Growing up, getting my ears pierced was always a hot topic with my mom and me. From the age of about 6, when I started to put more effort and thought into what I wore, I wanted to wear earrings. My 6-year-old self was sick and tired of using those damn stick-on earrings you peeled off a piece of paper. For one, the paper stuck to them way too many times, and two, if you did manage to get the "earrings" to stick to your ear, they'd last a whole two minutes before falling off. And don't even get me started on clip-ons. Besides the painful ache they gave me, they, too, never looked quite right. The whole thing was seriously cramping my style game, and I was fed up.
Her reasoning was solely that that's what her parents had done with her, and she wanted it to be the same for me. So, in other words, she had no real reason.
I would ask my mom almost weekly about getting my ears pierced. Her response? "You can get them done when you turn 16." My response? "WHAT?! Why?!" Her reasoning was solely that that's what her parents had done with her, and she wanted it to be the same for me. So, in other words, she had no real reason. And despite my persistent hounding, she never caved. So, on the actual day of my 16th birthday, I went into Claire's and got my ears pierced, and I've never looked back. Since then, I've added three more ear piercings, a belly-button ring (it took forever to get my dad on board with that one), and a tattoo. And I love every single one of them.
Getting my ears pierced made things so much more fun. I could finally wear those fake diamond stud earrings all my friends had. I could finally forget about The Parent Trap-inspired moment I had in my bedroom when I was 12 that involved a sterilized needle and an apple slice (I couldn't go through with it). And I could finally feel like I wasn't being held back by a silly little thing. It was awesome to finally have pierced ears, but I also felt like I was at least 10 years late to the party.
I'm 30 now, and when I look back on my mom making me wait until I was 16 to get my ears pierced, I still don't really see the point. Sure, I totally understand not doing it when I was a baby and waiting for me to make that decision myself, but it would have been totally fine to do it when I was 6, when I started to really want it with a passion. It's not a traumatic or life-altering experience. If anything, I think it would have taught me some responsibility for taking care of my new piercings. And when I think about how I'll handle it with my own daughter one day, I definitely won't make her wait until she's 16. When she wants them done, we'll go to Claire's and get them done. And if she freaks out and decides she wants to wait, then we'll do that, too.
I recently asked my mom again why she made me wait so long to get them done, and she shrugged and said, "Honestly, I don't know. It's just what my parents did, so I figured I should, too. There really was no reason." Back then, I felt like I was being punished or scolded for something, like I wasn't capable of handling getting my ears pierced. And it bothered me. While it's such a small and insignificant thing, it taught me that not everything we do in life has to be the same as what we're taught. I can make my own rules, which means I can also rest easy after my future daughter watches The Parent Trap for the first time.