Tuesday, June 23, 2009

In Which An Ear Is Pierced

Back in ancient times (when I was a pre-teen) girls had to get their ears pierced at the doctor's office. Boys did not get their ears pierced. Period.

I remember going to watch my sister get her ears pierced. She actually had to lie back on the exam table and the doctor had to wear rubber gloves. I can remember Sherry hissing air between her teeth as the needle went in. It looked like it hurt.

Me? I got my ears pierced by the next door neighbor using a sewing machine needle.

It was probably cheaper.

My ears got infected and grew shut.

So I got them pierced again. I'm not sure who did it that time. I just remember that they got infected and closed up again.

The third time was the charm. They remained healthy little holes in my ears and I could happily wear earrings.

Until I discovered that I am allergic to pretty much every earring ever made and my earlobes turn red and scaly if I wear earrings. I still tough it out and wear them for special occasions, but then I have to deal with irritated ears for a few days afterward.

Then, when I was pregnant with Emily, I touched my earlobe while I had some salt on my fingers from some french fries I was happily consuming and my ear got infected and the hole closed up. Again.

Three years ago, I decided to get my ears pierced again (some of us never really learn from our mistakes). I went to a place in the mall where they use a squeeze gun to project the earring through your ear. The girl who was doing it it squeezed really S-L-O-W-L-Y instead of doing it quickly and it hurt. A lot.

Emily has sensitive skin, and I have really made her hold off on getting her ears pierced. As much trouble as I have had with my ear lobes, I just didn't want her to have to deal with infected lobes before she was old enough to know how to properly care for her ears. I had told her years ago that she had to wait until she was twelve to get her ears pierced.

Well, her twelfth birthday is rolling up and I figured we'd better go ahead and get it done so we would know if we should get her earrings for her birthday. It would be a shame to get a bunch of earrings for her birthday only to have her ears get infected and close up.

We went to the mall, and an attack of nerves hit her.

"Does it hurt a lot?" she asked me.

"Yep," I told her.

I believe in being honest.

I also believe in reverse psychology. If she is prepared for a big, huge pain, it doesn't feel so bad after all. If she's expecting it not to hurt very much, the pain seems much worse than expected.

She finally worked up her nerve and decided to go for the gusto.

The girl performing the piercing was wearing a tutu and a tiara which made me rethink our choice of pagoda until I realized she was wearing official latex gloves which then gave me complete confidence in her ability to shoot my daughter in the ear with a nail gun.

Emily said she heard a "crunch" when the earring went through. That freaked her out more than anything.

She didn't cry though.

She said it didn't hurt as much as she expected it to.


So now she can't quit looking at her ears in the mirror and she can hardly wait for the six weeks healing time to pass so she can wear some of the new earrings I bought her.
I bought myself a new pair too and tried them on when I got home.
Only I discovered that my left ear lobe had closed.


  1. Praying that Emily does not have the same problems you do. They look great.

  2. I love the girl wearing the tutu. So professional!

    When my Emily got her ears pierced, she was so nervous that she couldn't eat until we got them finished. She also had one of those SLOW ear piercing experiences...no fun.

  3. *Update: Said ears are now closed and have been since June 2010.*