it’s permanent

Well, the tattoos we got each other for our anniversary are permanent. I guess that means that our marriage is permanent. I mean, it would take lasers to remove these things. So that is what we are saying here, people. It would take lasers to break up this marriage. LASERS.

Tattoo Story: The Why and How

Why: The characters are Korean, pronounced “zzang”, literally meaning “the sound of ice cracking”. While we lived there our students used it as slang similar to “cool” or “right on” or “awesome”. It snuck into our vocabulary to celebrate any accomplishment. And when living and working in a foreign country, everything, from taking the bus to grocery shopping, is an accomplishment. These things were much easier because we had each other. And that’s still true. So for us Zzang is a symbol of how we work as a team, and the work it takes to get through.

Of course, they look cool too. (Rob’s will be posted soon)

How: I got many recommendations for a particular tattoo artist. However, the day I called to make an appointment with her was the day she was on the cover of the Chronicle. The surly girl who answered the phone told me no openings for a month. Well, we had the babysitter, it was the night of our anniversary, and if I didn’t go through with it then, I never would. So I told her “The design is a simple Korean character probably anyone could do. Are there any openings for tonight?”

“Yes,” she said, “See you at eight.”

“Don’t you need my name?”

“No. I’ll remember you because I’m going to do it. I’m Korean.”


She was still surly and didn’t crack a smile the whole time, but she was professional. Probably a good quality for a tattoo artist. Rob went first and didn’t wince a bit. I did. But come on, I’ve had two children. Being zapped by needles was a breeze. I don’t see myself becoming addicted to the sensation, but it made for a memorable anniversary.

7 responses to “it’s permanent”

  1. Rachel

    Hooray for inking! It came out great – so glad you did it and got in. I thought of you when Chris brought home the Chronicle with her on the cover, and wondered if you’d be able to get in. Sounds like you got just what you needed. Congrats!

  2. Rob

    It would take lasers to break up this marriage. LASERS.

    Not even sharks with frickin’ laser beams on their heads could do that.

  3. Debbie T.

    Tres cool, Cheris! And I was thinking of yet another fantastic Mike Meyer’s film, ‘Wayne’s World.’ We push our hair behind our ears, give the thumbs up, and say ‘zzang’ all the time around here!

    What a great anniversary gift and outing.

  4. leah

    yay! lady and rob!

  5. Chris K

    Very freakin cool… Congrats to many year to come! Zzang!

  6. Dad/Apa

    Ok, so you know how I feel about tatoos. I’m not a fan. But somehow, you guys make it cool and meaningful and you’ve got me walking around the house saying “zzang!” That’s what you do to me.

  7. Bonnie Berry

    Tattoos are WAY more serious than those wedding vows. I managed to get rid of my ex-husband (at $190/hour in lawyer’s fees) but I still have my tattoo. Luckily the tattoo has nothing to do with him, but you two are stuck together now.

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