See, here's the key when getting a tatoo: Pay Attention. Know what you're doing, and what the artist is doing.
I don't get people that walk into tatoo parlours and request one off the wall. That is going to be on your body for the rest of your life, period. Shouldn't there be a bit more of a requirement than "Oh, that one's cool."
And, as I said, pay attention to what the person drawing a permanent mark on your body is doing. Part of this (a big part) is knowing at least something about the person doing the work. That means, No Carnie Tatoos. If the artist is known to you only as "Moose" and he smokes and drinks canned Coors through the process, you might want to turn him down. I have very stupid friends who didn't have the balls to say "Wait, stop that, that isn't what I asked for", who are now walking around with really dumb-looking shit on their bodies.
Also, if you're going to get something done in a foreign language, make sure you know what it says. I have a tatoo on my back that is the chinese glyph for "Faithful". How do I know this? Well, before we got the tattoo, we went to Barnes and Nobel and (ahem) ripped a page out of a Chinese dictionary. We had thought about it for a while, found that particular symbol and...ah, acquired an accurate version of it. Then we took it to a place where we knew the people and their work and had it inked exactly like it was in the dictionary. My next tatoo, which is coming very soon, is going to be in Arabic, also from a verified source.
I had a buddy in Basic that had his girlfriend's name in Chinese on his arm. Or at least, that was what he thought. And he told me, about halfway through basic training, that if she ever broke up with him he could just tell people it meant "Fearsome Warrior" or some shit, because who knew? Presumably that's what he's doing right now. The tat probably means "General Tso's Chicken", for all any of us know.
The point is, the understanding that whatever you're getting inked is permanent seems to be lacking with an awful lot of people. It's going to be there when your lover leaves you, when you aren't talking to any of your old friends any more, and when whatever pop fad is long passe. If it means something to you, even something fleeting, than great, but make sure it means something to you, and that it means what you think it means.
blather inspired here