A short, but piercing, story

Today I went to a tattoo parlor for the first time in my life. It’s not that I have anything in particular against tattoos. I have even considered getting some sort of tiny tattoo, perhaps like a UPC code. If you think that’s a stupid idea, then you understand exactly why I never got a tattoo. I never had an idea for one that I liked enough to keep.

I went to the tattoo parlor not for a tattoo, but a piercing – a daith piercing after several friends with good sense suggested that it might help. (For what it’s worth, the research on this has said that there is no medical evidence for it other than the placebo effect, but I’m having a hard time finding anything but anecdotal evidence for migraine relief lately. I’m pretty sure if someone suggested that I slept with a boa constrictor around my head I would try it at this point.)

My mother has been in a semi-twist over this since I first brought it up. I think it really bothers her that piercings happen in tattoo parlors. Keep in mind that she comes from a generation where people got tattoos in two places: 1) in prison, and 2) in the military, probably in another country. Her resounding question has been “How will you know the place is CLEAN?!

I planned to go to a place that was recommended by a couple of my friends. (“Mom, he’s a good CHRISTIAN person!”) Much to my disappointment, when I called today I found that they were “between piercers.” (Don’t think about that too much. It sounds painful.) They recommended that I call Once In A Blue Moon, which was in the same vicinity.

The woman who answered the phone was friendly, articulate, and seemed to be educated and sober. That was good. She said she was the piercer. I went in, she took one look at me, and said, “I know you…” (Welcome to Gainesville.) Indeed I did know her – I’ve known her and her parents for 20 years. They used to go to church with me. Our mothers worked together for the last 25 years. I told her it would be a relief when I told my mom who pierced my ear for me.

I think my mother did feel a little bit better about that, actually. For good measure I reminded her about how she had my earlobes pierced when I was 6, in the basement bathroom of First National Bank, by a friend of hers with a hypodermic needle and an ice cube…bless her heart.