Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sassy's Mom Gets A Piercing

"I'm going to get some more piercings," my mother announced recently, out of the blue.

As a child, you never expect to hear your parents say certain words. Like the time I heard my dad call someone a cocksucker for the first time when someone cut him off on the highway. You never expect to hear your dad say "cock," much as you don't expect your mother to say "piercings" or "gonorrhea" (as she did memorably during a 1997 birds-and-bees talk over lunch at a Chinese restaurant in our neighborhood. I never did finish my lo mein.) I mean, you know that technically they can say make the sounds for words like those with their lips and tongues and teeth, but you trust that they won't, so as not to make their children's eardrums spontaneously implode from the force of the shame.

"Piercings? As in plural?" I asked gingerly, glancing at my mother's traditionally-pierced ears, the only holes in her body not present at birth. "Like... where?"

"I'm getting two more in my right ear and one in my left," she said, and I sighed with relief. There were so many ways that our conversation could have taken a turn for the worse.

Don't get the wrong idea -- my mother isn't a thrill-seeking biker chick (not that there's anything wrong with that). But she has always really accepting of whatever I chose to do to my appearance. She took me to get my ears pierced when I was six, simply because I asked. And when I called her in 10th grade to get permission to dye my hair black, she actually laughed.

"Honey, please," she said. "Call me when you get a tattoo!"

Three years later, when I actually did get a tattoo, I didn't call her, mostly because I was drunk but also because I was certain she'd try to talk me out of it. I was nervous showing it to my parents, and it is to their credit that they took it in stride, especially considering that of all the images to imprint on my skin for eternity I chose a silhouette of Tinker Bell from Peter Pan that made her look kind of like a mudflap girl. When I unveiled my new tat, still shiny with Bacitracin, all my mom asked was, "Is that permanent?" And when I said yes, she shrugged as if to say, what's done is done. "Just don't get a tongue ring," she said.

Three years later, when I got my tongue ring... just kidding, I don't have a tongue ring. That would have been awesome though. I should get one just to make this story better. Right, Mom?

P.S. This post has no photos because... well, just don't Google "piercing Mom," okay? It will have the same effect on your appetite as your mother blithely rattling off the symptoms of various STDs.

P.P.S. You want a picture? You got it.

(That's me and my college BFF Meredith, at our 5 year reunion. Her parents were not so jazzed about the tat, but that's what you get for letting your daughter run with a badass renegade like me.)


  1. Here was my never-thought-mom-would-say-THAT moment:

    Mom: 'Yeah I've seen that Har Mar Superstar video already. I really like Eva Mendes.'

  2. OMG!!!! I have a tinkerbell tattoo! As does my sister and mom! It's for our tinkerbell 'gang'. Awesome!


  3. I remember when I got a second peircing in each ear. My mom decided it was kind of cool, so she did it, too. Then I talked her into getting a henna tattoo (hard core for my mom) and painting her toes hooker red, right before school started (she's a teacher). Her co-workers told me I wasn't allowed to go on vacation with her anymore. I thought it was great that she was having so much fun!

  4. You chickened out of posting a pic of YOUR tattoo, huh?

  5. LOL! My youngest sister turned 18 this year, she told my mom she wanted to get her "Monroe pierced". My mom was obviously concerned/confused about where the "Monroe" was located, especially when my sister wouldn't divulge the location! (My mom later found that a Monroe piercing is a facial piercing and it was made very clear to my sister that she does not have a Monroe and should not advertise as such!)

    -Lady Fromage

  6. Do with this what you will: my mom and I got our first tattoos together when I was 18. She paid as it was part of my graduation gift. We are not bikers and are literate (I mean obviously I am, but so is she). It's just when I write that down I feel like people might envision us in tube tops and trucker hats, missing one or more teeth...I swear this is not the case. I have all my teeth.

  7. Anonymous10:35 AM

    I actually had to talk my mom out of getting a tattoo of shark teeth with the words "bite me" during my parents divorce. I told her she would regret it. I love tattoos and piercings but I just had a gut feeling it wouldn't be right.

  8. i remember the day my sweet little farming grandpa said the f bomb and the day my mom asked what a milf was - i sorta told her and she asked, "so like i am a gilf? (she is a grandma) ohhh she thought she was funny and i was repulsed.

  9. That was like saying "Don't think about elephants" Fortunately nothing too scary (or visible since I have this window tiny so that coworkers don't see) popped up when I googled "piercing mom".

    Awkward moments that follow suit:
    -Grandma sighing Oh Patrick Swayze"
    -Grandma (diff one) drinking beer like a champ.
    -Same beer drinking grandma singing songs mocking the slow drivers in front of her (but using 'heck' instead of 'hell')
    -Step mom indicating just how little space is needed to copulate.

    I look forward to shocking some children of my own one day.

  10. LOL, this makes me glad I'm a mom, cause later, paybacks...hehe

  11. Well why didn't we get a picture of your Tinkerbell tattoo?

  12. Where does one go to get their ears pierced these days? Does Claire's still exist? I worry about this. NYC is sadly lacking malls, how will I handle this when the time comes?

  13. @paula - as a piercing/tattoo enthusiast with quite a few piercings and tattoos - do not go to claire's to get ear piercings. they use a gun to pierce and now we know that... well, that's bad. if you go to a repultable piercing/tattoo shop, they will pierce just about anything - including an earlobe. you might want to call ahead or stop by first to see what kind of jewelry they offer, small studs or hoops are often included in the price of piercing.

    @sassy - my mom can't have her ears pierced, and refuses to get a tattoo (no matter how much we try to convince her). i have four facial piercings plus 8g holes in my ears (you can just see through them) and nine tattoos. oh, and pink hair. my brother and awesome husband are all inked up with huge holes in their ears, too. and my mom doesn't even bat an eye. she won't do it herself, but she's very cool about other people modifying their bodies. i think it's cool that your mom wants multiple piercings in her ear - make sure she goes to a good piercer!

  14. I never thought I'd hear my mom tell me that her and my dad were pregnant, after 20 years of being an only child. EW--who wants to think of their parents in that unholy, Biblical way?!

  15. After my Mom decided to go and get her first and second tattoos I thought it was finally time I suck it up and get my first. I asked her why 2? All she said was, "they had a 2 for 1 special". Way to go Mom. Way to go.

  16. Very cool that your mom is wanting to spice things up a bit. At least the piercings were in her ears. A co-worker of mine once decided to get a piercing in her lady bits. Being that it was a small office everyone knew -- and was ultimately rewarded with a play-by-play of the whole thing. Our boss was secretly in love with my co-worker and was therefore probably hoping to see some harmless photographic evidence of said piercing. It probably didn't help that he still hadn't gotten over the semi-naughty Halloween photos that were emailed to him a few months prior... Anyhow, just in case your mom gets any wacky ideas, the piercing didn't end up having the intended results and was removed a few weeks later.


  17. My mother decided to get her nose pierced at 51. And no, she's not even one of "those" mothers. A year or so later she decided to get her first tattoo (a tasteful ankle piece). Psht. Mothers.

  18. I have a friend who got a tat on her shoulder that read "Live without Regets". How is that for irony?

  19. My then-girlfriend, now-wife, dared me to get my ear pierced in 1990. My parents weren't impressed.

    My older sister has a massive tattoo over her arm and back, and my parents didn't even blink.

    How fair is that?

  20. i have a rather large koi fish on my side.... although i never intended to have matching tattoos with anyone when i got it, a crazy dude that liked me quite a bit got one too on his right side (mines on my left)... he said, "we should take naked pictures of you crawling over me and our fish would look like they're kissing."

    is that freakin creepy or what? at least he's a brad pitt look alike.... hahaha.

  21. So long as we're telling stories here comparing matching tattoos, I'm gonna go ahead and divulge what I think will be the kicker - my BFF and I got matching RKelly tattoos - his lyrics down our ribcages, and none too small - and about eight months later, she got sick of me and now we don't hang out.

    That's the best, right?
    Do I win a pity prize?
    Oh, god, what if RKelly finds out? I hope he doesn't pee on me.


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