Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Temporary self-mutilation that the whole family can enjoy!

Until September 18, 2001, I refused to have my ears pierced. I wanted to be an individual, to let my face speak for itself sans the clutter of metal adornment, to have my body remain as natural as the day it was first exposed to this fragile Earth. Then, seven days after my 18th birthday, I said "Aw, screw it" and made a visit to Wicked on Telegraph Avenue between Math 1B lecture and my Rhetoric R1A class. Thirty minutes and $20 later (they had a special going that month and on Tuesdays your jewelry was free with purchase of piercing), I had a hollow 16-gauge needle jammed through the cartilage of my left ear, forever soiling the pointy ears that had earned me an endearing "elfen" status among my family members. And thus I unknowingly introduced myself to the elite pierced fold of society.

The following April, the madness continued, and after a thirty minute wait at Zebra (also on Telegraph Avenue) I had a shiny nose stud in my right nostril. My mother was none too pleased. I suppose she from that day imagined me to be some sort of deviant.

Summer of 2002 passed without event, then the first Wednesday of the Fall semester I chose to have a 14-gauge labret bar introduced into my life, again courtesy of Zebra after a nominal $38 fee for parts and labor. At this point my mother demanded that I not get any more visible piercings lest she forget to sign my loan papers.

In October I did the unthinkable and got my ear lobes pirced at a salon on Telegraph Avenue. (Do you see a theme?) My mom told me when I was ten that I could get my lobes pierced when I was eleven, and eight years later I finally took her up on her offer.

Keeping in mind that getting any more visible piercings would prevent me from graduating from college, on November 11, 2002 I got my most recently acquired piercings, namely my left and right nipples, this time from Industrial Strength on Dwight and Telegraph. Ouch. No, seriously. Ouch. Perry, the pale, skinny, Bic-bald gentleman who wielded the 12-gauge needles and rubber gloves that facilitated my newest mutilation, scared me half to death and didn't help make the experience any less uncomfortable.

The moral of the story is that, seven punctures short of bodily purity, I don't feel like I've compromised my individuality. Sure, everyone in Berkeley and his or her proverbial dog has a septum ring, and chances are that being pierced is an asset, not a disadvantage, when applying to most professional jobs in the Bay Area. But the day I "finally grow out of" this piercing kick, I can take out my metal and my resiliant little cells will heal themselves, returning me once again to my original state.


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