I have been putting this off for a while because
- I am neither a fan of sharp, pointy things or people poking me with them
- I have an irrational fear that I will contract hepatitis (or worse) from a dirty needle
- I tend to faint around needles in general
The first time I ever saw someone get their ears pierced I was competing in a cross-country championship while I was attending a fancy all-girls school. The kind where they make you wear straw boaters in the summer, bowler hats in the winter and stupidly long kilts come rain or shine.
I needed the loo and jogged to this scary looking lone bathroom in the middle of a field because I was far too middle class to pee in the bushes. I walked in and there were two girls in their teens with dark racoon-like eyemakeup, smoking and lancing themselves in the ear lobes with pins near the sink. They were using a bar of hand soap as the sacrificial slab for the proffered flesh of choice. They wandered over to me, fags in mouth and asked me if I wanted them to pierce my ears. Safe to say I sprinted out of there as fast as my prepubescent legs could carry me to the cackle of emphysemic teenage laughter.
When I decided (many years later) to go ahead and electively get my ears pierced it was when I was fifteen and wanted to forever solidify my best-friendship with a girl I knew at school. After all, being blood-sisters was so last season. Getting pierced was a far more cool, hip and less infectious way to show how cool and hip we were. And we would forever remember that day! Yes! Sisterhood! Lets burn our training bras!…
Which was all very well and good until she stood me up and I had to face the piercing gun solo. Even then the shakey-handed young girl puncturing yours truly managed to pierce one of my ears at an angle. Leaving me to forever negotiate my earrings that way until they finally closed up fifteen years later as if to draw a line under the whole sordid business.
So, I was a little more than nervous when I popped into the same store 16 years later to ask them to please do it again for me. The girl readying herself to shoot my teeny tiny ear lobes full of metal looked like she was about eleven, so I was trying to remain calm and be sophisticated about this. Because there was nothing more uncool than losing ones shit in front of someone who was young enough to be your biological daughter.
It was slightly alarming to discover that the piercing gun hadn’t been used for a while (it was vacuum sealed in plastic. In a box. In the bottom drawer. Under a pile of excess stock items) so I was beginning to rethink the legitimacy of this “good idea” – but by then it was too late to back out. She had snapped on her latex gloves, drawn little dots on my lobes and was moving in for the kill.
When you’re pierced by piercing gun it’s over in a flash.
It’s like being stapled.
Which doesn’t sound very appealing admittedly (and please do not try this at home kids!)
But that’s how it felt.
There was a brief moment of panic when my piercing technician said “Whoopsie, this might hurt a bit” because the left ear had decided that it didn’t want to participate and the earring hadn’t gone in properly… but somehow she managed to continue stabbing me just enough for the earring to go through, so… you know… we got there in the end.
And hey! I didn’t faint!
Score one for personal growth and a determination not to pass out next to a half price pick-and-mix of novelty nose studs!
She told me that I had to twiddle my earrings once or twice a day to stop my ears from healing around my new piercing, thus fusing flesh with metal (Argh! Argh! What?! Like Seven of Nine?!) and apply a few drops of a massive toner-sized bottle of solution to the piercing both morning and night-time to make sure it doesn’t get infected.
Also that I couldn’t take out the piercing for at least a month in case of infection. Which seemed fair enough to me. Because I googled what infected piercings look like and – no thank you.
Aaaaaand this is what it looks like!
Not going to lie. Feeling a minor sense of achievement.