About a year ago I had my ears pierced for the second time. Along with the rest of my body, the holes had dropped south [on my lobes]. I thought raising the holes would make me look younger, and the experience lift my spirits.
At a loss on where to go, I end up in a tattoo parlor. The girl attending me apparently is the poster child for body piercing, with holes in her nose, tongue, belly button and both eyebrows. Studying my ears, she asks, “Where do you want it?” I point to the spot above the old hole, and she nods. Turning my head, I show her where I think the other hole should go—to match. This apparently puzzles her.
“You want me to pierce both ears?”
“Don’t most people want both ears pierced?”
“No. Not here anyway. People usually want multiple holes in just one ear.”
“Oh. No. I only want one per ear—that match.”
“OK, but I’m not sure I can get them to match exactly. One of your ears sticks out further than the other.”
Attempting humor, I said, “Yes. My sisters have flat heads. Supposedly these deformities are due to our mother not turning us enough as babies.”
Obviously unsuccessful at humor, I opt for silence. She pulls out what looks like a ballpoint pin and marks one ear. “That OK?”
Now aware that I am sporting one gargantuan ear, and learning how antique I’ve become—having both ears pierced—I want to avoid further humiliation. I can’t even see the tiny mirror she is pointing to, much less the dot she’s drawn on my lobe. “That’s fine.”
She marks the other. “OK?”
I smile at Miss Pincushion 2006, thinking, “Get this over with, or you’re going to be wearing that staple gun.” I again reply, “That’s fine.”
Having successfully achieved two new holes in my body, (one per ear lobe) I return home. I’m not sure if they really match, but am more concerned of the absurdity of one ear flapping in the wind. The worst part of the entire ordeal is that, with the new holes, my entire body looks askew. Raising the holes seems to emphasize the sagging of my face. Instead of making me look younger, my ear lobes now stand out in sharp contrast to the rest of me. And instead of the experience lifting my spirit, it sags along with my face.
In desperation I run to the bathroom pulling out the studs and tossing them in the trashcan. The new holes will soon heal, leaving only the old droopy ones. This settled, I am surprised at how much better I look. Staring closely at my reflection I wonder—one: could this small act of self-acceptance, so improve my self-image? Or two: could it be that I have my elbow on my desk and—one hand over my elephant ear?
Crap—door number two wins.