My parents used to give me a hard time about my ‘appearance’. I repaid that unwanted advice by attending one of their dinner parties in full goth regalia, complete with spider webs drawn at the corners of my eyes. I can only imagine, now, how much restraint they and their guests showed by not commenting.
I roll my eyes at my parents now for a different reason, though kind of really the exact same reason. When I went to college, I got my lip pierced. When I graduated and moved back to my town, my father offered me a job “if I took that damn thing out of my face”. I agreed (I know…I sold out to The Man), and got my tongue pierced the next day; so much harder to see, and I was already doing too good a job to fire me by the time he noticed it.
Fast forward 15 years (and 15 years of people giving me that “knowing look” when they spot my tongue piercing….No, I didn’t get it for THAT). I decided that because of the inherent connotation of a tongue piercing, it was not a connotation that (however wrong it was) I wanted to explain to my now-18-month-old daughter Morgan at any point and I took it out.
For 15 years, despite the obvious lack of couth and clear refusal to enter adulthood that my tongue piercing proved, I managed to weave together a pretty good life, complete with career, family, and respect! Shocking, I know.
Even more shocking still was the incredibly helpful young man at the mall yesterday who helped my hubs pick up the 8 million things that fell out of the stroller while I struggled to dig out a sippy cup; the young man with the pierced eyebrow and septum, accompanied by giant ear gauges in his lobes, who has undoubtedly thrown his life away and will never amount to anything. Hoodlum.
I decided long ago that appearance (save for barely-there clothing: that shit is just Not Happening) was not the battle I was going to choose with my kids, and not that my parents battled-they were definitely more patient than I give them credit for. Grades, boys (or girls!), chores, responsibility, respect, manners are all battles I will choose. As long as all of those, among others, are in order, pierce away-at an appropriate age, of course.
So imagine my eye roll when my parents finally noticed the missing tongue piercing and actually clapped. They would have fist-bumped if they knew what it was, I am sure, and commented on my reaching adulthood at long last.
“No worries,” I said, taking my daughter into the kitchen. “Morgan has an appointment already for her first tattoo.”
Never underestimate a former punk-goth-turned-mom. Your move, Mom and Dad 😉
Photo via skin-wikia.com. No joke.