ANYWAY, the people who I have always felt worst for are the people who go in with good intentions, but don't realize that not every ink-slinger is Michelangelo and depending on how they shade their designs, it could go from a matter of "bad" to WORST. You see it a lot in photographs made into tattoos (like the one below). The random forehead shading and frown lines fill me with dread.
WHICH is why I have a funny story about it: a few years back an acquaintance of mine, let's call her Patricia, and her husband hit a rough patch in their marriage and decided to separate for a while. She really wanted it to all work out and it turns out that the 'space' gave him time to think and that he did too. So it was all hunky dory except they couldn't decide on an exact timeframe to move back in together. He wanted her to basically throw her stuff in the trunk of the car and get right back (he'd stayed in their house, she was in an apartment) but she wasn't so keen on moving that quickly. She wanted to take it slow and sort of go through the "dating" process again. Well, he didn't like it, so he decided to expedite things. He started sending flowers and cards. Dropping by with jewelry, etc ("see, this is what you're missing at home with me") but she still wouldn't commit to moving back. So a couple of months passed and he showed up one day with her name tattooed on his shoulder, to show his commitment and undying devotion. She joked at the time that it was sweet, but extremely stupid, but at least if it didn't work out all he'd have to do is find a new wife named Patricia.
Another few weeks pass by and he's applying the heavy-pressure: poems, candlelight dinners, tickets to the ballet*, etc. and she's still not ready to move. So then ONE DAY he shows up and walks in the door and takes off his shirt. To reveal that he has had her face tattooed onto his shoulder blade (so we're talking 8" tall - that kind of size) and.... it looks like the kids in the picture below. Splotchy, shaded like crazy, and basically UGLY. The picture looks like something out of a circus sideshow and she's horrified. They start spatting about it, he thinks she should be more impressed than she is; she thinks he should be more discriminating about the art he applies to his body. The piece de resistance is when he gets upset and starts yelling about how much it cost - he's paid $500 and undergone hours in a tattoo chair for this. And this.... THIS is the moment that she decides that she cannot be with him anymore. The kind of person who... well.... so they broke up for good. Divorced permamently shortly thereafter.
Through friends, we later heard that he'd saved up enough money to get the tattoo covered up although he went back to the same artist and the guy either wasn't happy with covering up his own work or just underskilled to do it and tried to apply a gigantic flower arrangement over her face, which... well, it looked as bad as you'd think. So now he basically has a giant puddle of random ink spots on his shoulder blade and "Patricia" is still very visible in every way, covered over with flowers.
*She wasn't interested at all in the ballet and neither was he. He'd seen the scenario on TV before (where husband takes wife to ballet and live happily ever after) and thought it would work.