Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Demotion

There are quite a few things I recall, when growing up, that really shaped the person that I am today.

Back in the 80s, when The Beastie Boys released Fight for Your Right, I would run around the house screaming the words. My parents despised The Beastie Boys after that. I still love them. Then there was Faith No More. I was quite intrigued by this genre of music and all I ever wanted to do was rock it like there was no tomorrow.

I’ll spare you the details of my punk rock, grunge and goth days. But I would like to point out that sometimes, flannel should be worn only on lumber jacks or at home with no one around. And sometimes, fishnet stockings shouldn’t be worn on your arms. And maybe, dating a guy with liberty spikes that have been dyed every colour imaginable was cool at the time, but not when you realize that “every colour imaginable” included snot green. (What the hell was going through my mind during these years?)

I constantly have friends and strangers ask me, “How is it that you have all these piercings and tattoos when you’re afraid of needles?” To be honest, I’m not sure of the answer myself. I am horribly afraid of needles and to this day, I still cry when I get a flu shot. But, I do know when my admiration of piercings came into play.

When I was 11 years old, a tiny sixth-grader, I was at the mall with my family when I saw Him. He was without a doubt older than me, probably in his 20s, but it was lust at first sight. But what caught my eye was this piece of metal attached to his lip.

“My God!” I thought. “Who hast bestowed this gorgeous creature amongst us?!” (Hah. Okay, it was more like, “OoooOooH! Pretty boy!”)

That piece of metal, attached to his lip, was a lip piercing. And I felled in love.

At that point, I only had my ear lobes pierced, but now I wanted more… More… MORE! Throughout the years, after He with Hot Lip, I continuously asked my parents if I could get another piercing, even if it was only another ear piercing. They always replied with a no. My mom firmly believes that people with piercings and tattoos are part of a gang and that they only mean trouble. My dad is beyond religious and firmly believes that the human body is not meant to be tampered with. I believed that it’s my body and if I wanna make it pretty with piercings then g’damnit I will do so! But not until I was of legal age at 18 years old.

A month after I turned 18, I told my parents that I was going to get a piercing and that there was nothing they could say or do to stop me. Within three months, I had gotten 5 piercings and I still wanted more. My parents were not impressed.

Before you knew it, my 20th birthday was approaching. I wanted to do one last “young and stupid” thing and I was thinking that a tattoo would do the trick. Prior to this time, I had never wanted a tattoo. They were so permanent and the idea of a tattoo machine dragging across my skin made me want to cry. But, what the hell, I was going to be 20 soon and I may as well do something dumb like get a tattoo.

So I did. And ohmygod. It hurt. Like a bitch.

The tattoo only took 25 minutes to do and that’s with a 5 minute break between the outline and the colouring, but it was somewhere within those 25 minutes that I swore I would never, ever get another tattoo again. Maybe it was the fact that I started to tear up at the end, or maybe it was the fingernail marks that were ingrained in my arm, but whatever it was, all I knew was that it was far too painful to go through again.

We all know how this story goes: AJ manages to continue to get piercings and sometimes goes crazy enough to stretch them herself (Ew, you don’t want to know the story. I’ll give you a hint: it involves being bored and stupid, bruising, puss and blood!) and managed to get two more (with two more in the next few months) tattoos.

Over time (about a years worth of time), I forgot the pain of the tattoo, loved how it looked and went to get another one. Since then, I basically threw out the ‘never again’ and said gimmegimme more.

I hope that one day, when I’m 80+ years old, I will be lying in my coffin with all my piercings and tattoos still intact. I have no intention of ever permanently removing any piercings or tattoos. That is, until now.

*deep sigh*

There has been this one helix (cartilage) piercing, on my left ear, that I got when I was 19 years old, that I have always had problems with. It almost seems as if it never fully healed and has had its ups and downs with being okay or being infected. Because of this, it is the only piercing I slightly despise.

Yesterday morning, while getting ready for work, I felt compelled to take a look at this particular piercing. As I gently flipped the top of my ear over to get a glance at the backside, I was horrified at what I saw; the disgusting signals of a badly infected piercing.


For the first time ever, I am seriously considering removing the piercing; demoting myself in my number of non-natural holes. But, demoting? I don’t think I could do it. I would have to get another piercing, maybe two, just to make up for this one loss. To be honest, I think I’ve grown tired of getting piercings.

So, I’m going to attempt a different option before I remove said piercing and be mentally forced to get one or two more to make up for the loss.

Last night I bought every item needed to try out every remedy I knew of to heal an infection/any scar tissue/swelling/etc.

I’ve got the sea salt, the chamomile teabags, the Vitamin E and tree tea oil.

Tonight, I enter my ear into my Boot Camp of Insane Horrors and hopefully one of these treatments work.

My poor ear… my poor, poor ear… Damn you pretty, lip-ringed boy…

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Blogger Sara said...

Poor you. My most recent piercing is about 10 months old, and it still gives me trouble sometimes. I swore that it would be my last one, it hurt like a motherf--. My new tattoo hurt a hell of a lot more than I remember from the last one, but not enough to put me off from getting more.

1:40 p.m.  
Blogger Alex said...

Given the title and the first few paragraphs of your post, I thought you got demoted at work because of piercings! It's good to see that that's not the case after all.

4:34 p.m.  
Blogger AJ said...

Sara - I use as my main source of info regarding piercings. Give the chamomile teabag and salt soaks a try... so far my ear seems to like those two the best. I'm the same way, as you, regarding tattoos... it's addictive. Glad to know you're not put off from getting more.

Alex - Nah. At work I conceal my piercings well (retainers or temporarily removing them). It's a pain in the ass to do all that, but at least it keeps me out of having to be told to get rid of them for good.

10:19 a.m.  

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