I am a 50 year old woman. In my younger years, I was very shy and reserved, but as I grew older, I slowly gained my own voice, my own style. I enjoy dressing with colour and flare, appreciate the ability to express my individuality. On my 46th birthday, I got a tattoo to celebrate my life: a small rainforest frog, my spirit animal, representing transition and transformation, now graces my left ankle.
Given my comfort being somewhat of a free spirit, why, then, was I so hesitant about getting my nose pierced? I have considered it for several years. Every time I would see a cute little sparkling stud on a woman standing in line at the grocery store or sitting at the table across from me at my local coffee shop, I would think about getting one myself. But, I was always taken down by the voice in my head that suggested middle-aged Moms, especially those who worked in (or wished to gain employment in) professional positions, did not indulge in nose bling.
After a recent encounter with a woman close to my own age who seemed unfazed by any potential judgments about her nose piercing, I reflected again about my own discomfort. While my tattoo is easily covered, this change would be “out there” for all to see. What was my concern? That my age deemed me ineligible for facial piercing? That people might make negative assumptions about me based upon a tiny nose stud? I realized that I was making my choice because of how it might look to others rather than how it would feel for me. If the only consideration was my own desire, the answer would be a decisive yes.
Nonetheless, I sought input from a few of my friends and other acquaintances, all women of a certain age. When I expressed my interest in getting my nose pierced, there were no upraised eyebrows or cautionary directives. When I asked about my age, one woman shrugged her shoulders and told me she didn’t see that as an issue. When I questioned the reaction of potential employers or consulting clients with another woman who runs her own business, she noted that they were all strangers to me, and they wouldn’t know me any differently than the way I presented myself. Besides, she said, if you’re talent is being assessed based on a little nose stud, that might give you some idea about whether you want to work with them anyway. Good observation. Something I would likely say to someone who asked me a similar question, actually.
So, armed with this new perspective, I picked up my older son, who generously serves as my companion for many of my Fabulous Feats, and drove to Artistic Impressions in St. Catharines. There I met a lovely man named Jeremy who said he could take me in right away. After filling out a couple of forms, I followed him into the back room where he explained the process: a swipe of sterile gauze, location selected, marked, and approved by me, a quick pinch from the needle, and, voila, done. And that is exactly how it went. He gave me instructions for aftercare which included sea salt water soaks to aid in healing. He also cautioned me to be watchful for such things as hugging a friend wearing an infinity scarf, as the stud can catch on the fabric. It seemed like an oddly specific warning.
I returned to the front and brought out my credit card to pay. Jeremy pointed to the framed poster above the register: cash only. I was clearly not the first person caught out by this requirement; he told me there was an ATM at the convenience store down the street. I left my purse and my son as collateral and ran down to get the cash. Upon my return, I joked that if it hadn’t been for leaving my purse, I could have abandoned my son in a “pierce and run.” Apparently, he had said I would make this comment upon my return. I’m nothing if not predictable.
Day 2 and I am already used to the feeling. The stud is so small that it is actually hardly noticeable. But, to me, it represents a little sparkle and shine – my inside spirit represented by my outside appearance. My only concern, keeping a keen eye out for those now dangerous infinity scarves.
Next up: 100 Women Who Care – Niagara