Behind these virgin ears

jewlery - website
Illustration by Katherine Kurz Photo credit: Katherine Kurz

“What do you mean you don’t have your ears pierced?”

It may come as a surprise, being a 20-year-old girl, but I never got my ears pierced. My mom wanted me to wait until I was 12 (like she did) to get my ears pierced. Unlike my mother, however, I was less than fond of the idea when it came around to my 12th birthday.

I didn’t quite understand why I needed a piece of metal to be shoved through skin on my body. It’s a weird tradition for girls to do, or if you’re that kind of guy.

Women tend to dress themselves up with pounds of jewelry. Wearing earrings every day with a matching necklace, rings and bracelets was the normal thing to do. I, on the other hand, didn’t think it was normal. I could never get used to the feeling of having something lie on me.

I never got used to my braces for the two years I wore them. Shoot, I’m still not use to the built-in retainer they gave me more than five years ago. How would I get used to something constantly moving along my arm, like a bracelet?

I tend to use the excuse that I was raised by all boys. So why would I get into jewelry? I have an older brother and four older male cousins on my dad’s side, so I wasn’t really raised in a very feminine matter.

About 90 percent of my clothes are boy hand-me-downs. No one ever taught me the act of girly things, and I just wasn’t interested in learning.

Another reason I never got my ears pierced was because of sports. I played year-round whether it was soccer, basketball, volleyball or softball, I was always playing a sport. I never had time to pierce my ears and keep them in long enough. You can’t wear jewelry during games or practices, so I made my life easier and avoided jewelry period.

No, I don’t play sports anymore and no, I don’t still wear my brother’s hand-me-downs, but now I’m 20, and I don’t feel like walking into Claire’s and getting my ears pierced. It freaks me out to think of a little metal spear going through my body. But then again, I have ink permanently in my arm, so I guess that’s also weird.

Brittany McClintock can be reached at [email protected] or @B_McClintock17 on Twitter.