I see in the news that Jennifer Garner just got her ears pierced. According to her, the main reason she didn’t do it sooner was because she thought her father would disapprove.
I can certainly understand. Getting your ears pierced started to become popular when I was in high school. As the years went by, more and more of my friends started to get pierced but my folks, particularly my father, were adamant that I not join the “fad”. Back then the only official way to get your ears pierced was at the jewelry counter of the big departments stores and you had to have your parents permission if you were under 18. There were a few girls I knew who did the deed on their own with a needle and ice cubes, but that scared the heck out of me. It never occurred to me to go against my folks’ wishes in this, even if I could figure out how.
The argument went on for a couple of years and came to a head toward the end of my junior year. All the trendy and interesting earrings were now pierced; the non-pierced options all made me feel like my grandmother. Finally my father made his big error in his argument; he said that getting your ears pierced was a form of body mutilation “like those Ubangi natives you put the metals rings around their necks to stretch them out”. I remember these words, because he brought it up several times before I came up with a counter-argument, that being overweight was also a form of body mutilation. (My dad fought his weight his whole life.) I’m not sure what gave me the bravery to say this to my dad and as soon as the words were out of my mouth, I was struck with the certain fear that he might kill me for this comment. (No, my dad was not abusive, so this is not literal.) But he did not. He actually left the room and the next day told me that I was right. And if I lost 20 pounds, I could get my ears pierced.
If I would replicate the process by which I lost 20 pounds, I could bottle it and retire to my own private island on the proceeds. Took about 3 weeks. I know that my mom yelled at my dad over this, but they both took the honorable path; my mom drove me to the department store, stood by while I got my ears pierced and even paid for it.
It was a good decision for me. I adore earrings and I have far too many of them. Friends who know of my earring fetish has brought me earrings from all over, including some huge paper mache dangly fish from Hong Kong and some adorable pink pig earrings from a barbecue joint in Boulder. I have earrings from Sicily, Hawaii, London and even New Zealand. YA has made earrings for me and I have trouble not going overboard making them for myself as well.
I did not repeat my parents’ dictions; when YA turned 10 she wanted to get her ears pierced for her birthday. Off to Claire’s we went. Too bad that Jennifer Garner didn’t have ME for a parent.
What have you tried to do differently than your folks? How did that work out?