When I was in grade 8 it was in fashion to get more than 1 ear piercing in one or both ears. One or two of my friends had gotten a second earring, but it wasn’t completely mainstream at this point. I really wanted to get mine done, badly! I loved accessorizing, even from a young age. I didn’t have the figure to always wear the clothes that I wanted to; on the inside I was a size 4, but on the outside, I was a 14. At least accessories always fit and helped me to express myself. I couldn’t fit into the tight-fitting funky flared jeans, but at least I could wear the baby blue Kangol hat and co-ordinated Doc Marten boots. They took the attention away from the only style of boring-ass men’s jeans from Mark’s Work Warehouse that fit my figure properly.
And then there was my jewellery... I loved almost anything silver, however the more unique, the better. By the time I was 14, I probably had at least 30 silver rings and too many pendants and earrings to count. All of a sudden there emerged this trend where I should add more holes to my body... that could hold more jewellery! Where could I sign up? I couldn’t wait!
My mother was adamantly against me getting a second earring. She said that one pair was nice, but anything more than that was trashy. She told me that people would think that I’m easy. Now, my mother was a younger mom and was normally pretty progressive, but when she said that I was stunned. It was like I was talking to an old granny. I could even picture her holding a cane in one hand, and with the other waving her boney finger while yelling, “You crazy kids these days!"
I tried bringing up the topic off and on for a couple months – thinking that I could wear her down if she saw that it wasn’t just a fleeting idea and that I really, really wanted to get it done. The answer was always the same and a little louder each time, “Nooooo!”
Finally, I got fed up with my mother’s constant refusal to understand me, and I took matters into my own hands. I sterilized a diaper pin and got a few cubes of ice and went to my room. On any normal day, the thought of needles almost made me pass out, so I still don’t know how I was able to go through with it. I guess my anger and adrenaline helped me power through it.
I sandwiched my earlobe with 2 ice cubes for a good while, until it was really red and cold. I began to push the diaper pin through my earlobe. It wasn’t nearly as sharp as an actual piercing needle, so it went slower than I had hoped. I could hear it breaking through every layer of skin – like a popping sound. Pop – pop – pop! Yuck. I gagged a few times, but I had gone too far to quit at that point. I finally got it to poke through the other side. POP! I took a deep breath. My ear was bright purple and I could feel it throbbing – but I must say that the ice cubes did help. I didn’t really feel a terrible pain, just uncomfortable and disgusting. I waited for a few minutes with the pin hanging from my ear before I attempted exchanging it with an earring.
When I did finally get up the courage, it hurt much more than the diaper pin! Even though they were proper piercing earrings (my original ones from when I got my first pair done) I was, in fact, poking something into an open wound. Ouch, ouch... Done! I must have been insane because then I did the other ear. It went a bit faster the second time.
Now, you’re thinking... wouldn’t her mother see them right away and make her take them out? Well, again, current fashion trends came to my rescue. It was the early 90s and some remnants of 80s geometric fashion were still lingering around like a bad stench. I had a pair of huge plastic circle earrings – I think I originally got them for a Cyndi Lauper costume I wore for Halloween the year before. When I put them on, they completely covered the second piercings. Perfect!
I was able to hide what I had done for a good couple weeks and then both holes got a little infected (big surprise) and I had to take them out on my own volition. I was so sad that my master plan didn’t turn out as I had hoped. My mother saw my slightly mutilated earlobes the next morning as I had them smeared in Polysporin.
I snapped at her, “Don’t even say it! They’re gone, OK?”
She shook her head and walked away. I could hear her laughing and my ears got even hotter and redder than they already were.