I am thirty four years old and, therefore, probably too old to be wearing a nose ring. I am a professional, an educator, someone who (at least sometimes) wears suits to work. Nonetheless, I stubbornly do not feel like giving it up — and I do teach in Liberal Arts, which means I don’t really have to. I could probably get away with wearing Birkenstocks every day if I wanted to (but thank dog I don’t). I have been wearing the same plain surgical steel hoop in my nose for about the past 14 years. I decided, as some sort of nod to maturity (and also a desire for something new), to switch to a small sparkly stud I bought from Etsy. This would, I thought, be less conspicuous, and also pretty.
Let me just tell you what a giant pain in the ass this whole thing was. After finally removing the hoop (which was just a single piece of wire that had to be straightened out a bit to be removed), I tried for some time to insert the screw-shaped stud I’d bought to replace it.
As you can see in the photo, the screw is both an awkward (but clever) design, and a slightly thicker gauge than the hoop was. It was annoying and painful to put it in, but I figured once I’d gotten it there I was good to go.
Cut to two days later, when I woke up with my nose even more sore than it had already been and obviously inflamed and disgusting. Huh. I took the stud out, but could not get the hoop to go back (it was too bent up at this point and messing around with it was painful). I figured it was time to face facts: Just like Roger Murtaugh, I am too old for this shit. I would have to give it up.
But then, I was struck with inspiration: I would go to the mall. There is a Hot Topic in the mall. A Hot Topic that sells nose jewelry. Could I face the horrors of Hot Topic? Was the Hot Topic even still in business? I could and it was.
I walked right in, me, thirty-four years old, and tried to avoid having to talk to the teenaged boy working the counter. I guess the young people of Auburn are perhaps not the target market for exaggerated fishnet tights, manga lunchboxes, and Evanescence tee-shirts, because I was the only customer in the place. Of course, the teenaged boy (who, I feel like I should mention, had several facial piercings of his own, as is appropriate for a teenager) came over and had to help me choose a nose stud from the glass case, amiably chatting me up the entire time. He apparently could not see how mortified I was to be there: me! thirty-four years old! in a Hot Topic! Let’s just say I got out of there as fast as possible, before he could ask me if I was buying the nose jewelry for my kid or something.
There was a happy ending, though: after much washing and sterlizing and such, I managed to put in the smaller-gauge, L-shaped stud. It was approximately a thousand times easier to use than the screw-shaped stud I’d tried before, and because it was as skinny as my old hoop, it didn’t aggravate or stretch my nose at all.
Lessons learned: 1) check the gauge of any new body-peircing jewelry you buy; 2) Yes, Hot Topic is still in business, and 3) apparently I have determined that thirty-four is still not too old for this shit, at least for now.