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Sister 'stealing' tattoo idea

(129 Posts)
Sillyjelly Fri 24-Mar-17 08:53:37

Hello all,

I genuinely don't know if I'm being unreasonable here.

Our DF died nearly 10 years ago when we were in our early 20s and since then I've wanted to have a memorial tattoo. I soon decided on an animal from a particular group that was his favourite, which is also my favourite and something I built my career around (conservation and monitoring of this particular species). I feel a real connection with my father through this. I have dithered over design and placement and haven't had much spare cash so have not done it yet.

My DSis recently announced that she is getting that particular animal as a tattoo. I am very upset by this as I'd then have to either not have it, or have the same tattoo as her. It makes it feel less special somehow and already the idea of it has tainted it.

She also wants it as a memorial for him, however she has no connection to this animal and the only reason she knows it was his favourite is because I told her that's why I wanted it, I only know it was his favourite as when I first started working with them, after his death, my mother told me and was pleased I was working with them. She has taken is as gospel that this is now symbolic of him, but this is simply because I have said it. It is also a very beautiful animal. I bitterly regret telling her what I wanted but never imagined she would do this.

When she first told me I did say, in surprise, that that was 'my' tattoo idea, but she said I had 'sat on it' for too long so she would do it. It's not been raised since then as I don't trust myself not to get upset.

Am I being unreasonable to ask her seriously not to do it? I don't want to create anything nasty or emotional, I want her to just quietly let it go and think of her own idea. I tried to think of some for her but haven't thought of anything she likes.

lampshady Fri 24-Mar-17 08:56:26

If you go to different artists and have different styles it'll look completely different.

gleam Fri 24-Mar-17 08:58:41

I'd quickly think of something else to do, tell her and see if she picks up that idea instead.

Universitychallenging Fri 24-Mar-17 08:59:15

What lamp said. Two of the same animal, different sizes backgrounds in different places dine by different artist will look totally different.

Plus. And I mean this kindly. She's right. You've been thinking of it for 10 years and not done it yet. And, you know, I'm sure it hasnt been a family secret that it was his favourite animal.

Condolences on the loss of your dad xx

Crispbutty Fri 24-Mar-17 08:59:54

It won't be the same tattoo. Yours will be completely different.

InfinityPlusOne Fri 24-Mar-17 09:00:03

Just make sure you pick a talented artist who will give you something unique and well crafted then try and forget what she is doing. She's probably only enjoy the drama if you spoke to her about it again.

ElspethFlashman Fri 24-Mar-17 09:00:13

No sorry, this is like a baby name you intend to use in the future - you simply don't have copyright on a hypothetical event. It doesn't matter if she got the idea from you, and if you thought of it first.

Also frankly, it's been 10 years and you haven't done anything about it.

Besides, your designs will naturally be completely different - just a glance at Pinterest will show you the myriad ways people interpret an animal tattoo.

I have a memorial tattoo of my father with his favourite flower. If my sibling wanted to have the same flower in his memory? I'd say good for you, work away. We are such different people that it would look completely different.

HecateAntaia Fri 24-Mar-17 09:01:47

so your sister wants to get a tattoo that you have been saying for a decade that you feel would be a lovely rememberance of your and her father?

it has been made special and important to her.

you cant dictate to her what she has on her body.

you can get angry about it and ruin your relationship because you want to feel you have a special connection to your dad that she isnt allowed to have but do you really want to do that?

in your shoes i would suggest both having the tattoos and going together to have them. as a joint rememberance and something to share as sisters.

it will always be Your Idea. it could be more special for the sharing of it, if you chose to take that view.

AuntMabel Fri 24-Mar-17 09:14:52

"I soon decided on an animal from a particular group that was his favourite..."

I think YABU, sorry. If this animal was your DF's favourite, it isn't in any way inappropriate for your DSIS, also his daughter, to include this in her hypothetical design. If you use a decent tattoo artist their design should be quite unique, so unlikely to look anything like your sister's in any event.

Sciurus83 Fri 24-Mar-17 09:15:13

Sorry about your father flowers Be honest with yourself, were you ever going to get the tattoo? It's been 10 years, are you thinking about it now only because your sister wants it? If you were, and it is the thing you really want to do then have it. It doesn't matter if you have the same tattoo, she is your sister and you both want to have it in memory of your father, I think it's quite nice that you would both have it. But can see from the other side that you have more connection to it through working with the animal. What would happen if you told your sister you were getting it? Would she still get it? End of the day though get it because it's something you want, if you really do. Even if you end up with a tattoo of the same animal you can change position, colour, style, size so they are very different. If you don't want to cause a row that might be a way of broaching the subject with your sister, discussing the details and how to make them unique to each other. I work in conservation too, I'm intrigued to know what the animal is!

Sillyjelly Fri 24-Mar-17 09:17:50

Ok, I'm and still upset about it but I see I'll just have to let it go. I definitely don't want to cause any bad feeling

But to be clear, it's not a favourite animal like if somebody loves tigers and everybody knows that.

It's more like, if he loved frogs, and then specifically a subset of frogs, and within that one particular species - which would rarely come up in conversation and if it did most people wouldn't know what it was. You would know if somebody likes frogs but could you name the species that is their favourite? And then they became my favourite when I started my career in that area with them and then found out they were his favourite too. So it does feel like I have a special connection there, however juvenile that may sounds. Not that my relationship with my father was more special than hers (probably less so!), but this species is symbolic of it.

There are thousands of examples of this animal group and she could have any one of them - it's just galling she has decided to get this particular one.

MrsDustyBusty Fri 24-Mar-17 09:18:14

How would both of you having the same animal tattooed on you as a tribute to your dad make it less special for you? Surely both of you having the same memorial should be more special? Did you compete with each other for your dad's affection?

Mysterycat23 Fri 24-Mar-17 09:18:42

YABU, sorry. Go get the tattoo together with DSis and celebrate your memories as a family.

gleam Fri 24-Mar-17 09:19:45

Ask yourself whether you really do want a tattoo - perhaps that's partly why you've been dithering?
Would a piece of jewellery be equally good? You could get something designed and made for you in the Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham or similar.

Sillyjelly Fri 24-Mar-17 09:20:23

She knows I'm getting it, she wouldn't know what the animal was without me telling her!

I definitely was going to get it, but it's expensive and I move around a lot. I didn't know there was a deadline.

Universitychallenging Fri 24-Mar-17 09:21:42

I'm sorry but you are being very unreasonable. You're hurting and it seems like you feel that your sister having the same animal is taking away from a special connection you had wth you dad.

That connection is in your heart not on your body.

ParadiseCity Fri 24-Mar-17 09:22:13

Sorry for your loss. If was your parent and my DC got tattoos of the same thing to remember me by I would feel only happy things about that. Memories and love and honouring someone are not diluted by how many people join in.

MrDacresEUSubsidy Fri 24-Mar-17 09:24:24

I can see how this feels unfair and like 'stealing' but honestly, try and let it go. Your sister also lost a Dad and it's entirely reasonable for her to want to commemorate him in some way. Given that tattoos are an increasingly common way of doing this, then it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that she's keen on the idea and wants to use a design that includes his favourite animal - regardless of the fact that it was you who told her. You can't "reserve" a design until further notice.

Give yourself a day or two to stew a bit and then get in touch with your Sis and suggest you both find an artist and go together. You can both have different tattoos that incorporate the animal in different ways. Use the opportunity to turn it into a bit of family bonding - and it will give the tattoo some extra meaning because you'll remember going for it together.

Sillyjelly Fri 24-Mar-17 09:24:51

We didn't compete for his affection, it's not a competitive thing. There is a history of her copying me but I'm usually fine about it.

I really don't want the same as her, it just does feel less special. Equally our DM died last year and DSis just got a memorial tattoo for her (which I also intend to do - maybe in another 10 years!). Now, I could easily get the same thing as her by the same logic - so we'd have two tattoos the same? And I do see what she got as some they like, and wouldn't want to step on that.

I just don't like it. But ok, I'll leave it.

MrDacresEUSubsidy Fri 24-Mar-17 09:25:57

I didn't know there was a deadline

There isn't and you know that. But you are sounding a bit petulant - and I get why you feel the way you do. It's been ten years!

Sillyjelly Fri 24-Mar-17 09:27:15

Understood. I'll try and convince myself to see it as a positive. I'll just have to try not to think about it for a little while.

Thanks all

FrenchLavender Fri 24-Mar-17 09:28:11

I think it's exactly the same as a bagging a baby name for future use. You can't ring fence it for yourself for years on end and then ban other people from using it while you still don't even have a baby and they are PG.

Besides which, just because you will both have tattoos of a wolf/eagle/badger/whatever doesn't mean they will be the same. Most people won't even notice or care or understand the reference to your dad anyway. I see no reason why you can't both have what you want and it's a bit of a petty and childish thing to make a fuss about.

Littleballerina Fri 24-Mar-17 09:29:31

Most tattoos look the same anyway. meh.

How about not getting one at all and continuing your work with the species, give the money that you would spend on the tattoo to a related charity and do that for your Dad? Help the species in his name.

PurpleVauxhall Fri 24-Mar-17 09:30:37

Agree no two will be the same. Although I'd be very annoyed tbh.

If you are in London google Harriet Tattoo, she has done some beautiful tattoos for a friend of mine. She has a robin and a mouse and several insects and flowers and plants. They are very very beautiful.

Sillyjelly Fri 24-Mar-17 09:31:45

I do feel like I'm being childish and petulant - I just can't stop feeling like that. It's upsetting.

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