Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Ear Piercing Adventures

In our family, it is a tradition to wait until the age of 12, until Bat Mitzvah, to get pierced ears.  That is what I tell Raphaela when she asks to get them pierced sooner, that it must be when you are aware enough and responsible enough to take care of the post-piercing procedures, by yourself.

My grandmother took me to get my ears pierced right before my Bat Mitzvah, at a jewelry store in Providence, Rhode Island.  My ten year old brother came with us and he was going through his "gun stage." He stood next to me and set the scene which left me crying, "They're using this cool gun and they are going to shoot your ear off and there is going to be blood  and body parts EVERYWHERE!"

Actually, this brother never outgrew his gun stage:  after years as a successful investment banker he became a beat cop, so he could legally carry guns and threaten people as an office of the law.  Not counting the 12 or so hunting rifles he keeps in his house.  He remembers that day because not long after we left the jewelry store, it got robbed.  My brother thinks that is really cool.

After I made aliyah, I decided that I needed to do a "Tikun" [a Hebrew Kabbalah term for spiritual repair] of that original experience.  So I went and got a third hole, which eventually closed up.  I remember when my mother saw the third earring, she started to hyperventilate and point, barely speaking, "Why you...you...have a third ear....ring!"

"Don't freak out Mom," I told her. "This has nothing to do with my sexuality, I still like boys. It's just a fashion statement in Israel, nothing more.  And I promise there are no earrings hiding on my belly button or my tongue or anywhere else. I am too afraid of pain to do something stupid like that."

Flash forward to this past September, when inexplicably, one of my earring holes closed up, in my right ear.  Confident it was just a minor glitch, I tried to push an earring through to reopen it, and there was lots of blood (but thankfully not body parts) everywhere.  So today I am going to get my ear re-pierced, as well as reopening the third piercing.

I am going to try to be brave.  Wish me luck.

1 comment:

Batya Medad said...

I was a teen before my mother allowed me to get my ears pierced, but I let my daughters have theirs done in time for Bat Mitzvah. My daughter made the same rule, but her second daughter had it done by age ten, and she expects when the five years old starts seriously begging, her ears will be pierced, too. My daughter-in-law's family all had theirs done as tiny infants, because she said either when they're too young to notice or you have to wait until they are responsible, as you plan.
My daughters took me out to get my third hole as a 49th birthday gift. It's wonderful for solitary earring that have lost their partners and other creative arrangements, like 3 totally different ones. Enjoy in good health!