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December 02, 2011

The Ears Have It



SO My nine year old daughter, Maisy Jane, has been agitating for pierced ears since she was seven. I objected. Strenuously. Not because I grew up in a VERY conservative church (although I did) where it was held as gospel that only slatterns, loose women, and future fishwives would pierce their maidenly ears before high school.

My objections were more pragmatic:

1) I had my ears pierced when I was in eighth grade, and I had an immediate and severe allergic reaction. My lobes puffed into red ooze-y balloons of pustulant misery. At the time I felt pretty sure this was the Lord’s visceral response to me slatternishly getting them done a year before it was proper (according to Leviticus).

I pulled the earrings out and let the holes close up....

OKAY, FINE! I may have had a tiny frisson of retro-worry that if Maisy Jane got hers done a full FIVE YEARS before was religiously proper, God would smite her slatternly lobes RIGHT OFF HER HEAD....but I QUELLED that with an icy blast of Presbyterian Pragmatism. God, I told myself, has bigger problems these days.

Tlc stickerAnd truthfully, I was more worried Maisy might have inherited my metal allergy, and would suffer the pus-addled miserable fate. BUT! EVERYONE ALIVE pointed out they now had nickel free uber-hypoallergenic supersonic earrings of the future, and even The Boy in the Bubble could get a stud through his eyebrow if he really wanted one.

2) But still I said no, because I KNOW my kid. She HATES pain. This is the child who comes to me with every pinprick sized scab and faint grey-ish speck of bruise, tear stained and demanding life saving medical intervention. This is the child who SCREAMS and crumples to the ground and writhes and clutches her head and flails, and then goes limp and stares accusingly damp-eyed at me from the floor if she has to have a TANGLE combed out.

I just KNEW I would end up with a child who sported a single hoop earring like a pirate, because she would never sit still for the second puncture wound after experiencing the “mild pressure” the internet said would occur. One man’s “mild pressure” is my girl-child’s “being set on fire.”

Tlc claire bearBUT! EVERYONE ALIVE said that at Claire’s, they arm two girls with piercing guns and, as your child clings desperately to the Claire Bear, they simultaneously stab open BOTH sides of her head.

All my reasonable, rational concerns had been addressed...and yet, I still did not take her. Not for months, even though Scott and I had discussed it and we had already TOLD her she could.


I think I was just resisting the adult-ness of it. She is, after all, my very youngest, and for me, it was a rite of passage. Okay, granted, it was a failed, pus-ridden, swollen, MISERABLE rite, but still. It was my first real, clear indication that my mom knew I was growing up. If Maisy got her ears pierced, that meant SHE was growing up, too....and I DO NOT LIKE IT.

This is my YOUNGEST, my little, my sugar-pie, my snootchy bear, the baby-est of all my babies.

She is also a tall string bean of a girl in fourth grade now. She has learned to roll her eyes and stand with one hip cocked. She secretly likes a boy. She gets some of my jokes. She covets lip-gloss. She still calls me Mama most times, but she has also learned the two syllable exasperation-clad cry of, “Mo-om!” She reads books with no pictures. Hell, she read books with KISSING in them. She IS growing up, whether I like it or not.So.

Reader, I pierced them.

Ftk maisy earOr rather, the nice lady who owns the local Claire’s did it. She was working the store all alone, so I tried to say OH NO WE NEED BOTH DONE AT ONCE NEVERMIND and put it off AGAIN, but she took us both in hand and popped Maisy in the piercing chair and!


One ear was punctured, and immediately Maisy hollered, OW OH NO I HATE THAT DO NOT---


And that was that.

Maisy grabbed the mirror and said, “Mama! I look SO GROWN UP!” And oh, but she did!

Rite accomplished, both pierced, and the super-earrings of the future caused no trouble, no allergic reaction or infection at all, and everywhere she went she was made much of and told she looked like quite the young lady.

As rites of passage go, it was a remarkably bloodless one. A lot of young southern boys have to shoot Bambi in the face to get that kind of approbation.

What was your rite? What act or moment let you first feel that you were moving toward your man-hood, or stepping closer to your womanhood? Did you or would you or will you let your kids do the same? Earlier than you?


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My mom said we could not have our ears pierced until we were 10. (I have 2 older sisters.) When my closest in age sister was 10 and getting hers done, I was 8 1/2 and my mom said "do hers too, it will save a second trip". And wham, whether I wanted them done or not, my ears were pierced. I don't know if it was a rite of passage or not for me but I do remember feeling pretty smug that I got mine done younger than the 2 of them.

Now I have 3 holes in one ear and 2 in the other and rarely remember to wear any of the pretty earrings I have, I just leave in the sleeper hoops.

My sister had her daughters ears pierced at 6 months old, obviously my niece had NO say in the matter . . .

The day I turned 21, I stopped at a bar and had a scotch. Not having been carded since I was 15 or so, it was kind of anti-climactic, but it was now LEGAL.... and nowhere near as much fun....

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"According to Leviticus!" I couldn't absorb much of anything after that because I was snortling.

But for me, learning to drive was the thing that made me an adult. I got my license the week my grandmother passed away, so I had to dirve a gazillion times back and forth between our town, which was quite a feat for a new driver. I bawled my eyes out on every trip, but I felt very grown-up.

My rite of passage was probably getting to pick my own haircut/do at the beauty salon when I was headed into the 6th grade. Before, I'd had to beg, borrow, and plead to get something I wanted done to my hair. So I marched into that hair appointment and demanded to have my shoulder length, silky, wavy hair...permed. Crimp permed. You know the zig-zags? You know how in the 80's it was the thing to have a crimp iron? Right. I got that done to my hair in a permanent fashion. But my bangs were too short for the plastic-y fence devices that created the crimp effect, so the "beautician" (a term used lightly here) permed my bangs in tight little curls she assured me would be cute. What 11, almost 12, year old wants to be cute, I ask you? Anyway. It was a disaster of epic proportions although my perma-crimps were a big hit at my new school. I cringe away from pics of me during this time.
I hated it so bad that I got all the perm cut off sometime in the 7th grade after it had grown out enough to leave hair on my head. And you know what? MY HAIR WAS CURLY from that point on. You see, puberty happened my hair went from silky and wavy and baby fine to curly and big and ZOMG frizzy. Why does puberty have to suck so much?

I had my ears pierced when I was seven, but we lived in Spain at the time and all the girls there had pierced ears. My mom took my younger sister and me to the clinic on base and someone there did all three of us.

Maybe my mom should have waited until I was old enough that I could feel I was getting away with something. I'd always thought that if I had a girl, I would let her think she had talked me into getting her ears pierced, even though I couldn't care less. We Catholics are loose that way.

My friend Laura, who is Cuban, and I took her baby to get her ears pierced when Corina was 12 weeks. This is the same Laura who, when I asked her if it was different changing her own baby's diaper compared to changing the diaper of someone else's child, looked at me and said, "It's still shit."

HA Laura is funny, but I disagree. OPC's poop is MUCH worse than MY kids was. My kids did nto crap field daisies, BUT! I never gagged changing my own kids' diapers. I can't change anyone else's kid without retching.

I thought this was a MOM thing, but addign in the LAURA testimony, I can on,ly assume that MY children's bowel movements really ARE superior Not surprising really. THIS IS JUST LOGIC.

Tenessa I tried to have that perm. It did not go well for me....

My mom insisted I couldn't get my ears pierced until I was 16. I didn't badger her a lot about it, but when I was turning 14 she told me I could get my "ears done" for my birthday if I wanted. I wouldn't say I felt like an adult exactly, but it was definitely a rite of passage. Next rule that went out the window was the no dating until I was 16;)

Got my ears pierced at 13...first girl in my school to do so (you talk about repressive families, I had a whole town to worry about). Didn't make me feel more grown up, just 'different'...well, more different than I already was. Got married at 16, had my first at 17 (exactly 18 days before my first wedding anniversary...so THERE! to everybody who was counting the months).

But still, my rite of passage into adulthood didn't happen until I was 18, when my mother died.

Summer of 1977, in a first floor living room converted into a bedroom of a large Victorian house on Broad Street in West Bethlehem. With a circle including my 18-year-old sister, her 36-year-old boyfriend, and his 65-year-old aunt, whose bedroom, filled with plants, it was. An unforgettable first time.

I guess my first time of sex was a rite of passage and unforgettable, but only for me. She claims not to remember, and, I think after our recent email exchanges, would like to forget alot more than just that time.

Oh. Just to make it clear, that first paragraph did not involve sex (obviously), drinking, driving, or ear piercing.

I'm really wishing to see a pic of Tenessa's perm. I had no idea crimping was available in permanent form.

Mine probably came when my whole fourth grade class decided to plan an after school field trip to the local pizza place. We would walk from school, which we could see from the pizza place, behave like the cool, grown up, teenagers we weren't and walk back. My mom was so not on board with it (come to think of it, the guy at the pizza place probably would have registered a No vote if we had asked him) but the WHOLE class was going! PLEASE???!!! And we went, we probably didn't tip and probably did leave the place a disgusting mess but the fences were down and it was awesome! Would I let my daughter? Hell no! The girl can't make change, would walk into the street if she was chatting with friends and there are some skeezy looking guys that hang around down there now. That is why I am the most frustrating mother in the world (to MY kid anyway).

I never knew anyone with pierced ears till I went off to college and I was well past 40 before I finally realized that a moment of pain would mean no more sore earlobes for the rest of my life. My real rite of passage was getting my drivers license on my 16th birthday. After four tries at parallel parking had left the car 3 feet from the curb, my DMV examiner very kindly said, "You might want to work on that." Then he signed the form that meant freedom.

Brava, Joss, for finally letting Maisy get her cute lil ears done!Sooo cute. I know it was hard for you.

My rite of passage was, um, maybe when Mom finally let me shave my legs (what little bitty hairs there was then) and wear hose, in 6th grade. And I got my first pair of "pumps", oooh, chic shoes, for my confirmation!

Yes, I am a former Catholic School girl, now (after Buddhism & atheism etc.) think... agnostic!

Geez, the things we girls go through to look purty!;)

I had my ears pierced when I turned 13 as a combination birthday/confirmation present. Which means I got one ear pierced for my birthday, one ear for confirmation, and no other gifts from my parents. It was less a rite of passage than a let down. I've since let them closed because... well, they were just a pain to maintain. I'm not much of a jewelry wearer.

As for major rites of passage, I thought about going to my first R rated movie (An Officer and a Gentleman when I was 13, with my church group - no kidding!), or my first (and only) perm, where I turned out looking like the before photo in that hairspray ad that asked, "Remember those sticky bouffant hairdos?" There was my first grown up dress (purple with stripes, but really, it was very adult). Of course there was the first period (we won't go into the trauma associated with that), and the first time I shaved my legs (I still have a scar). The one that completely cemented my adulthood, however, was when I drove 500 miles by myself to Mackinaw City, Michigan, where I spent the summer working. It was my first non-college home away from my parents and my first non-kid job.

A drunken male roommate pierced my ears when we were both age 20 using god-knows-what -- an ice pick? and the holes are too near the bottom of my ears and I can't wear anything that weighs more than a hummingbird feather or it gives me the creeps.

Thus, i have resisted my own 4th grade 9-year-old daughter's pleas for pierced ears, for that reason and for many of the reasons you cite.

That said, Maisy Jane looks BEAUTIFUL! I'm guessing it was as much your own rite of passage as it was hers.


Princess One, ten year old, as tall as her teacher fourth grader had only one thing on her original Chanukah gift list: Pierced ears. I am fine with it. I am not her mother. Mom got her ears pierced in a doctor's office for her 13th birthday before her Bat Mitzvah. Now Mom and MIL ARE DEAD SET AGAINST ANY EAR PIERCING ONE DAY EARLIER THAN HER 13TH BIRTHDAY. Why? Because it is still 1976.

Ear piercing will commence forthwith. The saddest part of
Princess One not getting her ears pierced sooner is that Molly's aunt made jewelry. P1 would have had the most beautiful collection of ear rings any little girl could ever want. Hand made, one of a kind (unless it was a mother/daughter set) ear rings. Aunt Jer died about a year ago. No more ear rings.

My rite of passage. My grandmother died the fall I was 12. It is tradition that you need 10 Jewish men, over 13 to have a service, like the memorial service. One night, we only had nine. The rabbi said I was close enough.

Sandi, I am still picturing you, your church group and "Bodacious TaTas". I will be spontaneously smiling rest of the day.

My older sisters got their ears pierced (in the early 70s) by a friend with a diaper pin and an ice cube. My mother let me get mine done when I was 12.

I told my daughter she could get hers pierced when she was 10. Then her father, in an effort to be the good guy to her, or an asshole to me, took her when he had her for the weekend when she was 8. They only did one at a time, and after the first one she screamed bloody murder and wouldn't let them do the 2nd one. So they took it out and she wouldn't do it again until she was 10. :) Now she's got three in each ear, and one in her nose. (She's 22.)

I'm trying to think of when I felt grown up. Since I'm the youngest of nine, I still get treated like, and sometimes still feel like, the baby (at age 47!). I think the driver's license, and that feeling of being independent that comes with it.

I was so angry when my daughter got her ears pierced at 12. It shouldn't have to hurt. My mom wouldn't let me get mine done until I was 16 and she made me go to the doctor. He had what looked like Frankenstein studs, in surgical steel, that were very sharp and it didn't hurt. When my daughter had it done, she jumped and the second ear is crooked. There are no points on those 'starter' earrings and it hurts...bad. There just isn't any good reason that it hurts that much.

My first right of passage was to be able to wear 'heels' and hose in 8th grade for confirmation. I didn't have to wear the white anklets anymore. It was a couple of years before pantyhose took over so it was the garter belt & stockings. Oh, the horror! And oh, the joy, when pantyhose were invented.

My second 'right' was being able to drive. Having the freedom to roam (even though I had to use my parents car and be in by midnight) where ever I wanted. Heaven.

Now that I am helping my parents with doctor appointments, health directives and issues of my own, I guess that is the next stage, lol.

I got my ears pierced in college. I had three margaritas as anesthesia. That probably would not have been a good plan for your 9-year-old.

Rite into adulthood: driver's license. No doubt. Because my family is plagued with vision problems, I was the only kid who could drive. The day I turned 16, my mother kept me out of school to get my license. We were there before the doors opened.

But when she's in the car, she still reminds me not to make a left turn into oncoming traffic. I guess we never really grow up in our mothers' eyes.

As Harley said, as much a rite of passage for Mom. What sweet little sparklers she has now!

My cousins took me out for my first legal been when I was 18 (legal age then, for 3.2 beer). Took two sips and I was done for years.

When I told my first husband I wanted to get my ears pierced, he said "Why don't you just put a bone in your nose, too, while you're at it." So I just waited until we were divorced, a year or two later. Yeah, that was a rite of passage. Weirdly, he let our daughter get her pierced when she was in fifth grade. No references were made to nose bones, either.


Getting my drivers license. I was 21.
Taking my first airplane ride. I was 23.
Sleeping alone in a building for the first time in my life. I was 30.
Riding a horse for the first time. I was 55.

Joss, I think Maisy might be related to my youngest daughter, whose hair went uncombed for years for exactly what you describe.

Yes, Karen - the other thing that comes to mind is the first time I flew somewhere alone. I was about 21 - visiting my soon-to-be husband at his job in Houston. I had to transfer planes in Chicago, and they had to de-ice the plane. I should've stayed home.

But flying alone made me feel very adult.

It was carpentry.

My mother bought new blinds for the back porch. One would fit well, but the other was too long. My father was a civil engineer, but not at all a hands-on kind of guy. He could run a project, but pick up a shovel? No.

I decided we could cut the rolled-up blind with a circular saw to get an even edge, drill out the pulley attachment on the cut-off part, move the pulley and its cord over to the remaining blind, drill a new hole and insert a small bolt to fasten it, and re-thread the cord. It would all be the same as before, but on a shorter blind.

My father was in a panic through the whole procedure. It was startling to realize, "There are things he's afraid to try."

In my sophomore year of high school, I wore my new beige wool straight skirt (the first my mother let me have)(over girdle and stockings) and matching cardigan with pumps. It did make me feel 'grown-up' until I realized that it was only on the outside and I didn't feel any more adult inside.

I didn't really feel adult until my late 50's when I was discussing bills with Steve and, for the first time, wasn't hiding some of my spending. Old, bad habits. I feel so free of that now.

I flew alone when I was 12, but the flight attendant was in charge of me. Piercing my ears came at 18. Those closed up a few years ago, but I had new ones done at Clair's two years ago. It was painless and I haven't changed my earrings once since then. The only jewelry that I wear.

First time I flew I was seven. My parents still kick themselves. For an extra $5 I could have been the co-pilot. It was a 1929 Ford Tri-Motor with Island Airlines. They flew Tri-Motors into the 90's. I almost flew in one again this summer. It would have been $120 to be the co-pilot.

Karen, I flew a plane at 15, before I drove a car. I soloed at 17 and got my pilot's license just after my 18th birthday.

At 16 I flew by myself (as a passenger) to New York to meet a tour group and to fly on to Israel. Other than being served wine (British Airways Business Class) with lunch, I didn't feel very grown up.

Around here, ear piercing wasn't popular until I was in my late teens. I had no interest in it for many years. I eventually was sick and tired of sore ear lobes from non pierced earrings so I finally had my ears pierced when I was 27.

I think that my own rite of passage was being told I was old enough to begin babysitting for my four younger siblings, starting when I was around 14. My youngest sibling was kind of wild, and I HATED having to be responsibe for her! It did not help that my parents did not see the need to call and let me know if they were going to be late returning home ,something they would have done if they had a "real" sitter. That was MY interpretation of the facts, and I'm sticking to it!

"Responsible". Why doesn't Typepad have spell check?

What a sweet and funny post, Joss.

College. My lobes. Student nurse with ice cube and needle.

I got my ears pierced the year I took a break from college "to find myself." (dumb idea, really, I was there all along) The doctor had the Frankenstein studs, but perhaps lacked the finesse of Pam's doctor (or perhaps I did, as she said, have "fat earlobes"). I nearly fainted, and the holes are crooked, but will I ever have nerve to have them redone -- nope -- and if they ever close, because I wear earrings less and less often, I'll just let them stay closed. My great-nieces have many piercings, and one is tattooed -- tougher women than I am . . .
I learned to drive much later, nearly 30 and in training to be my Prudential office's first female sales agent -- didn't need to drive to be a secretary.
I even waiting until my senior year to date -- not because of rules, but just too busy studying to look for a guy . . .
Hmm, maybe time to look for new rights of passage?

I bugged my parents incessantly to let me get my ears pierced when I was 10 or 11. My mother didn't have pierced ears and my father was adamantly against it, saying I was too young. Then a colleague/good friend of his (They were both doctors.)with a daughter the same age wisely said, "Joe, if we don't let them get their ears pierced, at some point they're going to do it anyway. At least we'll be sanitary." Dad finally agreed and the friend bought a piercing gun with those surgical steel starter studs and the pointed ends.

Once the deed was done, Dad came around and started buying me nice earrings. This spurred my mother to get her ears pierced since he wouldn't buy her good jewelry that were so easy to lose as "clip ons". Poor Mom was horribly allergic to the metal. She persevered and got repierced three times before she built up immunity to the allergy.

When I was in college, the fad was to double pierce one ear. My older cousin did the piercing for me in the dentist's office where she worked. I didn't tell Mom and Dad but waited until the next weekend home to see if they noticed.

Dad finally did. He took me by the chin and looked at first one ear and then the other, then asked, "What's next? A nose pierce?"

By Christmas, he'd forgotten that I only had two holes in one ear. I unwrapped a gift from him and found he'd bought me small sapphire studs. So, I got the other ear double pierced too.

Three years ago I got a tattoo on the top of my right foot. I know neither parent would have supported that choice. They probably sat up in Heaven together, shaking their angel heads with wry smiles, saying, "Don't know where she gets these ideas, but that's our girl."

Barely 13 year old me...17 year old girl...hayloft in a barn...all alone.

You do the math. Rite of passage indeed!

I was thirty five when I had my ears pierced. My mother pronounced me crazy, and I just decided I wanted to wear earring that didn't pinch and stayed put. Oh, I had been married for 15 years. It sounds corny, but my wedding was the most important coming of age moment. My family was contentious and sure enough, my father got into some kind of argument with his father, and my brother. I took one look a them, and said, this is MY wedding and I'm going to have a good time. And I did. Today, I realize how much the endless (seemingly) tension and arguing affected me, and how great it was to just have fun, and how to be myself. Great post.

Other rites of passage...

First beer: 13
First joint: 16
First time riding a Harley Davidson alone: 16
First Car: 16
First time flying anywhere (and I was alone): 18
Joining the Navy: 18
First barroom brawl: 19
Married The Demon Princess of Hell: 21
Divorced same: 23
Wrote first book: 37
Married my Sweet Angel: 42

I flew from Vancouver to Cocoa Beach, Florida by myself at 18, completely freaked out but so impressed that I did it!

Got my drivers license just before I turned 20 and promptly moved out of the house. Freedom was mine.

I think my biggest rite of passage was when I was 26, newly divorced and I moved to the big city by myself and succeeded on my own.

My big right of passage: I don't recall being denied anything by my parents. That was left up to others, only I'm not sure that was deliberate. The first time I recall being disciplined was when I was away at school. I missed curfew getting back to the "house" and was not allowed to take part in any off-campus activities for a week. That was a big step, a huge deal in being validated as "regular."

For my own kids: It would be impossible to go beyond the non-existant limitations of my parents. While others, including Auntie-Mom and others, reined me in from time to time, schools and teachers were my biggest rule-setting influence. During the time when our kids were growing I was exceedingly unaware of the influence those factors had on me as a parent. Scout's parents held with their cultural tradition that children were better off being raised by a third party. So in an odd way, our childhoods meshed, and our parenting proclivities merged well - or not, depending on how you view such things.

REDACTED! hehehehee

ALL you peeps with the ice pick and ice cube stories are giving me the SCREAMING WILLLLLIES.....

Ear piercing wasn't that big deal for us. In fact, I had my ears double-pierced by 6th grade. For me, the true rite of passage was getting my driver's license. Freedom! I was on top of it, too. I got my license within a few weeks of turning 16. That was the key that led to my high school social life.

Also, getting my passport at 16 too. I lived in Central America that summer, doing volunteer work. I've never thought about this before, but 16 was momentous for me as far as stepping out, tasting my freedom. That year, I also dumped a whole group of friends because I realized they were bad for my self-esteem.

I haven't changed much, that's for sure!

Oh, lipstick. I was not allowed to wear lipstick until my braces came off.

Apparently this was very important to me.

In 1964, I was constantly terrified there would be a nuclear war. Once, I was sitting on the couch, I remember, sobbing about it.

My mother came in--what's wrong she asked?

"We're all gonna die," I sobbed, "and I will never be able to wear LIPSTICK!"

My poor Mom.

PS. And I still don't have pierced ears.

I was the one who pierced everyone's ears. I had mine done one weekend when my parents were away. They were not happy. My grandmother said it made me look "common." An older girl in the neighborhood did it with an ice cube and sewing needle. I was grounded for a while, but it was worth it. I wasn't grounded when I pierced other girls' ears, because no one told on me.

Hank, you crack me up - worried about nuclear war and the lack of lipstick wearing.

Another big deal for me was when I could afford to get contact lenses, I had extra thick glasses and when I walked around the first day of contacts I felt like someone had removed a huge barrier from around my face.

Contact lenses--I'd forgotten about that one. So true!

For me, it wasn't lipstick so much as eyeliner. And, I still remember dressing up in skirt and high heels for the first time in middle school. It was SUCH a big deal, a cross between Halloween and playing dress-up in my mom's closet in truth, but still, I worked it! :-)

Going from Mary Jane shoes and short socks to Nylon stockings was a big one for me.
Learning to drive Los Angeles so I could obtain work was momentous. Parking on the railroad tracks so I could rush to a job interview was harrowing.
I would say marriage was a rite of passage. Learning to cook, living with another person and melding our lives was wonderful.
I still have new experiences every day so the beat goes on.

Ooh, contacts were good, but the real point of impact for me was when I exchanged my 20/950 and 20/1100 eyesight for 20/30 in both eyes, courtesy of LASIK. Hallelujah!

Marie, I remember when wearing nylons was a HUGE deal. And now girls (and a lot of women) just won't wear them. And my first high heels in eighth grade. I remember walking home from church in front of my parents, and my dad making fun of my extremely wobbly ankles.

Hank, you are hilarious. That's such a great story. But are you ever without lipstick today? I think not.

Al: Braggart.

Oh yeah Karen, I exchanged my 20/825 eyes for 20/20 with Lasik as well. Money well spent!

I COULD NOT DO LASIK./ I planned to do it. I went to the initial whatsits and all. Day of I spazzed. The thing is, NO. Just a resoundign internal OH HELLZ NO to getting my eyes sliced. NO THANK YOU.

Hank that lipstick story has me in TEARS that is SO awesome.

Regarding pierced ears: Got the first hole in my left ear in 1979. Got the second one, for my "wedding ring" (actually an emerald stud) in 1995.

No other piercings to report, although a dominatrix friend of mine used to show me every time she got a new piercing. She had a total of 14 of them, half below her waist.

Josh, I'm with you on the eye slicing. Hell no!

Joss, I have one word for you about sitting through Lasik.


I had my eyes done in April 1998, then 6 months later had to have the right eye re-done as it had regressed. April 2008 had the left one re-done for regressing. The first time was not so bad. The touch-ups were harder to go to since I knew what I was in for.

Mine was bright red nail polish and long nails. My dad was convinced only slatterns, loose women, and harlots had long red nails. And once you painted your long nails red, you bought a one-way ticket to hell, and pre-marital fornication. Because you would be marked, and Everyone Would Know That You Were a Woman of Ill-Repute. My dad's version of the Scarlet Letter.

So I was in college before I wore Bright Red Nail Polish on my nails, being sure to remove said color before returning home.

Joss, does this count? I supported my stepson's letting his hair grow very long, well beyond the boundaries of his school's dress code. When called in to "discuss it" with the school administration, I was told he would not be respected and would have no credibility with his long hair. One of the few times in my life I was prepared, I reached into my brief bag and pulled out a 9x12 photo of a man with shoulder-length hair giving a speech at the Pentagon. "This is Steve's father. Would you like to tell him his father is not credible or respected?"

A week later the school dropped the dress code.

One of the surprising little details from _Reading Lolita in Teheran_ was the personal rebellions underneath those burkas -- designer jeans, nail polish (with gloves when going out in public) . . . and of course, reading and discussing forbidden books.

Oh, yes, Lasik! I went from 20/800 to 20/20 about 10 years ago, and it is wonderful! For those who have good vision, 20/800 means that I was never without either contacts or glasses. I didn't leave the bed until my glasses were on, and when I accidentally knocked them off the nightstand I crawled around on the floor for five minutes before calling my mom to come find them for me. From 10 feet away, I could not see a face, only a blur. Now I wake up and can see! It was a little freaky, but the valium they gave me before the procedure, along with some relaxation and breathing exercises, made it tolerable.

Doc - now I'm curious about what exactly was redacted.

Ladies, how about the first bra? My dad called them over the shoulder boulder holders - or, for my training bra, over the shoulder pebble holders. I hated that. To contrast child and adult in the same body, I remember once putting three of my training bras on my dog when she had puppies.

Sandi, when I was 16 my mom looked at me and said "Do you want to go bra shopping?" (I was probably not even an A cup) I said no. I think I was about 28 the first time I wore a real bra, not one that pulled over my head. I hated them, I stick with the pull over the head kind.

Regarding those REDACTED bits: Like the Adventure of the Giant Rat of Sumatra, the world is not ready for them. Perhaps in 100 years or so.

Really Good Post!!

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Gaylin they told me when I went NO Ativan or Valium or anything like that. Because you have to be lucid and follow instructions.

Did they let you have some? If so I want YOUR doc.

I still can't keep a nice manicure *sigh* I chip within 10 minutes.

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