Monday, November 7, 2011

A Voluntary Head-Stabbing

When I was in first grade, I got my ears pierced. It was kind of a disaster.

All of my friends had, of course, gotten their ears pierced. (In reality, I think only one or two of them had.) I begged my mom over and over again to please, please, please let strangers use odd-looking implements to shove pointy metal through my flesh. Over and over again the answer was, "No, you're not old enough yet."

I recall the same thing happening, years later, when I begged my mom to buy me sharp metal attached to a stick, so I could drag it across my legs and forcibly remove the hair on them. What's up with us as kids? We get so excited to do these things that will be obnoxious chores for the rest of our adult lives.

Anywho, after telling me over and over how much it would hurt, my mom caved in and took me to get my ears stabbed. We went to a hair/piercing salon in the mall. To look at the same place now would possibly conjure images of Hep C and other deadly infections, but at the time it must have been... respectable. Or something. Hurrah for getting stabbed in public.

I was terribly excited. We walked through the door, and there were little stations set up for kids to get pierced, featuring decommissioned playground equipment. Remember those ponies that swung back and forth on one precarious metal spring, which had potential to either snap in two or slam you to the ground with every sway? Yep, I sat on one of those as my mom paid someone to stab me in the head.

This pony I sat on had the spring removed and was mounted on a pole instead, to be a bit more stable. (Get it? The pony was stable. Ha!) I clambered up on its back and excitedly gripped the handlebars protruding from its Frankenstein-esque head. I was vibrating with excitement.

I picked out the earrings I would wear for the next six months, as the newly formed holes in my ears permanantly scarred over. I wanted pink earrings. I was still in my pink phase at this point: pink bedspread, pink shirts, pink ribbons that Mom lovingly tied into my curled hair, and I wanted pink earrings to match.

They were out of pink. Didn't know there'd be such a rush, I guess. I ended up picking red, because it was the closest to pink that they had. This was before my finely tuned fashion sense kicked in, keeping me from wearing things like a purple-patterned shirt, red skirt, and orange-black socks at the same time. (Wait, that was my Halloween outfit this year.)

The salon ladies pulled out a pair of red stud earrings for me, and then they pulled out the big guns. Literally. Those piercing guns were enormous. When I first saw them, I thought they were the industrial-sized staple guns that my teacher used for her bulliten board.

You can see how a seven year old might suddenly be terrified when not one, but two of those things come into view. I'm pretty sure I was vibrating with fear on that pastel playground pony.

The salon ladies called out, "One, two, three!"


One of the guns came away from my ear. The other was still attached to the earring going through my lobe. I believe it was at this point that I started screaming.

Eventually, the gun came unstuck, and I left the salon with swollen ears and metal in my head. But I haven't much cared to get another piercing since then.

Wonder why.

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