The Glow-in-the-Dark Lightning Bolt
"My friend Rob is a tattoo artist. I was getting one of mine touched up and he mentioned he’d just gotten UV ink approved by the FDA. So I was trying to think of funny ideas. 'What if I get an Apple symbol so I look turned on?' He talked me out of it. So then I was like, 'What if I get a lightning bolt so I look charged?' And he did that one.
"But the thing is I scar really easily, and when you get a tattoo, it’s breaking the skin, so you do have some scarring for a few weeks. It looked like I cut a lightning bolt into my forearm for like half a year. The sun charges it, because it’s UV, so if I’m in the sun all day, my arm will be highlighted yellow. I work in events, so there’s usually some kind of uplighting, and if it’s the right one, it’ll show up. My boss thinks it’s so stupid. And I don't even think you can get it removed! It needs to be touched up at this point, but I won’t do it." -- Kira D., 26, event producer
The Four-Leaf Clover
"It’s just a really generic four-leaf clover on my upper right butt cheek. I got it when I graduated high school. When I went to start the removal process, they said, 'We call this the 18-year-old tattoo. Not because you’ve had this for 18 years, but because everyone gets this when they’re 18.'
"I went with three of my girlfriends. We decided this was a moment. We’re graduating, we’re claiming ourselves and our future. No one’s going to stop us! There are four leaves on a clover and there were four of us, so I thought that was perfect. Now I’m an adult woman, I have two children. I really don’t have any communication with these girls anymore. But one of them ended up murdering her husband. I got the tattoo like 50% removed and then life just got busy. But now every time I see it, I’m reminded of my very sweet high school friend who murdered her husband and is now in jail. So that’s the moment when my very generic experience hits me in the face. The fact that it’s no longer bright green is at least a consolation." -- Beth T., 37, educator