So I complained and cried on Monday about not being able to get my ears pierced, but I wanted to get it over with. Quickly. Before I changed my mind. Before my family changed my mind or anyone else.
And I just don’t like waiting.
Yesterday I went and did it.
One hour before Wednesday night church service, I picked up Chris (he sort of wanted to come, sort of didn’t have a choice) and went straight to the mall, where we would’ve began arguing about the true location of Claire’s in regards to the closest ideal parking space on the outside. But I don’t go to the mall often, and definitely not for Claire’s, and Chris is a guy and probably didn’t know the store existed. So I parked somewhere near a middle entrance and started there.
Of course we went the wrong way on the first try, three-sixtied, and came back.
Claire’s is a small store in my mall. Two people could stand side by side with their arms stretched out and touch the walls together. The piercing station is right at the front, for the whole world to see.
We walked in to find a woman already sitting in the high purple cushioned chair, bouncing a baby on her lap as the girl working put on white rubber gloves and loaded her gun. A baby getting her ears pierced is the saddest thing. Definitely because the poor thing doesn’t see it coming. It’d be totally different if it knew something bad was happening. But a baby is all big eyes and curiosity until PUNCH-PUNCH, and it starts wailing and looking at you as if to say,you just sat there and let her DO that to me??
I couldn’t watch. Now, I regret it because I couldn’t watch with my own piercings so I have no idea how they load the gun or any of the procedure and feel like it was an experience wasted. But I couldn’t watch it happen to the little baby. If it was an older girl, I would’ve stared. But the baby had the tiniest ears.
I was a baby with tiny ears, screaming my head off in a Claire’s, way back when. That’s the only consolation. I know I wasn’t traumatized because I can’t even remember it.
But I never got the true experience of nerves and doubt and how-much-is-this-going-to-hurt-ness that comes from getting your ears pierced for the first time. You can almost say I wasn’t there for my first time.
It’s funny. I love new experiences, and I love firsts, even if they come out lousy.
The baby was crying as her dad walked the store and bounced her. She instantly began to settle down in her dad’s arms, it was sweet.
I was holding the plastic earring display as I waited my turn, trying to decide which earrings I wanted. I was irritated that online I couldn’t find a price list, only a picture of the earrings offered. I went into the store blind with forty five dollars thinking forty had to be enough.
The pearl earrings I had fallen in love with online were fifty five macaronis. WHERE THEY REAL PEARLS? I wanted to ask. I tried to convince myself little silver balls were just as good. I asked Chris his opinion, so he took the display from my hand and held the whole thing up to my left ear to imagine it. He then lowered the display and exclaimed how he knew some people who just walked by the store. But now they were just staring at him. Now they’re just standing there.
He finally called out to them and a short guy with a handle bar mustache laughed and entered the store sheepishly, saying that he didn’t want to interrupt Chris while he was talking to a customer. Chris looked confused, then looked at me, then his eyes darted to the display in his hand and he thrusted it at me, “oh no! I don’t work here! She was just asking what earrings I liked! I’m dressed up because we’re going to church after this.”
The girl at Claire’s even laughed at this exchange. Chris apparently looks like the kind of guy who would work at Claire’s. Who knew.
I had to fill out a whole page of paperwork, initial seven times, and sign twice. I scanned the page while Chris sighed and told me to just sign it already. When the girl returned, I summarized, “this is just so that I don’t sue you if my ear falls off, right?” She laughed and nodded. Then I had to point out that the paperwork categorizes “cartilage” as the upper ear, “isn’t the whole ear cartilage?”
I thought these were necessary questions.
The girl helped me choose the pearl earrings. I had asked her if I took the earrings out to shower, she said no. So I asked if any of the earrings rust. Her response was alarmingly vague and nonchalant, but she said the white gold wouldn’t. It was a five dollar difference by then to choose the pearl or silver balls. So I got the pearls after all.
Then came the dots. Before she began, she asked me if I wore really big earrings. I hadn’t expected this question so I was taken back. I didn’t know how to answer, and no the literal truth didn’t seem to be an option. She said it would be a factor with how far apart the piercings should be. I was put on the spot so I told her that I didn’t wear really big ones. For some reason I was getting the vibe that she personally didn’t like really big earrings and thought big earrings were tacky. So of course, I didn’t tell her that I would wear big earrings if I owned big earrings. Yes, this is where I think I went wrong.
She had moist towelettes which she rubbed onto my ear then marked my lobe with a purple dot. She stepped back and asked my opinion. I thought it was too high and off center, though I said it nicely. She erased the dot and tried again. This went on for several tries. I’m very picky. And I admitted to her that I had already experimented with dots at home, so I had a pretty good idea of where I wanted it.
This is also where I think I went wrong. I was spacing dots, not earrings. Circumferences are different.
The Claire’s girl was way nicer than she had to be and very, very patient with me so I didn’t feel rushed or like she was getting annoyed at having to do the dots so many times. The entire time, I’m trying not to get distracted by Chris, who was wandering Claire’s like one would wander Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory for the first time. He kept lifting up things to show me, from blue Eiffel tower earrings to a jumbo pen with rubber neon spikes/fur stuff on it. It made me laugh to see him examine the pen a while before looking up at me and mouthing, what is it?
Finally came the moment of truth. The girl was very good. She told me I would feel a pinch.
Whether they lie to you or not. If they tell you you’re going to feel something, it’s calming.
She counted to three then shoved the earring through my ear until it clicked into the backing on the other side. My ear burst into flame then settled just as quickly and I realized that wasn’t so bad. Then the girl wrestled with the gun, my ear, and the piercing, trying to be gentle and assuring me the piercing went through, her gun was just stuck.
The left ear seemed to hurt more and be in a different spot, if that’s possible that I can feel the spacial differences of piercings in my earlobe. However, to the eye it’s equal to the right side. This piercing she struggled with the most. I had a feeling it didn’t go through all the way when she checked, so she had to squeeze harder or something.
Yeah, they hurt.
I don’t know why I’m so surprised at this hurting phenomenon. I knew it would hurt getting them done, though it never occurred to me that it would continue to hurt until they healed. I feel stupid, but those were honestly my thoughts.
Claire’s gave me a big bottle of ear cleaning solution in a fancy bag with instructions, though, which made me feel better considering I spent so much. It’s always nice to hold something as you leave a store fifty bucks poorer.
I have that constant panic that my ears will get infected, even though I’ve been using the stuff three times a day as instructed. It says twenty four hours of pain is normal. I hope tomorrow it goes away.
I hugged someone too tight and my ear burst into flame. And when it comes to sleeping, I have no idea. I’m a heavy sleeper, I don’t know how to keep off my ears.
It’s only been a day, so I know I’m over thinking things. As far as the experience and the money and the earring choice, I’m very happy with it. I do feel like I got the piercings way too close together, though. But what can you do about it, but look on the bright sides and enjoy it?
As the old saying goes. . .
Hurts to be beautiful.