When I was a little girl at Primary School what I wanted more than anything in the world was to have my ears pierced. I wanted this even more than I wanted to be Denise Pearson from Five Star, Superman or to be able to do the splits. I was desperate to be able to wear earrings and owned an impressive collection of pretty ugly and painful clip-ons. My mum point blank refused and said I had to be 16 before I could have them pierced. At the time I thought she was being entirely unreasonable because EVERYONE had their ears pierced. In reality, I don’t think any of my friends had pierced ears so I’m not sure what I was basing this theory on. In hindsight, as a boring grown up, I think she was absolutely right. I’m not a fan of little girls having pierced ears at all and if my boys were girls (or boys who wanted pierced ears, piercings are for everyone) they definitely wouldn’t be getting their ears pierced any time soon.
Anyway, I had a good childhood in spite of my mother’s reluctance to let a random stranger shoot metal through her child’s ears.
Fast forward to Christmas 1992 and a 14 year old me had resigned herself to the fact she had another 2 very long years before her life was complete… little did I know before my 15th birthday my life would be RUINED when I wasn’t allowed to go and see the Levellers at Rivermead. Anyway, 1992, I received a little envelope on Christmas morning and in it was an Inspirations Beauty appointment card with a date and time on it to have my ears pierced! For the first and possibly only time my mum had given in! I cannot tell you how excited I was! My life was complete (temporarily until my mother ruined it again, see previous reference to the Levellers at Rivermead), I had little gold studs in my freakishly small earlobes and all was good in the world.
I can’t remember when I got my second piercings, maybe around 16 or 17, I know I asked my mum and she just looked at me wearily (she’d been worn down by the Levellers incident and was clearly picking her battles by this point) and agreed. So off I trotted to Claire’s Accessories (shudder) and had some Saturday girl who probably had no training do it. I mean she did I fine job so I shouldn’t judge but now I know better I know gun piercing is not the right way to go.
The third holes were even riskier… also gun piercing done at Reading Festival in a tent. Mr D and I were at our first Reading Festival together and I felt like being wild and reckless. Bungee jumping was out because well, just no and I couldn’t get a tattoo because my mum would go mental (I still don’t have any tattoos for that very reason) so getting our ears pierced seemed like the next best thing. Mr D had a third hole in his left ear and I had both of mine done. It was ever so romantic and most of all we were lucky we didn’t catch anything.
My first cartilage piercing at the top of my ear was done in Cavalier’s upstairs in The Butts Centre (or Broad St Mall if you’re not old school Reading). Some grimy looking old lady did that with a gun too. It’s totally not in the right place for a cartilage piercing really but I’ve made it work by just filling my ear around it! Cavalier’s was a weird shop, thinking about it. I can’t remember it that clearly but I think they did printing on T shirts, sold incense and stuff and did piercings. I think it was a bit like Strawberry Fields in Smelly Alley only scarier and dirtier.
2006 was the last time I had a cartilage piercing done by gun. I was in Florida with Mr D, Shorty and Tone and we were in one of those big shopping malls they have. They had a girl at a stand doing piercings, so it felt like the right time to get a second cartilage piercing chucked in. I remember it being really painful on the plane on the way home so that might not have been the best idea I’ve ever had.
Piercings 4, 5 and 6 on my left ear I had done while I was working at Bank of Ireland Mortgages in town. I had them done over a period of time on my lunch breaks at Urban Piercings (my favourite piercing place). They were the first I had done by needle and the difference is remarkable. It’s a much safer and cleaner way to do it and you know you are being pierced by someone with the proper training not just some crusty in a tent at Reading Festival. Anyway that filled the outside of my left ear but left my right ear looking a bit empty with it’s 3 lonely lobe piercings.
At some point I decided that I needed a scaffold in my ear. A scaffold or industrial piercing is two piercings on either side of your ear at the top with a bar that runs between them. I had it done at Eternal Nirvana on the Wokingham Road (they don’t do piercings anymore). That was the most painful experience excluding childbirth that I’ve ever had. I think it is because you are having two piercings at the same time and then the bar goes right through them both so I guess there is more pressure on the perforations in your ears. The healing of it took about a year too and was even more painful. I came very close to taking it out over that time because it was so unbearable but I didn’t want to prove my mum or my husband right! A good few years down the line now and it’s absolutely fine and I think my favourite piercing. In your faces doubters!
A few years ago, I decided to have my almost waist length hair cut into a bob and donated it to The Little Princess Trust. They make wigs for children who experience hair loss through alopecia or medical treatments. If you ever decide to have a massive hair cut like that make sure you donate your hair to them, they’re brilliant. Anyway, I had it done at Inspirations in my beloved Woodley and while I was high on the excitement of having all of my hair chopped off I decided to have my right ear pierced upstairs in Inspirations Beauty where my piercing journey had begun. At some point after that I had the 5th one done there too but I can’t remember when. Those were the last gun piercings I had done.
So, then everyone thought I was finished because I have very little ear left to puncture. Little did they know… I had been toying with the idea of getting my tragus pierced for a while but was concerned after the scaffold and the amount of pain it caused that this might be the same. For those of you who don’t know your tragus is that weird knobbly bit of the ear next to your face that kind of goes over the entrance to your earhole. I’m not really sure why they are there but why not make them pretty with jewellery, right? I finally plucked up the courage and booked in at Eternal Nirvana to have it done and it was pretty much painless. It makes a horrible crunching noise as the needle goes in and then pops out the other side but it really doesn’t hurt. The guy who did it looked pretty terrifying too but was actually very nice. He had tattoos all over himself including his eyelids. TATTOOS ON HIS EYELIDS. Anyway, he cleaned me up, I paid and went on my way. As I was walking down the road back to my car with my new piercing swag on I noticed that people were looking at me. Clearly they were all really impressed at how totally hard and super cool I am with all the metal in my ears. Look at them checking me out wowed by this crazy young thing strutting out of the tattoo parlour on a Saturday morning while they scurry about getting their big shop done or taking their kids to football practice, I thought. I got back to my car and flipped the sun visor down so I could check out my new adornment in the mirror. It very soon became apparent that the people staring at me were not riddled with piercing envy and amazed and my next level coolness. My freshly pierced tragus was bleeding. A lot. Like blood dripping down the side of my face a lot. I looked like I’d been involved in some kind of altercation. When I got my other tragus pierced I made sure I had tissues with me and shuffled quickly back to my car rather than strutted.
So this brings us nearly up to date you’ll be pleased to know!
Last year I decided to go and get my nose pierced. I was 40 years old and it felt like the right time to start doing what I wanted to do rather than what people thought I should (or shouldn’t do). I didn’t even ask my mum or anything. Mental, right? I lost a couple of school friends over the past few years and life suddenly felt really short and uncertain so why not just do things when you want to? I booked myself in to the amazing Urban Piercings and off I went all brave and full of rebellion. Got there... and promptly chickened out. I’ve never done that before! I don’t get nervous about piercings (obviously) but I think that because this was the first one I was going to get done that was on my face and not in my ears it just felt like a massive deal. So instead I opted for a daith piercing. Daith piercings are supposed to be great for people who suffer from migraines, I guess there’s some kind of acupressure point there or something. I don’t get migraines, I was just running out of ear and I didn’t want to waste the appointment. Again, like the tragus it makes the most horrifying crunching noise but it doesn’t hurt at all, it’s so weird. One thing you do need to consider though is whether you wear in your ear earphones before you get this done. I didn’t much until I started running (I run, you know?) but it soon became apparent that in order for my in my ear earphones to stay in my ears I have to do some metal manoeuvring.
Anyway, as soon I had that piercing done, filled with adrenaline and feeling super brave I realised I should have just gone with the nose piercing after all. So a few days later I booked myself in. Still didn’t tell my mum. I’m so crazy aren’t I?
So a couple of weeks later there I was with a stranger's finger and some metal and stuff up my nose. “Your eyes might water a bit” she said… she wasn’t kidding, it looked like I was having some kind of breakdown. It was all very quick and relatively pain free. I had a little sparkly stud put in and as expected my mum was unimpressed. She was even less impressed when I swapped the stud for a hoop a while later once it had healed. Oh she did not like that at all. The thing about my mum is, the emotion filter on her face is broken. She might not always say what she really thinks about something but her face will always say exactly how she feels right out loud. This time however her mouth filter was also broken. So that was nice.
So am I done with making holes in my head? Probably not. In fact, bit of a plot twist here, while I was writing this I got another hole made in my head when I was stung by a bee. I haven’t been stung by a bee for about 20 years and never in my head. Maybe Mr Bee was reading what I was writing about holes in my head and wanted to get in on the action. Joke's on him, now he’s dead.
As for intentional holes, I’m done messing with my face for sure but I think there might be a little space left in my right ear. My mum’s face will be unimpressed and Mr D thinks I’ve already gone to far but they’re my ears right?