The ear piercing story

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Winter break was drawing to a close.  While I had been trying to spend as much time as I could with my friends while I was in my hometown, this particular evening no one was available.  Midnight In Paris had just arrived from Netflix, so I decided that it would be the ideal night to watch the movie.  Just as I was about to load it into the DVD Player, my younger sister, Olivia, asked what I was planning on watching.  When I told her, she asked if it would be alright if some of her friends came and watched it.  Not seeing any problem with this, I shrugged and said "Sure."

After an hour her friends had arrived, most of them bearing snacks of some sort. While I had thought it would be two or three people, there were now six of her friends seated on the floor of the living room.  I finally began the movie and got maybe ten minutes of silence before they struck up conversation again.  About halfway through, I gave up on attempting to watch the movie once it was clear they were going to be talking through the entirety of it.  Refusing to be displaced, I remained on the couch, opening my laptop.

Olivia's friends began to leave for various reasons until her best friend, Rachel, was the last one remaining.  I hadn't been paying much attention to their conversation, but I ended up listening in as they tried to figure out what they should do next.

"Yeah, I've been wanting to get another piercing, but nobody else will go."

"You know what we should do? We should pierce our ears here!"

"What?!" The startled exclamation left my mouth.

"Oooh yeah we should!"

"Shouldn't you guys go to a professional?"

"Why?  Lindsay Lohan did it in The Parent Trap!"

"Yeah, if she could do it, so can we."

"...That's not making it sound like a good plan."  

"I think we should do it!  Let's google it."

"Hey, there's an e-how article!"

"...you're going to try and pierce your ears because Lindsay Lohan did it in a movie, and you're googling how to do it?"  

They clearly miss my skepticism, and continue to enthusiastically read online articles, and then to watch videos of how to do it.  From the sounds of it, most of the the piercing tutorials go wrong somewhere, although there are a few successes.  After a while, they're simply watching gross videos instead of tutorials. I'm fairly certain by now, they've been distracted and aren't planning on piercing their ears.  Then they announce that they're going to do it.

"So where should we pierce them?" Rachel asks.

"Well we shouldn't do our own cartilage...but I was thinking I'd just pick a region and stab at it."

I stare at them as if they're insane.  Rachel laughs. "Pick a region? Like what, this is California..." She reaches up and traces along the rim of her ear, which I notice is somewhat shaped like our state. "I want you to put it in the Sacramento region!"

We all laugh at that, but Olivia says "Well, I think somewhere around here." She indicates where she wants it pierced.  

"Oh, that's nice. We can do them on opposite sides."

"Yeah!"

My mom comes in to grab a snack and join her at the counter.  She asks what they're up to and I quietly inform her that they're planning on piercing their ears in the bathroom if she wants to discourage them. My mom is an adult, I figure she'll put an end to this ridiculous idea.  Instead she tells them to be careful, and that her cousin pierced her ears when they were younger.  

Olivia and Rachel begin to gather their supplies. I, being fairly squeamish, finally retreated to my bedroom.  They grab my camera and begin to document the process. I'm attempting to tune it out but snatches of their conversation still float through the doors.

"Well we don't have any rubbing alcohol to sterilize it but we have hydrogen peroxide. That's the same thing right?"

"I sometimes faint at the sight of blood you know."

"Well do it quickly then and make sure you get it all the way through."

"Okay."

"Here lets put some pillows around the toilet in case you do faint"

None of this is increasing my confidence in what they're about to do.  

About half an hour later they enter my room with loops of string hanging through the matching, newly pierced holes in their ears.  They return the camera, and are excitedly talk about how weird and cool it was to do that.  It was a bonding experience for them. I'm simply relieved neither of them ended up bleeding all over the place.  

Really, people had pierced each others ears in far less clean environments, with far less information, so I shouldn't have been as skeptical and nervous about the whole thing. In the moment though, the whole affair seemed like a terrible idea.  I knew that even though my friends and I have done some fairly stupid things, we would never have done something like that. It was somewhat surreal to believe that they had actually gone through with something that I would have expected to see in a cheesy camp movie or an episode of of a Disney channel series.

Created: Mar 19, 2012

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