One Tuesday, June 2, I walked into a Tattoo and Piercing Parlor to get my ears pierced … for the first time. During my years as a pre-teen and teenager, my stepmom asked me (multiple times) if I wanted to get my ears pierced. My response was a variation between a look of horror and of insult (you want me to voluntarily put holes in MY earlobes?!). It definitely sounds like me; while I wasn’t terrified of needles, the idea of using one to poke a hole in my earlobes made no sense to me. I wasn’t terribly girly, and I associated earrings with being girly. I was a pretty tame rebel.
I started entertaining the idea a few years ago, when I started getting earrings as gifts … earrings that I couldn’t wear. For my birthday one year, a friend made me a cute pair of dice earrings. I randomly received a pair of small, silver rings for Christmas. I began seeing cute earrings at the eccentric shop by the mall that I visited for gemstones. More and more, I felt the urge to go and get my ears pierced, and pass this strange hurdle left abandoned from my childhood. Around May, I made the conscious decision that I was going to get the job done.
All I knew about piercings was that numerous places in the mall claimed to be able to do it. I took to Facebook to ask my family and friends for advice, because I am sure most (if not all of them) had gotten this done ages before me. Immediately, two teams formed; family members who spouted praise about going to the mall and getting it done (at a store like Claire’s), and friends who strongly advised me to go to a Tattoo Parlor. It might cost more, they said, but it was safer.
The moment safety was introduced into the conversation, I began scouring the web. I found articles that turned mall piercings into nightmares; stories like how piercing guns cannot be 100% cleaned after each use. Meanwhile, professionals at a parlor pierce each ear with a sterile, separate needle, and clean the site before placing the earrings in by hand. Now that I was terrified of getting ear infections and other complications (who knew there were so many?), I looked into a local parlor recommended by a friend.
That Tuesday, both myself and my boyfriend happened to be off, and I decided it was now or never – at least, now or putting off for a couple more months. When I walked through the parlor door, my nerves began to melt away; the place was clean, there was a small waiting area, and two closed rooms toward the back. Admittedly, I had been expecting someplace more claustrophobic or sketchy, but the inside was white, bright, and clean. After some anxious signing of liability paperwork, I was led back.
The woman in charge of my piercing was exceedingly kind and genuine. She directed me to a chair and explained the entire procedure to me, from cleaning my earlobes and marking the site to selecting a pair of studs and piercing my ears. She had me triple check the placement of each hole, to be sure that I agreed, and assured me that the process would be quick and painless. She actually remarked on how calm I was. She was the essence of cool – she made me feel fearless! I picked a pair of black studs, and left with a bounce in my step. She was right – painless!
I followed the care sheet diligently; I cleaned my ears three times a day with a salt water solution, turning the earrings each time, for three or four weeks. I didn’t have to clean them for that long, but I didn’t see the harm in being cautious. And the sheet advised to keep the starter earrings in for four to six weeks, so I decided upon the latter. Call me sensibly safe! As a sort of congrats, my mom sent me a pair of dangling Doctor Who earrings – adorable little Tardis ones. I couldn’t wait to be able to wear them!
Since the six week mark is approaching, and my ears have long since stopped being swollen or irritated, I had the idea that I was going to remove my starter earrings today. I say idea, because I tried, and discovered that there is more to it than just “removing” them – they are pretty stuck! But it might be for the better; after digging for information about how to get them out, I learned that hoop and fishhook-style earrings aren’t recommended for newly pierced ears. In other words, I shouldn’t be wearing any of the earrings I own just yet. That was close!
So, once I find a decent pair of new studs, I plan on enlisting some help in extracting the starters from my ears. Fingers crossed it’s not as involved as it sounds! Anymore advice for a newly pierced newbie like me?