writing look like they are melded together, making it hard to read. People can barely read it and understand it, just like myself. This particular tattoo makes it more difficult for me to find a job. If I were to be offered a position, any job would want me to cover it with a band-aid or with make-up so no one will see. My employers would see my tattoo as unprofessional.
Q: Why is your tattoo controversial?