I don't mean we were, like, pressuring her or anything. I wasn't advancing on her in a threatening manner with fat needles in my hands. (Much.) But when she was six or seven years old, and more and more girls around her were showing up at school with ornamented ears, we had a conversation about when she could get holes punched in her own lobes (when she turned eight) and why (because that's when I got mine done).
She turned eight. I asked if she wanted to get her ears pierced. She answered rather strongly in the negative. The word "barbaric" was used. This might sound extreme, but if you know Adelaide, you know it was probably just a Tuesday or something.
Every so often we'd have another conversation about it, usually when I was putting my own earrings in. Her opinion remained the same.
But then, a few months ago, she abruptly changed her mind. She did want to get her ears pierced. She was ready to embrace her inner barbarian (my words, this time.)
We waited a while to make sure she wasn't going to change her mind again. Then we waited some more. And then some more. Derek basically left the execution of the whole thing up to me, which suited me down to the ground, as I have strong opinions on where you should go to get your piercings done and by whom.
I've got a total of five holes in my ears- well, other than the God-given ones- which in this day and age is a pretty conservative number, plus all my piercings are confined to my ears, which basically makes me a nun. Those piercings were done in three different settings, and of those three, the absolute, hands-down best was in a tattoo parlor.
When I had the cartilage of one of my ears pierced, up at the top, it was by a heavily tattooed and pierced gentleman who talked me through the process as he was doing it. He hauled out some antibacterial goop and one of the biggest needles I've ever seen, then proceeded to lecture me like some kind of Professor of Piercing, which I guess he was: "I know this seems barbaric [that word again!], but the best way to pierce any part of your body except your earlobes is with a needle. If you ever go to get your cartilage pierced again and they plan on using one of those piercing guns, you need to run the other way. It will compress the cartilage, and [insert graphic and upsetting description of horrors that I don't remember word for word as it was fifteen years ago]- that is why a needle is best."
Me, meekly: "Yes, Professor Piercing." (I didn't really call him that. I was way too intimidated, and he was about to stick a giant needle through me.)
Because of all that, I wasn't about to take our daughter to some dirty jewelry store to get her ears pierced by a bored teenager with minimal experience. I was adamant she get it all done at a clean, well-run tattoo parlor by someone with plenty of experience (i.e. holes all over their body). Derek suggested a place in Ames he said looked clean and nice every time he's walked past, so we looked it up online, and it seemed very reputable.
Derek and the boys dropped Daughter and I off Saturday morning, and sure enough! Clean premises! Friendly, heavily pierced staff! Perfection!
Adelaide filled out her own paperwork, I signed off on it and footed the bill, then we went back to a private room with photos of freshly pierced folks young and old on the walls. She settled into a chair somewhat like what you'd see in a dentist's office, except much wider and a million times less frightening (that may or may not be my dentist phobia speaking). The gal marked on her ears with ink where the piercings would be, Adelaide checked it in the mirror and okayed the placement, then I got out of the way so the woman could do Daughter's right ear while a guy did her left at the same time. They each used a needle to do the piercing, pushed through to what looked like a cork held behind her ear, then put her earrings of choice in.
She was so brave: She winced while they did it, but there were no tears, not so much as a word, really. Both piercers were incredibly kind and encouraging to her, too. They gave us detailed instructions- verbal and written- on how to care for the piercings, and we were out the door.
|Heroic Ink in Ames, Iowa: Highly Recommend|