Let me start by saying that I am admittedly a very competitive person. I enjoy a challenge almost as much as I like winning said challenge. I’d love to say that I’m a pacifist, but it’s hard to do so when I’m too aggressive to finish a game of Risk without flipping the board. It’s not my fault—I happen to be the youngest of five children, and therefore served as a punching bag for the first ten years of life. You try being shoved down a laundry shoot at the age of six and coming out the other end without a thoroughly engrained sense of rivalry.
I have to say that moving to Austin has been one of the high points of my life. This city is like a mysterious new boyfriend; I never know what’s going to happen next, but I know I’m interested. I’m managing to slowly adapt to life in the 512, through a series of small lifestyle changes like eating breakfast tacos around the clock, pretending to give a shit about UT football, and taking my dog nearly everywhere I go.
And yet, I know I’m not a true Austinite yet. I still occasionally get lost in downtown’s endless maze of one-way streets, I can never remember how to pronounce “Nueces,” and everyone on Reddit is mad at me for joining what they consider to be an already full Austin. Not to mention, a few months into my new Austin life, I started to feel like there was something missing. Like I wasn’t quite weird enough.
So when my boyfriend proposed a particularly spicy bet to me about a month ago, I accepted before I could even fully process the ramifications. At the time, we were both unemployed and contributed nothing to society, except for providing a consistent economic boost to the food truck in the parking lot of the Title Max next door to my apartment. He suggested that whoever managed to get a job first should get the privilege of tattooing whatever they want (within reason) on the other’s body. I figured if there was any time to do something impulsive and put my ass on the line, this was it. I had initially enjoyed life as a jobless loser until I burned through six seasons of Game of Thrones in the blink of an eye and started to recognize certain Dothraki lingo. That’s when I realized I needed to get a job, stat. The bet was the final push for me to find employment, and to do so quickly.
I took inspiration from the great Rihanna, and this bitch went to WERK. I spent hours perfecting my resume, constructing cover letters, and pretending to be involved with whatever the hell is happening on LinkedIn these days. I fired off applications like it was my job, solely because I wanted one so badly. I was desperate for a routine and financial stability. Just kidding—what I wanted was to win this risky bet, and make my boyfriend feel like a complete fool. I’m not even opposed to the idea of getting a tattoo; what I am opposed to is losing, especially when my competitor knows exactly how to push my buttons and capitalize on my loss.
About a week after the bet, I received a job offer. I accepted, partially out of admiration for the company, but mostly so I could shove the email in his face while shouting “Muahaha” and threatening to draft My Little Pony sketches to be forever planted on his ass. Naturally, I would never insist that he go through with a tattoo that he’s uncomfortable with, but I figured it’s not a bad idea to keep him on his toes, right?
And now, I’m ready to follow through. We’ve managed to ignore the subject for weeks, and I think it’s time I cash in on my winnings. A consistent paycheck is the lesser benefit of landing this job; I’m ready to carry through with the terms of our arrangement, with the help of the creative minds at Platinum Ink. Gone are the days of cartilage piercings. I’m ready for the buzz of the gun, and whatever temporary pain comes with it. Not for me, but for the idiot who thought I would ever let myself lose a bet, especially when the stakes were this high.