Tat Tuesday: Nicolette Beguerisse’s ode to furniture, floral drinks

Mirya Dila, Life & Arts Reporter

Editor’s note: This story first appeared in the June 27, 2022 flipbook.

Sitting in the Ikea parking lot with her friends, Nicolette Beguerisse listened to the stutter of a plastic straw inside her nearly empty elderflower juice box, attempting to get every last drop. She blissfully sipped the sweet drink, unaware it would be the last time she celebrated her favorite birthday tradition in the same way — because the drink would soon be discontinued.

One year later, Beguerisse said she found herself lying in a tattoo parlor with her arms stretched over her head, hoping she wouldn’t regret her decision to have someone painfully etch a string of numbers into the side of her rib cage.

“The biggest thing that scared me was that this (tattoo) was going to be permanent,” the architecture junior said. “I (wanted) to make sure the things I (got) on my body were things that I (wanted) to stay.”

The eight digits now etched on the left side of Beguerisse’s ribcage serve as an ode to her favorite birthday tradition: trips to Ikea. Beguerisse said she annually explores the Swedish furniture warehouse, always ending the birthday excursion by purchasing elderflower juice boxes. With the product discontinued, Beguerisse said she decided to commemorate her love for both the drink and the memories associated with it by getting a tattoo of the juice box’s serial number for her 19th birthday.

“I thought about the fact that there’s this item that I missed so much, and the big thing at Ikea is you find things by their serial number,” Beguerisse said. “I liked that concept of having the number on me because (other people) have to look (at) that number and then go find the meaning of (the tattoo).”

Beguerisse said many people didn’t understand the idea behind her tattoo at first, questioning her design decision. However, she said their inquiries mostly solidified her desire to get her first tattoo.

“It doesn’t have to make sense to (other people),” Beguerisse said. “It’s just something that is important to me — it’s who I am. I don’t like to take everything so seriously.”

After scrolling through over 60 different fonts on the Fontmaker app to find one she wanted, Beguerisse said she showed the final design to the tattoo artist. However, she said his assurance that it would hurt made her begin to second-guess her decision. As she listened to the hum of the tattoo gun, Beguerisse said her thoughts of pain quickly dissipated once she realized she hadn’t even noticed the artist had begun the process.

“Honestly it just feels like a massage (chair) — on a smaller scale,” Beguerisse said. “I was really just thinking about tracing the pen in my mind — wherever it was. I was trying to remember the number sequence.”

Although initially scared that her love for the tattoo wouldn’t be as permanent, after her successful first experience, Beguerisse said she no longer worries about regretting her tattoo decisions in the future. Instead, she said she wants her tattoos to place more emphasis on how she feels in the moment. 

“A lot of people end up regretting the things they don’t do,” Beguerisse said. “It’s worse to have that type of regret than a regret of something you did do.”