The start of September is a great time of reflection. I start to think about my upcoming birthday and think about what I have (or have not) accomplished since the last one. I reminisce on past birthday's and it is astonishing how little I can remember about most of them. Historically, I've never been a huge "birthday celebrater" and don't normally rally friends for a huge gathering or do anything out of the ordinary. There have been years when I've whooped it up more than usual, but I feel like I don't automatically remember "For my 26th birthday I remember doing..." Generally I have to spend time counting back, looking at ticket stubs, etc.
When I was on my east coast vacation I met up with a high school classmate. I hadn't seen her in more years than I'd like to type, as typing them would make me truly realize how long ago it was that I graduated from high school, and I had a great time learning what she's been up to (all these years!) and gossiping about life in general. After brunch we window-shopped and browsed along Newbury Street and for a few minutes we talked earrings. She has multiple piercings (three) in both ears, and seeing them reminded me that I never wear earrings in my second holes. Why, I'm not sure, because I remember how excited I was to get second holes.
I got my first holes pierced when I was in kindergarten and can't conjure up a memory about the experience. Was I scared? Probably. Did I throw a fit? Not sure. Were there tears? Maybe. I'll have to consult with my mother for the details. I remember the studs from my first piercing: fake sapphires (my birthstone) in gold. I do not remember any troubles with my first holes, other than having to cover them with athletic tape before soccer games.
In high school I told my mom I was going to get second holes, very nonchalantly, and was taken aback when she firmly stated "No you are not. Not until you're 18." I obviously thought this was cruel and unusual, but since my parents were otherwise really chill about a lot of stuff (not tattoos, as we've discussed) I decided "Okay...it'll be an 18th birthday treat to myself!"
In school I was always considerably (a few months feels "considerably" when everyone has their drivers license and you have to wait six more months) younger than the other people in my grade. Because of this, I didn't turn 18 until five weeks after shipping off to college. Consequently, the only time I EVER used someone's ID was to be 18. The people on my floor were going to Uptown, an 18+ dance "bar", and I borrowed an ID so I could get in. I never used someone's ID to be 21, probably because we were masterful at sneaking me into 21+ bars until I was legal.
As my 18th birthday approached, I recall mentioning my desire to get my ears double-pierced as a birthday treat to my roommate and the women who lived in the room next to us. My roommate, a sweet woman who grew up in a town with literally only one streetlight, was supportive of my desire to accomplish my wish but said she was NOT able to accompany me for fear of passing out, because the idea of getting holes put in her ears was apparently one of the most horrible and painful things she'd ever heard. A quick look flip through her Facebook albums and it appears as though she still has not pierced her ears, but she has had four kids (!!!!)
With full support and a cheery farewell from my roommate, the neighbor gals and I headed to Franklin Park Mall in Toledo, the metropolis of Northwest Ohio. I was nervous, but personally the thought of showing pain/weakness in public is worse than the thought of actual pain, so I knew I'd come through all right. I actually can't remember what I picked out as studs. I'm sure if I were to flip through an old jewelry box I would come across a lone earring that might trigger a memory, but at the time I'm drawing a blank. I've lost touch with the two women who were with me for this memorable occasion, but I hope they know that they've made an impact on my life.
I was prompted to write all this because yesterday, on the first day of September, I wore earrings in my second holes.