Official Website for Contemporary Romance Author Alicia Renee Kline

Piercing Presence

I miss sleeping on my left side.

There’s a work around that I’ve come up with recently which is sort of convoluted and involves me putting my pillow a few inches away from my husband’s and sticking my left ear in the gap between them, balancing my head on the edges of both.  Understandably, this position doesn’t last long, and it usually only works when I’m trying to fall asleep anyway.  Sometimes I also try propping my ear up on my arm so that it doesn’t touch the pillow itself, which doesn’t work much better.  Invariably, I wake up on my right side, or if I’m feeling really adventurous, on my stomach.

Back in the spring – I’d say around May or so – I got my left ear gauged.  For the uninitiated, what this means is that I got the cartilage at the top of my ear pierced by a hollow needle, leaving a hole into which was threaded a small hoop earring.  It hasn’t yet completely healed, which isn’t out of the ordinary.  It certainly doesn’t hurt nonstop, but it is still sore when bumped into or when I smash it against a pillow.  But I like the way that it looks and that’s just the price that I have to pay.  I’m hoping at some point it will be as though it’s not even there and I can go about sleeping (or putting on my winter hat) as I did before.  But not quite yet.

This is the second piercing that I’ve had done in relatively the same location.  The first time I got it done was at the mall, with a traditional ear piercing gun when I was about eighteen or nineteen.  I had loads of problems with that one, so I took out the earring and let it grow shut.  I later learned that one should never get a cartilage piercing done with this method, and in fact, the state of Indiana has outlawed this practice.  You now need to go to a tattoo / piercing parlor to get this done (with the needle method) by a licensed individual, which is what I did the second time around.  So far, so good.

As you might have gathered from reading some of my previous posts, this was not my first trip to a tattoo parlor or my first piercing.  So the thought of having to go back to one of these establishments certainly did not discourage me from getting a cartilage piercing done (like it seemed to do to the lady at the mall who told me to simply cross the state line and get it done in Ohio, instead of going to the tattoo place that’s approximately seven minutes away from my home).  Last time I checked, Ohio was more than seven minutes away.

My first experience at a tattoo parlor was actually getting a tattoo done.  This happened prior to children, and most of the time I forget it’s there.  A pretty vine of flowers along my lower back, which I will catch in the mirror from time to time when I’m getting dressed and still have no regrets over it being there.  It occasionally shocks people when they learn that I have one, though to look at me it shouldn’t, because though it’s my only tattoo, I didn’t exactly stop there with the modifications.

Next I got my navel pierced.  This one I had to think long and hard about.  And I also waited until I was done having children before I did it, because I just didn’t want to consider the logistics of it.  I mean, I was the pregnant lady that completely lost her belly button, as in it became totally flat as things progressed.  Both times.  So when I was in the clear, it took a small dare from my husband before I grabbed the keys to the minivan and drove myself to get it done.  Though I love the end result, it was the most painful addition I’ve made – both during the actual piercing and the healing process itself.  If it ever closed up (which I won’t let happen), I would not get it done again.

Then came the nose.  It’s the one that most people are curious about, maybe because it’s right there in the middle of my face.  It’s also my favorite one of the three that I have.  I’d admired other people’s nose rings before, but being in the banking industry, it was always a sort of pipe dream for me since that look was definitely not work appropriate for a conservative institution.  When I quit the bank and moved on to insurance, I found myself working in a much more laid back environment, so I got the green light to have this done.

Nose piercing number one did not work so hot.  My first nose ring had a habit of migrating out of my nose, which sometimes happens.  I tried a shorter nose screw after the initial healing period, which actually got embedded into my nostril and had to be pulled out the other side.  Yeah, that was about as fun as it sounds.  After a few more pieces of jewelry, it closed up overnight when the nose bone I had in came out in my sleep.

I was sad.  Of all the piercings I had, the nose  was the one that I felt was a part of my personality.  I went bare for about a year or so before getting it redone.  This time, no problems at all so it’s here to stay.  I did have a dream this morning though, where my nose was horribly stuffy and I ended up waking myself up by taking the nose bone out, likely to solve my problem.  Luckily, I still had it in my hand, so straight to the bathroom I went to put it back in with very bleary eyes.

To be honest with you, apart from the occasional “How do you blow your nose?”, most people don’t even seem to notice the tiny sparkle on the side of my face.  The answer, in case you were wondering, is just like everyone else.  With a tissue.

I’m happy to report that I’ve never gotten any rude comments from people because of the way I present myself.  I’m beginning to think that as time rolls on, people are growing more and more accepting of those who choose to adorn themselves in a permanent manner.  This is a wonderful thing in my book.

Case in point:  I went into the same bank that used to employ me over the summer to attend to some business.  The head teller there had a nose ring, small and delicate, just like the one I sport.

Kind of makes me wonder if I should have pushed the envelope before I left.