Oh hai I got a new tattoo. So did my mom - same thing, opposite arm.
Our reasons were manyfold (not a real word probably? But didn't get spellchecked plus language is a constantly evolving medium and anything's a word if you get enough children to clap while you say it.)
First, I wanted a tattoo. I was just feeling that itch. I wanted something major, and I also wanted something simple. I'm a big fan of words and I was ready to commit to 'patience' along my collarbone, but ... things went a different direction. Obviously.
Second, my mom is going to be 70 in four years, and she's going to be fully covered in tattoos by the time that happens (citation needed).
Third, she and I had actually discussed this after my grandfather passed away eight years ago, and then again after we lost my grandma, and somehow it just seemed like time. We had only two blurry pictures of what we wanted, but we took it to an artist I've used before and he squinted out his best interpretation.
Here's the deal as I understand it. (Grandma and Grandpa, if you're fact checking from the afterlife then ... I'm sorry but probably you should have told me the story yourselves instead of trusting the telephone game that is your twelve children to tell it for you.)
They got married when my Irish grandma was a mere babe (in more ways than one *wink* (ew)) and my grandpa was in the Air Force (or the US Army Air Forces, at the time, because there wasn't an Air Force yet). He'd been stationed in Egypt and she went back with him after the wedding, and he bought her the necklace you see above from a dealer in Egypt named Maguid Sameda. I know this because I've got a terrible photo of the paperwork Sameda gave my grandfather on purchase. Here's what it says, medium (it's an old school form so some is printed and some is handwritten in a brutal script, I've transcribed it as well as possible):
I the undersigned, Maguid Sameda, guarantee that the necklace with the cat of goddess Isis sold by me to Mr L W P- (ed: L Wildman!) on 11 (September?) 1943 is Genuine.
The object is of the 16th Dynasty BC 1600.
Found at the (?) of the (?, ?) of queen (?), 1943, and was added to my collection of antiquities on 1943.
Interpretation of art or heliographic inscription
The cat represents Goddess Isis Goddess of love who is worshipped by the greeks as venus There is a great resemblance in Cat and a woman for that they made the Cat her sacred animal
This guarantee is given to ensure that the above described object can be examined at any of the world Museums.
No 1 Fouad Street, Maguid Sameda, Egyptian Museum License No 108
So, my original understanding of the story was that at some point our family had been like 'heeeeeyyyy is this a real thing from 3600 years ago orrr.....?' and shown it to someone, but I think we actually have just been trusting this paperwork. Which is not unreasonable, because it turns out that a huge amount of Egyptian antiquities that are currently totally legit have passed through Maguid Sameda's hands. (Ex: this wacky statue and this codex, among many others.)
Crucially, also, this relief from the tomb of Akhtihotep.
So, the first word that I couldn't identify above looked sort of like nelly. Or ... belly. Rally? Then there was something about a table, maybe? Here:
The first word starts with a ... n? W? Does anyone see something I don't? It's DEFINITELY NOT TOMB, though, right?
I mean, here's the thing.
If this came from the tomb of some queen .... probably I shouldn't have tattooed it into my skin. I don't believe in curses, per se, but also I 100% believe in curses. My family's been ok, so far (although, gruesomely, husbands of daughters actually don't have the best survival rate now that I think of it?) but what if there's something about ink that really kicks it into high gear?
Seriously, what's that first word.
Also, I don't know where the necklace is so please don't report me to the Egyptian museum. If I ever inherit it, I'll send it over immediately for a promise of a curse free existence. Promise.