7 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before My First Piercing

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I got my first piercing when I was 8 on one spontaneous mall trip. Upon passing the window of Claire’s, my mother insisted that I get my ears pierced before my first communion. Despite my initial hesitation to have a piercing gun to my head, my great-grandmother agreed, and thus it was decided: there was no way I was leaving the mall without a small diamond on each lobe.

I remember clutching the stuffed teddy bear as if the tighter I squeezed, the quicker my time seated high in the piercing chair would pass. I had no time to mentally prepare for the procedure itself, let alone think about the several-month-long commitment I would have cleaning and maintaining my piercing. Nevertheless, the first ca-chunk of the gun went off – the teddy bear at this point asphyxiated – and a sharp jolt of fire shot through my left earlobe.

Despite the fact that this memory has no doubt been blown out of proportion over the years, I still vividly remembered as horrific enough that my mother was forced to promise me an ice cream before the poor Claire’s concierge was allowed to shoot through my other ear.

Two months later, I was forced to take my piercing out for a soccer game – and due to my negligence in allotting the proper healing time, I found myself once again without pierced ears at the end of the game. My mother tried to stick the studs back into my ears a few hours later, and after her bloody, yet successful, repiercing of the first ear, I denied her the attempt of repiercing the second. After a full week of running around with only one earring, my father finally forced me to sit down and took the small stud out of my ear.

Though my experience might sound traumatizing, since then I have sat back down in the chair of a piercing parlour, without a teddy bear to squeeze on to, five times. I even let my best friend pierce my cartilage in middle school. Here’s what I wish I had known before sitting back in that chair.

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