Long ago, in the seventh decade of the last century, my daughters wanted their ears pierced. I asked our family doctor if he would do it, and the unequivocal answer, “If God wanted women to have holes in their ears they would be born with them.”
That was the exact attitude of my husband, too, and consequently my ears were not pierced until the week I told him I was divorcing him. Armed with alcohol, a large darning needle, ice cubes and a set of gold studs, I leaned against the bathroom sink and pierced my ears. The path through the right ear takes such a decided jog, I thought I would have the job professionally done for my daughters.
Male attitudes uncompromising, and ear piercing kiosks unheard of, each got their ears pierced by Dr. Mom. And so we went on for several years, until Beth announced she wanted a second set of ear piercings. Mall piercing kiosks were common then, but the age of majority was 21, and I denied her, reminding her that were I still married to her father, the first set of earrings would not have been, and I considered extra earrings rather vulgar.
We happened to be at a mall one time with my mother, and while I was on one errand, they wandered off. I wonder if my mom would have denied her first grandchild much; she certainly did not deny her permission for more earrings through her ears. Beth’s smile of triumph when we met again was glorious, and I could only observe “Lovely new studs!”
Emily arrived with earrings through and through, and Laura had her ears pierced before her first birthday here, her eleventh. We had an awful time with her with infections because she would wear any piece of trash she scored from people she liked. Almost a year with no rings in her ears, except possibly in the dark of night before she went to bed, and a ruthless scouring of her earring collection, returned us to a normal family with two earringed children.
At the end of the last school year they appeared as one, with a carefully thought through plan: “Gramma, if we don’t have any birthday presents this year, could we get our ears pierced again?” It was only April or May, and their birthdays aren’t until December, so I smiled and said we would do it before school started in September.
The powers that be caught me unaware; school begins in a week. Time was short to get earrings in and relatively unbothersome. We went today. And, don’t be misled by the banner; piercings are only free with the purchase of earrings, which I doubt they will save to put in until their birthdays. Asked why they wanted more earrings: “They will be so cool, Gramma."
Miss Orange Nails thinks blue hair will be “so cool” too. Fortunately, I know an excellent hairdresser.