In anticipation, I took off of work and prepared several templates for tattoos I've been looking forward to getting. I talked about it for those entire two months, probably annoying my lovely husband and my closest friends and coworkers, and even people who weren't close to me. I was just darn excited!!
Finally, Free Tattoo Day arrived this last Friday. I got up at the same time my husband did for probably the first time in... well... ever - 5:30am. When he left for work at 6AM, I headed out to the closest of the tattoo shops. I accidentally drove past it the first time, I was so excited! Then I managed to find it and find a parking spot. I was the first person there... and I began to worry that maybe I had gotten the information wrong. I started looking up the info online, but while I was doing that on my painfully slow phone (I don't have 4G), a group of kids walked up and started a line, and I knew I was in the right place.
So, I grabbed my camping chair and bag full of goodies, and bundled up in my extra layers. Then I joined the kids and we talked a bit about the tattoos we wanted, but then they went around the corner to smoke cigarettes and weed (like I couldn't tell by the smell what they were doing lol) and I settled in to read a book. I read for about an hour or so before I was joined by an older gal, which made me feel relieved since I didn't want to be the oldest person there. It was another hour before we were joined by anyone else, then steadily from there on. I was so excited that I found myself re-reading pages over and over, so I finally decided to put the book down and just people watch.
The advertisements I had read said that the doors would open at 11am, so I was thinking they might come out at about 10:30am to hand out numbers and let us look at books, but nothing happened. 10:30 passed, then 11, and then finally at 11:30 the doors opened and we were led in. Once in, we were told that it would be a "lottery" and were given a ticket. I couldn't believe it!! Apparently at the last minute the shops had decided to do a lottery rather than first come, first served... but kept their deceptive advertising! :( I wasn't the only one angry, and as the numbers were drawn and they were all from the back of the line, several others joined in my anger. When the last number was drawn and it wasn't mine, I was darn near furious!
I also felt, and looked like, a fool - with my camping chair, bag full of goodies and other evidence to show that I had been there since first thing in the morning when I could have just shown up at the last minute and been fine like most of the participants.
True, I was misled - but I still could have called ahead the day before to confirm and would have found out that I didn't need to waste an entire morning sitting out in the cold, then heat!! And I would have been more likely to be drawn for a tattoo at the end of the line anyway. ;)
With a red face and a crushed heart, I did find a happy ending to my story - I found out a guy I went to high school with is a tattoo artist at a more reputable (and much much nicer) shop! So I took my business there, even though I ended up having to pay.
At least next year I won't fall for that trap! That is, assuming they will even bother doing it next year, since I'm sure they have received their fair share of complaints.