• Anita Karr

Ryan Ashley and the Magical Scrunchie Exchange: Part 3

“Hey Ryan, this is Anita and she wants to meet you. She’s from Connect’Ink™, the app I told you about.” he pointed to our booth where Matt was still setting up. I nervously smiled and introduced myself, told her I was a big fan and hoped to get tattooed by her one day. She immediately stopped me mid sentence, pointed to my wrist and smiled and said, “Oh my God, we have the same scrunchie. But mines clear and yours is black - wanna trade?” Everything stood perfectly still in that moment of time. Our worlds had finally collided and not only had I gotten a chance to tell her how amazing she was and that I wanted her to tattoo me, but she actually wanted something that I had!! What was going on?

We both had the exact same telephone wire scrunchie, the only difference between them was hers was black and mine was clear. She took my wrist and explained, but I already knew what she was doing. The clear scrunchie would make her silvery locks look flawless when it was up and with my dark brunette hair, the black scrunchie was the only option. By the time she was done explaining her black scrunchie was around my wrist and my clear scrunchie around hers. It was perfect synergy and I was even more enamoured than I had previously been; it was also the perfect start to one of the coolest weekends I had ever experienced. I thanked her and hugged her and even got the courage enough to ask her for a pic (not sure where the courage came from; must have been the euphoria I was now feeling by the entire super surreal experience of my first half hour at the convention. She said, “Of course I’ll take a pic with you, and thank you for the scrunchie!” I almost died!

We snapped a couple of pics and parted ways - knowing I would see her throughout the weekend made the parting not sweet sorrow, but rather sweet happiness knowing she would recognize me and we could possibly interact again. As I walked back to the booth feeling as though there were clouds beneath my feet, Matt looked up, noticing my current state of nirvana and asked me what happened, even though he knew most of the story by the look on my face. I couldn’t get any words out - all I could do was point at my wrist; I was still speechless from the encounter. Matt shook his head and put the finishing touches on the booth as I just stood around in a daze.

The rest of the weekend was kind of a blur as well. We met so many amazing people like Heather Ashley and Saga Anderson, who shared the booth next to us - Heather is amazing and Saga’s artistry is out of this world, literally and figuratively. We also ran into Arlo DiChristina, Babiery Hernandez, Jacob Sheffield, Ant Mikes, Deanna James, Stefano Alcantara, Greta Bagordo, and many many others. It was my first tattoo expo experience and it was so surreal, and thankfully, it wouldn’t be my last!


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