A Dear Abby letter in the paper this morning caught my attention. Two daughters are embarrassed because their 44-year-old mother had her nipples pierced and delights in showing off her embellished breasts to their friends.
The day before, I’d taken the extra piercing plunge, adding another hole above the lower-lobe site of my original piercing years ago. I chose to add only one piercing, to flaunt a tiny hoop. I can’t really explain why I wanted this done; but it’s a big “0” birthday year and perhaps that makes it significant.
I had to wait until I was 13 to get my ears pierced. A friend of my Aunt Anne’s had done my mother’s on a visit to Tucson, Arizona and my mother, quite comfortable in a science laboratory, felt confident she could pierce mine. One evening, after the supper table had been cleared, she announced she’d do my ears. She lit a match to sterilize a needle, made two nearly even dots on each ear with a pen, iced my ears, and poked through, first one then the other. I must have had a pair of gold studs that she put in. I never had an infection, and have worn earrings ever since.
Years later, my daughter got her ears pierced at a jeweler, turning down my mother’s offer to do her ears.
My sister Madeline has had an extra earring hole for several years and recently went for what’s called a “daith”—an ear piercing that passes through the ear’s innermost cartilage fold. She got it because she’d read this form of piercing, acting similarly to acupuncture, could relieve the symptoms of migraine headaches, which she suffers from periodically. She’s finding that the triggers and symptoms are definitely less severe.
Walking with my daughter in NYC’s East Village yesterday, I’d mentioned I was interested in an ear piercing. As we strolled, we saw what appeared to be a rather upscale piercing place—really a fancy jewelry store that offered piercings.
The saleswoman showed me photographs on an iPad to help me select what I wanted and then I completed the necessary paperwork and signed away liability. Times have changed since my mother poked my ears in the kitchen.
The piercing technician made sure I’d read the cleaning procedures, verified that the tools were sterile and wore rubber gloves. In seconds the act was completed, and I walked out with a tiny rose gold hoop that has to remain in place for about 6 months.
The ear is a bit sore and I have to watch when I take clothes over my head. The earring is small and hardly noticeable. I’m not sure it adds anything to my overall looks, and not so sure I’m any “cooler” with it. I may or may not keep it; or maybe I’ll get another one day– but I promise I’ll stick to my ears only.