by thea marie
What's on my mind....
|I love to journal, so I collect prompts to get me over the dry spots or to get me started. I have a lot of them now, and sometimes I like to look them over and get ideas for writing. This morning, I happened to be sorting out the ones I had with me, and the one that stuck out for me was "What Do You Feel Naked Without?"
My answer was earrings. I feel completely naked without my earrings.
My ears are pierced, twice in each ear and I never purposely leave the house without earrings in each hole. Even if I'm just going to the local Walmart, there will be earrings in my ears.
I was ten and in the fifth grade when my ears were first pierced. My mother did it with a sewing needle after deadening each lobe with an ice cube. I had been bugging her and bugging her about getting my ears pierced. I don't know what possessed her to do it herself, but she was my mother, and I was game.
I don't remember it being painful at all. Sometimes, when you're a kid, and you want something so badly, it doesn't matter about pain or hardship as long as it gets you what you want. All the girls in my class were getting their ears pierced, but most of them were going to the doctor to have it done. To this day, I still feel that it was a special thing that my mother did mine for me.
After she put the holes in, she pushed tiny bits of straw through the openings to keep them from healing shut. Every night for about two weeks she would check my ears, clean them with alcohol, and put in clean straws. At the end of the two weeks, she gave me a pair of sterling silver hoops to wear. That was the start of my love affair with earrings.
I had all kinds. I was one of those lucky girls who didn't have metal sensitivities, therefore cheap, but cute was all right by me. The dime store, the mall, boutiques, the man selling earrings at the bowling alley; I was like a junkie. But I didn't share my dope or my posts.
Those girlfriends who went to the doctor to have their ears done, teased me about my mother having done mine. They said I was surely going to set up infection, get keloids, and every other awful thing. Every morning, they would come to class with their little white boxes of earrings resting on cotton, swapping them with each other. My mother, who worked in a hospital, had warned me, "Don't share earrings. It's not healthy when you have pierced ears."
I never said anything to them. A couple of times I was tempted to join in, but I didn't. Aside from what my mother said about it, on a personal level, it didn't seem very sanitary to me. They would take the earrings from their ears and swap them out for another pair out of another set of ears. There would be no alcohol or other sanitary measures taken in between.
It wasn't long before several little lobes became infected. A couple of girls developed keloids, large unsightly growths of excess skin that almost look like oddly shaped earring themselves. In the whole time that I've had them, I haven't had a moment's problem with my mother's handiwork. I think it was because she did mine with her loving hands that they never gave me any trouble.
I got the second holes a couple of years ago. I had been wanting to do that for a while so that I could get a set of diamond studs to wear with the different pairs of hanging earrings I wore in the original holes. This time, I got them done at the mall, and it hurt like Hell. But, after the first week or so, I got over it. Like the first piercing, I took care of my ears until they healed, and didn't have any problems.
I cannot go out of the house without earrings. I can be fully dressed, sharp as a tack from head to foot, but if I don't have my earrings in, the rest was all for naught.
I have been known to turn around and go back home for a pair of earrings. I once got to work, realized that I didn't have on earrings, and phoned home to get my husband to bring me a pair. I had to whine long and hard and make lurid promises I had no intention of keeping to get him to do it. (It was his day off.)He fussed and cussed, but by that time we had been married long enough for him to know me and how important that was to me.
He arrived with several pairs in a zip lock bag, hissing, "Here, dammit. And put the rest of them in your desk drawer for emergency. I am not doing this ever again!"
That started a practice among my colleagues burdended with the same earring thing that plagues me. We all began to keep "emergency earrings" along with the other personal items we stockpiled for times when we might find ourselves caught short.
Walking around with naked lobes is out. At least it is for me. My mother went to a lot of trouble to put these holes in my ears. The least I can do is keep them filled with something pretty.