2012: The Year of the Piercing

January 1, 2013 at 2:06 PM | Posted in I'm related to these people. | Leave a comment

According to Chinese astrology, 2012 was the Year of the Dragon.  Not in this family.  For us, 2012 was the Year of the Piercing; a twelvemonth containing a seriously historical event.  My mom got her ears pierced.

Okay, I realize that ear piercing has become pretty much as common as hair growing; so let me explain the true weight of this event.  It let me take my mother to a body piercing/tattoo shop.  Who, outside the realms of perhaps Harley-Davidson fans and residents of Las Vegas, get to take MOM to the body piercing/tattoo shop?!?  Especially when my mom beautifully manifests all the qualities of the long-time Sunday School teaching, turtleneck-wearing (though only the chic scrunchy-necked kind), scented candle-appreciating, decorative gourd fan that she is.

This may have all started in the back room of N&N Market, Dillingham’s premier grocery and sundry shopping location:

N&N Market

Two-toned vehicle in right of photo not purchased at N&N. That’s a strictly custom Dillingham special.

My sister and I got our ears pierced there.  The back room was located behind the meat counter.  Amy and I were too little to understand that the back room behind the meat counter was an unusual place to have a sterile procedure completed.  Once I got older, I figured out things like the fact that hepatitis is bad (I learned this from anecdotes as my mom made sure I was immunized for hepatitis and every other thing a nurse can poke needles in you immunize for) and that you only need to be able to, like, totally sign your name in order to operate the piercing gun at the mall jewelry shop with the other, like, 12-year-old employees.  These revelations led me to seek reputable, auto-claving body piercing shops resulting in the myriad lovely and disease-free piercings sparkling up my ears all the way to the tips.  Mom and I differ somewhat on our philosophy of just how blank a canvas the human body should be.

With the benefit of the nice and clean auto-claving environment, one also gets the color and flavor of creative body modification enthusiasts in a piercing shop.  Walking ads for piercing and tattoo options, if you will.  So, when my mom decided at an age that most people do not seek out piercings and asked me to go with her to get her ears pierced, she was a bit amazed at the styling variety of the humans in Body Piercing Unlimited.  Despite her determination to join the ear-piercing revolution, the sight of pierced noses, eyebrows, lips, and huge jangling gauges in the ears of the Body Piercing Unlimited staff and clients sent her into a bit of a dignified panic, causing a slight twitch and repeated plaint, “I just want regular earrings.  I just want regular earrings.  I just want regular earrings…”

A nurse, such as my mom, faced with a nervous, slightly twitching, and single-phrase repeating client might try to reassure the poor person.  Body modification artists don’t have bedside manner.  They all cracked up, saying things like, “No piercings yet?  Anywhere???” and “Don’t worry, we’ll just do small gauges like these!” while inserting pens and pencils through the holes in their ears.  Poor Mom.  She’s never going to let me take her for that tattoo now.

Anyway, after the good-natured banter, my mom allowed herself to be led into the piercing room by Kevin, her chosen piercer.  Kevin was the very picture of the reputable body piercer with lots of piercing examples, but he was also as professional as a reputable body piercer should be.  So, he began to responsibly tell my mom about the piercing process, including some comments on the needle being used which perked her up right away.  She announced her status as a nurse and her love of sticking needles into her children and every other resident of Bristol Bay who will let her, and she and Kevin settled into a right cozy little chat about needle makes, models, and methods.  Needle shop talk.  Who knew?

Mom walked out of Body Piercing Unlimited with the “regular earrings” that she asked for.  The guy who can fix everything walked out fighting the temptation to announce on Facebook, “Hanging out with my mother-in-law at the body piercing shop.”  The guy who can fix everything has greater self-control than I do:

Piercing Chat Cropped

I walked out with no qualms at all about telling EVERYBODY.  And now I have.  That’s one New Year’s Resolution down, so 2013 is off to a roaring start despite the fact that my mother says that there will be no more trips to the body piercing shop.


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