So you’re thinking about getting a tattoo removal, eh? Well, the good news is that it’s a lot easier than you think!

Step One: Quit your full-time job in order to spend your summer backpacking through Europe.

This first step is pretty self-explanatory. Don’t worry, though, at least it’s not the most expensive step.

Step Two: Go on Pinterest to find the most generic symbol to represent this big life decision.

These can include but are not limited to: a stencil outline of the world map, a compass artistically placed within a globe somehow, the word wanderlust cursived into an arrow, or the “Not all those who wander are lost” quote, preferably paired with some sort of bird.

Step Three: Get the agreed-upon tattoo placed on a very prominent part of your body to ensure that there’s absolutely no doubt from anyone about your love for travel.

These can include but are not limited to: your wrist, your forearm, the back of your neck, or that little spot behind your ear right before the hairline starts.

Step Four: Enjoy your so cute travel tattoo for approximately 2-3 months.

Soak up the compliments, and respond to them by explaining that you got your darling little travel tattoo in Ireland while on a fun backpacking adventure through Europe!

Also, avoid the questions about why you got a non-Irish tattoo in Ireland because first of all, you wanted to, and second of all, that hadn’t even occurred to you, and third of all, it’s none of their business anyway and fourth of all shut up, okay.

Step Five: Start having doubts about your tattoo, which is looking less and less adorable and more and more like a colorable stencil on one of those paper placemats for kids at a diner.

These doubts may be caused by: strangers asking what kind of plane it is, strangers asking you if you’re a flight attendant, or strangers telling you that they used to have a silly band of that exact shape and size.

Step Six: Begin the tattoo loathing process.

Start to cover up your tattoo in pictures.

Start to remind people who compliment your tattoo that they’re actually wrong because it’s a really stupid generic white girl tattoo that no one with any sort of BIG SMART BRAINS would even get in the first place.

Start to wonder why didn't you get an Irish tattoo if you were getting a tattoo in Ireland.

Step Seven: Research tattoo removal.

This may be spurred on by any of the following:

  • Jealousy after reading an article about local reformed convicts getting free tattoo removals to help them get jobs.
  • Jealousy about the person in Katy Perry’s “The One That Got Away” song who had their “tattoo removed.”
  • Jealousy towards anyone who doesn’t have an airplane tattoo on their forearm.

Step Eight: Meet Chuck.

This jovial, middle-aged laser tattoo removal business owner would just love to help you get that tattoo off of your body.

Even though it’s exorbitantly expensive to have this procedure done, Chuck regularly reminds you that 1) he has to make a living somehow, and 2) he does it for a much more reasonable price than most laser tattoo removal businesses.

Both of which are true.

Step Nine: The procedure, which really sucks!

The best part about Chuck is not the granddaughter that he’s always showing you pictures and videos of. It’s not the fact that he enjoys reminding you how fast time is going by. It’s not even his love for complaining about the weather!

The best part about Chuck is the tools he owns that are designed for getting bad tattoos off of good people.

These tools include but are not limited to:

  • A laser that hurts but “does most certainly work” – Chuck
  • This tube that shoots out cold air in order to make you hate the laser less
  • These weird orange plastic sunglasses that shield your eyes from the lasers and don’t look like they get cleaned very often even during the age of COVID

Step Ten: Severe pain for a lot of time.

This step is either in reference to all of the lasers sharply directed at your skin for an extended period of time over multiple sessions, or it’s in reference to having to listen to Chuck talk about his upcoming vacation to the Cayman Islands for over a year.

Step Eleven: An even worse tattoo than before.

As if having a generic white girl tattoo stuck to a very prominent part of your body wasn’t bad enough, the process of having it removed just makes it “a very-blurry-gray-instead-of-black generic white girl tattoo stuck to a very prominent part of your body.”

Step Twelve: The good news.

Is that, at least the comments, questions, compliments, and comparisons to a silly band, have all stopped.

Probably because people feel sorry for you that you got such a botched tattoo that not only looks blurry, but also sometimes looks red and inflamed.

Step Thirteen: Get more tattoos on your body while in the process of removing the airplane one.

What? At least the new ones aren’t from Pinterest.