When I turned nine I was allowed to get my ears pierced.
To say I was excited is an understatement. In suburban New Jersey, I was one of the last girls standing when it came to earrings.
My mom had not been allowed to get her ears pierced at all. She finally did the deed with her college-roomate armed with a sewing needle, a flame, and a raw potato.
Needless to say, she wanted a more professional experience for me.
She chose a jewelry store in the mall where they still did it the old-fashioned way. They pierced your ear with a needle and then put in your new earrings.
We went to get them pierced, but I chickened out after the marks were on my ears, before the woman was able to pierce them.
She took me two more times and each time I chickened out. Once, before the woman even made it around the jewelry counter.
We both gave up.
One summer we went to visit my much older cousin in Tennessee.
This cousin found out that neither my younger sister nor I had our ears pierced.
Armed with this knowledge she determined that something had to be done. She brought us to Walmart.
I’ll let that sink in.
My younger sister went first and totally followed through. The peer pressure was immense.
I did it.
The result? I didn’t even get my ears pierced at Claire’s. Claire’s would be a step up. I got my ears done at Wally World. Classy. I know you’re jealous.
A few years later I wandered into Claire’s on the spur of the moment and put a second hole in my left ear.
A couple of years after that, I did the same for my right.
But, I never wore those earrings. It was more to say that I wasn’t scared. That I could conquer my fears without peer pressure.
Now my right hole has closed up.
I think I will go to the Piercing Salon and get it re-pierced. In a couple of years I might go in again and get a third hole in each ear just for the experience.
But, it will have to be on the spur of the moment. A decision made as we drive by.