Every Saint Patrick's Day, people all over the world belly up to the bar to celebrate the Irish holiday, be it their nationality or not. The beer is flowing, bands are marching and the streets are filled with merriment and chaos. It can be easy to get caught up in the moment, and even end up with some festive ink. Just be sure you realize what you're getting yourself in to before the day unfolds.
Here are five don'ts when it comes to getting inked on St. Patty's Day:
1. Don't show up drunk
If you've kicked back a few, don't expect to find a reputable tattoo artist who's willing to ink you. If you do stumble upon a place that's open to inebriated clients, then you should run. Sprint away fast and furiously because you don't want to go anywhere near a shop that's operating unethically. Any good artist will tell you that they can't ink you if you're drunk because you'll bleed a ton. Not to mention, you're a liability. No one wants to take a break from a tattoo session so you can boot.
2. Don't expect your tattoo to bring you luck
A superstitious few might be under the impression that getting a four-leaf clover permanently drawn on your body is the ultimate way to score some instant luck, but don't be fooled. There's nothing wrong with believing in a little magic, but when it comes to body art, you're setting yourself and your artist up for failure and disappointment. If you happen to have the most unlucky day of your life following the tattoo session, then the tattoo serves as a constant reminder of it.
3. Don't fake a thick Irish accent
As fun as it is to pretend you're from Ireland, a tattoo appointment is neither the time nor place for this. Where's the harm in it? Well, nothing other than the fact that might inaccurately describe your vision and end up with some nonsensical piece of art instead of what you really want. Thinking about getting a quote? If you're speaking in a fake accent, you might end up a few too many letters, or too few, depending on what you say.
4. Don't be a bloody mess
There's nothing wrong with going out for a drink after a tattoo. Ask just about any artist and you'll find that it's pretty much harmless – except maybe on St. Patrick's Day. Think about it. If you rush to the annual parades, held in most major cities – San Francisco, Boston or New York – you're going to bump into a lot of people, literally. Depending on where you get inked, you might brush your new body art up against something or someone else, which is going to hurt. Be careful if you head out to party, you don't want a bloody mess.
5. Don't paint your body green
It's not a good idea to paint over your new tattoo, period. Resist the temptation when your buddies start passing around the costume pieces and make up. You don't want the fresh ink to become infected or at the very least you don't want the skin around it to become irritated. Opt for something that's a little less risky, like a fun hat or a noise maker. Remember, the paint will wash off but your infected tattoo won't.
If you have done any of these don'ts once upon a St. Patrick's Day, you don't have to live with tattoo regret. You don't even need a miracle or the luck of the Irish to erase your mistake. Just get laser tattoo removal, and celebrate more responsibly next year.
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