I got my ears pierced for the second time 3 weeks ago to celebrate a new job. My friend, Klover, joined me in my celebration because I would be working with her. She had been rooting for me to get the position and was perhaps more excited than me to find out that I got it.
Yup. Getting our ears pierced has nothing to do with our quarter life crisis. At all. I swear.
We opted for a piercing because Klover couldn’t get a tattoo. The conversation leading to a piercing went like this:
Klover: Hey! Congrats on the job. I am so excited about next year! It’ll be like old times.
Me: Me too! Can’t wait! I called to see if you wanted to celebrate sometime this week. What do you feel like doing?
Klover: I thought you wanted to get a tattoo!
Me: But you can’t get a tattoo….
Klover: Yea but I have been thinking about getting my ears pierced, so I can always do that while you get a tattoo.
Me: I’ll get my ears pierced too!
Klover: Are you sure?
Klover: I’ll book something.
Me: Cool, talk to you soon!
The decision to get our ears pierced for the second time was made during a call on Wednesday and she had an appointment booked for that Sunday by Thursday.
We are efficient when it comes to crazy shit. 100% of the time. This timeline repeats itself whenever we sign up to do things like floatation therapy or chocolate making class (surprise! We didn’t actually get to make any chocolate during the class but now I know the difference between good and bad chocolate).
Before our appointment we looked up every earlobe piercing picture we could on Pinterest and discovered that our parents had screwed us over.
If you are born a girl in India or Pakistan, it is normal for your parents to get your ears pierced pretty early on. However, they do not go to a tattoo parlour or Claire’s to get it done. As 90’s kids, we were both taken to the mysterious man on the side of the road that carried “equipment” (needle/gun) for the job in a wooden box strapped around his shoulder. This man pierced our ears, put a wooden piece (you read that right) into the hole to keep it from closing and sent us home. Our parents then applied turmeric to the piercings to keep them from getting infected. It was the norm. It is how almost every girl we grew up with got their ears pierced.
PS: Piercing and tattooing off the side of the street is totally normal in India and Pakistan.
PPS: I did not know this until I happened upon this picture.
Here is the kicker though. Even though our parents approached two different men, both Klover and I had our first piercings done at the highest points on our earlobes, closest to the ear canal. This made it very difficult to position the second piercing. It also turned out mine was uneven.
When Sunday rolled around, Klover was way more nervous than I was. She had considered pulling out of this whole mess but didn’t. I kept assuring her that pain was temporary. My assurances did not work. In our excitement and nervousness we got to the parlour half an hour before our appointment.
Klover decided to go first. Anna, the woman piercing our earlobes in a tattoo parlour, which to me felt like home, pulled out sterilized needles and jewelry as she went over the procedure. Klover was paying attention as I joked around attempting to put her at ease. I soon realized there was no need for it.
Klover happily admitted that the piercing didn’t hurt as much as she thought it would. It only took seconds.
She got two piercings on one ear. She argued that it looked more badass than one on each side. I was almost swayed. I still wonder if I made the right choice. I got both my ears pierced.
I should have kept my mouth shut about it being a piece of cake.
You see, I have very thick earlobes while Klover’s are thinner (normal). I think my earlobes might have scared Anna. No really. At one point I saw her eyes grow wide as she finally let on that they were abnormally thick.
“I used to be a recruiter” I thought to myself “and every recruiter develops a thick skin if they are to survive in the business “.
What had taken less than a second for Klover took EONS (a couple of seconds) for me. I imagine Anna having to use all her strength to get the thin needle through all that flesh. It sure felt like it. It stung like a mofo after but we were both pleased with the results.
Once it was done, we were instructed not to sleep on it (which Klover did on the first night), clean it 3 times a day and let water run over it during the shower (all of which Klover stopped doing 1.5 weeks in), not to play with the earrings (Klover did that within the first week) and not switch the earrings out for atleast 4 weeks (a rule Klover is yet to break. Obviously Klover is a badass).
Simple as that.
You would think.
Klover woke up to a lot of blood on her pillow Monday morning. She had slept on her piercings and one of them had bled. I had managed to sleep on my back all night though. I have yet to figure out how. I was fine.
I have kept up with the aftercare while Klover has slacked off. However, from the looks of it she is healing faster.
Its been 2 weeks since I got my ears pierced and I still feel a pinch if I press on them or move the jewelry around (I know, I know, but Klover is a terrible influence). Klover feels no pain. Her piercings are just tender.
So I wish I could end this post telling you about the dos and donts to keep in mind when your ears are healing after a piercing but I cant. Klover has me all confused. I will be giving my ears 5-6 weeks to heal while Klover might be good to switch out her earrings at week 4.
Here are some things I would recommend though:
- Consider paying the extra cash to get your ears pierced with needles rather than a gun. Needles are way more sanitary. They are sealed and wrapped individually. As per my research, guns, like the ones used at Claire’s, are plastic. The same gun is used on everyone. They aren’t easily cleaned. They do seem to be the most commonly used method for piercing ear lobes though.
- Pick a tattoo shop that has great reviews and a website. This was another reason we skipped Claire’s and all its convenience. We read the scariest reviews about it. People had terrible experiences with Claire’s employees who did not know what they were doing. Which is NOT always true. Most if not all people I spoke with within my circle of friends had gotten their ears pierced at Claire’s or similar establishments and had come out unharmed. I, on the other hand had a huge appreciation for tattoo parlours and their dedication to their art (having 3 tattoos helped) so I chose one with the best reviews. I did not want to take any chances when it came to my body and Klover shared the sentiment. We also skipped over a tattoo parlour with good reviews because it did not have a website. For some reason it put a huge dent in the shop’s credibility.
- Do your research- Piercings done with guns are subject to different aftercare compared to those done with needles.
- Follow the aftercare- While Klover obviously got away with a bloody ear and spotty aftercare, it wasn’t all rosy. She had to deal with crusties and pus. She is healing fabulously (I am super jealous in case you can’t tell) but could have done without the ick. I on the other hand have not had to deal with any crusties (which in itself might be bad) but have followed the aftercare instructions to the tee. I am blaming my longer recovery time to my thick earlobes. I can however sleep on my ears now which is great. But remember, YOU PUT A HOLE THROUGH YOUR EAR, YOU OWE IT THE TIME AND CARE IT NEEDS TO HEAL.
If you have any questions feel free to reach out. If not, talk to you soon!