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Sunday, August 9, 2015

An old story


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.







 For bravery.

39 comments:

  1. You must be having such fun with those lovely kids. You are so lucky.

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  2. OK, Joanne, are you prepared for the next piercings... say nose, or lip, or tongue?? I'm not really into what is considered "cool" these days, but was just wondering...
    Love those happy faces in the last pic!

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    1. They each shuddered and said no other piercings interested them. I also was treated to a lecture on breaking cartilage, which they have apparently been informed of in health class. Then you will be ugly, not cool.

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  3. I forget if there was pain when I had mine pierced in 1973,I DO remember what seemed like constant cleaning with disinfectant! Two piercings looks cool when you are young,but matched with wrinkles...not so much,so I'll stick to just the one!
    Jane x

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  4. Hari OM
    Earrings are about the only jewellery I wear consistently. Mother always insisted on clips but I had a terrible time with them - way more trouble than I ever had after I got them pierced. It's an ancient ritual this one. Though I am with the camp which will stick to the single jab! ... I like Emily's t-shirt &*>YAM xx

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  5. Love the smiles they wear.
    I have two piercings in one ear, and one in the other.
    For some reason the piercings through the eyebrow always make me wince.
    And a friend doing a live radio program went eeeeuw loudly to air when interviewing a young man who (unasked) told her how gross it was when his scrotum piercing became infected...

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    1. Oh, gross. That never crossed my mind. I am such an old fogy.

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  6. I finally gave into my daughter when she was eight years old and allowed her to get her ears pierced. I told her she would have to care for them because I couldn't. Not wouldn't;couldn't. I also got mine pierced a couple of years after that. Because I could not watch myself put in new earrings I let them close after about five years. My lovely daughter now has two piercings in each ear and an extra for good luck(?) in one. All my granddaughters have pierced ears and have since they were quite young. How times change.

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  7. I was 24 when mine were pierced and my 3 year old daughter watched and said she wanted hers done. I told her it hurt and that if she started she'd have to finish, she did, without a tear. My Spanish mother-in-law said she'd had hers done as an infant.
    My daughter had only the one set of piercings, but came home from college for Christmas break wearing a chain of paperclips in each ear. I just smiled.

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  8. So much fun for the girls, they look so happy.

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  9. What a fun grandmother! I, too, pierced my own ears with ice cubes, sewing needle and alcohol. My brave mom pushed in the first studs for me. I remember a college friend who already had false teeth teasing me for defiling my body by piercing my ears. So were the late 1960's! Linda@Wetcreek Blog

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  10. I'm guessing the piercings are not as barbaric as the clip on and screw press things my mom used to wear. I remember how relieved she would be every time she took those torture devises off.

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  11. I have two piercings in each ear. Am I cool, Gramma? Sometimes I think three in each ear would be better. I never get around to it. It's nice that you made the girls happy. My ears were pierced when I was twelve by the Macy's department store nurse. Yes, big stores still provided some in-house care then. You get hurt. You go to the nurse. Years later I worked with her in the credit office. She was sad that she was no longer the store nurse. Oh! and she pierced my ears by pinching them and pushing the post of the stud through the ear. She was a big, strong lady. Not ever-so-gentle and feminine as I am.

    Love,
    Janie

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  12. Around the time when I got my ears pierced (late 60's), the way to do it was with self-piercers - spring-loaded hoops that looked like sleepers but had a wicked point on one side. My mother kindly put them in place for me, and about a week (and a bottle of peroxide) later, the deed was done. (And I still have 'em!) I don't mind seeing one, two, or even three holes in the lobes, but my stomach does a little queasy thing when I see cartilage jewelry in ears or nose, or eyebrow piercings; a much bigger queasy thing when I see tongue or lip piercings; and please let's not even think about piercings anywhere else ... ow ow ow

    Your girls are probably among the less-decorated young women in their group, if that's any help ...?

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  13. Much better to get the ear piercings done by the pros and far less painful.

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  14. Well, you have to let the kids have their personal expression though some piercings they need to wait for til they are adults. I got my ears pierced at 16 by a dermatologist. My parents were OK with ear piercing but we're horrified when I wanted to wear an ankle bracelet. I got a second piercing in one ear when my daughter was a teenager. I still wear three earrings.

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  15. Mine were done by a friend's mother... ice cubes, darning needle, and a potato! (To place against the back of the ear.) I tried double piercings but let them grow closed. The kidling's ears were pierced when she was 14.

    One of the Great Scot's workmates has multiple piercings, including cartilage; he's also replaced his eyebrows with star tattoos. It looks, erm, interesting...

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  16. I like that you'll consider blue hair; my opinion, it can always grow out :) I remember years back with doctors piercing ears except for the self piecing ones, which is how I had mine done. I remember the joy of wearing earrings. Son got his ears pierced, but only wore earrings for probably a year or two. Now you can barely see where the hole was in his ears.

    betty

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    1. I made appointments later this month to have Laura's hair brought up to date and Emily's done to her specifications with the same woman who hilighted Laura's hair in the spring. I am daily impressed with the job Jenny did.

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  17. Have they asked for tattoos? at the farmer's market Gary was observing all the tattos on women around their ankles. I only have one piercing in each ear which I did at my girlfriends when I was eighteen cause my mom wouldn't let me. A needle through to a potato on the back = wasn't too bad.

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    1. They draw on each other with their colored pens. I don't know where that is going, but I won't invest in a tattoo, or sign the consent form

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  18. I remember wanting my ears pierced and both parents telling me I could have it done if I could afford to pay for it myself. Guess what I did with my very first pay check? Second pay check bought 9ct solid gold hearts to wear.
    My first daughter wanted hers done when she first noticed my earrings, at age four, so we had them done and one day she wore my favourite earrings to school and lost one :( Daughter #2 had ears pierced at four also. Years later, daughter #2 has twin piercings, as do I, while daughter#1 had earrings all the way up the ears. She went to school one day with 14 different earrings in, 7 per ear.

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  19. P.S. here in Australia, piercings were done in Jewellery stores, with tiny gold rings called sleepers inserted instead of the studs now used. I was 16 or 17.

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  20. I wasn't allowed to get my ears pierced until I was 18 which I think is reasonable, they were done at a jewellers. I detest body piercings, tattoos, etc in fact when I went to make a hairdressers appointment the other week I walked out and went elsewhere because one of the staff had an arm full of tattoos. Call me old fashioned but what do these kids think they will look like in 40 years time.

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  21. You really are the most wonderful Gramma!

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  22. So sweet Joanne. As long as they don't come home with their lips, tongue, eyebrow, cheek or nipples pierced, I'm ok. My father didn't speak to me for a week after a group of us got together and pierced our ears a la Joanne.

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  23. Nowadays people are poking holes into places God never intended us to have holes ...lips, eyebrows, tongues.....the list goes on and ventures into areas I would rather not mention here. Be thankful it's only their ears they want pierced.

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  24. I had my ears pierced by a store clerk long ago and bought their studs. I try to wear them every day, as I worry about them closing and needing them done again.

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  25. Sweet sweet girls! the stages of ear-piercing caught in their faces!

    I didn't get my ears pieced until I was almost fifty--my dad (even tho he was nearly 80) disapproved of them so much that he would comment that "You don't have any holes in your ears", with approval. One time on a visit when I had simple ear studs, he was so disapproving that he would scarcely look or talk to me. At that time, he was entering dementia.

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  26. I was not allowed to pierce my ears either. My Mother thought it "gypsyish"...whatever THAT means. But, when I was in college, I had Bing do them with a needle and close pin. My own daughter had to wait until her 13th birthday and then I allowed her to have them done. Now, I wonder what was all that fuss about? WHY didn't I just say yes when she asked at ten years old? Sigh....you are a great grandmother, by the way.

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  27. Two of my granddaughters got their ears pierced at ages 3 and 5. My mom would not let me pierce mine until I turned 18. At age 18, armed with ice, a potato, and a darning needle, my brother did them for me. I no longer wear earrings but the holes are still there..

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  28. Jess was born in Spain where baby girls had pierced ears ! She had hers done the summer holiday before she moved up to secondary school aged 12.
    Lovely girls x

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  29. I have two in each ear. The second set were mall pierced, and I don't use them anymore. Better luck to your grandkids.

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  30. I have not worn earrings since my oldest daughter's wedding, fourteen years ago. I wore a beautiful pair of wires, keyed left and right. My youngest daughter admired them; I took them out and presented her with them. I've not worn earrings since.

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  31. I buy pierced earrings then make them into clip-ons. I have such a phobia about having pierced ears and catching my comb in one and ending up with FOUR earlobes. yikes.

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  32. I have only one hole in each ear lobe. Enough for me.

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  33. i finally had them done when my daughter wanted hers done as a reward for not longer sucking her thumb. I wear only gold and have never had a problem .More than one for each lobe?? Never.

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