Q. Hey Jordan!
Alert readers have long been catching glimpses of the K on your foot and Kendrick’s ‘Jordan’ tattoo. Unless you feel like it’s too personal to share, which I totally get, I for one would LOVE to hear the stories behind those.
A. Let me preface all this by saying that Kendrick and I acted like total crazy people when we first met, what with the six-weeks-to-engagement, the trips to Vegas pawn shops for rings, the immediate co-habitation, and the small matter of permanently marking our bodies with each others’ names that you mentioned above. I’m sure all of our friends were alternately stunned and horrified by the speed at which we went sprinting into our relationship, and I’m also sure there were lots of “Oh my god, what are they doing?” whispers fluttering around when we walked out of rooms.
I mean, obviously.
As an example of the kind of head space we were in right after we met: about two weeks after we started dating, I flew to Ohio to spend my birthday with Kendrick (who was on tour at the time), and we went to a local mall, where we bought a single pair of (very) mini diamond earrings. We then sat on the ground outside a Chili’s and re-pierced each other’s old earring holes (I used to have something like four in my left ear; Kendrick pierced one ear at some point during college) so that we could split the set. It was all very Breakfast Club-y, complete with the soundtrack playing right there in our heads. And then we probably made out in public much (much much) too much.
Basically, in the early months of our relationship we acted like fifteen-year-olds who had just discovered the existence of romance, and it was ridiculous and wonderful…and look, I like to tease my younger self for being so dramatic, and it’s good to have a sense of humor about love, but really: it was great. It felt like the two of us had fallen into a bubble that no one else could see into, like we had finally each met someone who recognized every single part of us for exactly who and what we were. It still feels that way, except now it’s not so much a bubble as a real, out-there-in-the-world life. Together. And that’s an incredible thing.
But I’d like to inject a little caveat here, because this is important: I don’t think that all this “right away” certainty is necessarily why our relationship ended up turning out to be long-term. I think that a lot of things go into making a relationship last, including (but not limited to) commitment, hard work, mutual respect and kindness, and a healthy dose of – yes – luck, and that love that takes awhile to develop is no less “real” or meaningful. You don’t need to be role-playing Judd and Molly to let yourselves – or others – know that you’re serious.
Why am I going into all this when all you asked about was a couple of tattoos?
Because a while back I wrote a post about how I felt that you should be “sure” when going into a marriage, and that post is one of the few things I’ve ever written on RG that I wish I hadn’t, because upon further reflection…I don’t actually believe that. Truth? I panicked a little on my wedding day, just before I walked down the aisle. I was worried about our future, and whether we were doing the right thing. Whether I actually knew that guy standing down there wearing a suit. And that’s fine. Normal (for whatever that word is worth, which isn’t a whole lot).
Occasional uncertainty is not only inevitable in any relationship (up to and far beyond your wedding day), it’s even more than that – it’s important and valuable, because it keeps you examining things. And constant examination is the best way to keep yourself moving forward and allowing yourself – and your relationship – to grow and evolve. I doubt that I’ll ever be entirely sure of who my husband is…or who I am, for that matter, but that’s OK. Because things change, and I want our relationship to change with them.
Anyway, though, I’m really glad that in this particular case all that love and certainty ended up panning out. I’m glad for many reasons, the most important of which is our son, but also because…you know, it’s no fun to have a permanent reminder of a relationship that went south.
Which is why I will be completely unsurprised and simultaneously completely horrified should our son ever follow in our footsteps in this regard. (The tattoo-of-someone-I-just-met’s-name regard; not the falling-in-love one.)
What happened was that right around the time of our engagement (I can’t remember whether it was just before or just after), Kendrick started mentioning that he wanted to get a tattoo – he said that he had always sort of wanted one, but had never thought of an image that he wanted to have on his body forever…and…I guess he felt like my name was a good place to start. Which I would say was “sweet”, but honestly, I still can’t help but feel that someone thinking that about me is crazy, and it makes me feel silly to even talk about it.
After lots of “are you sure…no, but seriously, are you SURE?”, I drew a design for him (I used to very occasionally design tattoos for friends when I lived in L.A.), and we went to Addiction NYC, a place on the LES that I’d had good experiences with before (my mom and I got tattoos there together a few years back).
And the thing that makes tattoos so fun and also sort of maybe a bad idea is that you always want another one. And so when I was watching Kendrick get his, I thought…huh.
And so I drew a cursive-ish K, and paid the tattoo artist seventy-five bucks. Mine took fifteen minutes and didn’t hurt, while Kendrick’s took an hour and was miserable, so it was a little inequitable, but it was also very exciting and beautiful. And afterwards we went to the pub next door and had a beer, and felt very in love and very permanent and very happy to have found each other.
Recommended? No. Nonono.
But romantic? Yes.