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Needles and glamour

Junior Avery Cummings shows off her new triple forward helix piercing.

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Adrenaline rushed through my system as the first pain started to ebb throughout my ear, blood running down my face as I trembled.

For years, I have been wanting a few piercings, and my mom was not a fan of, well, any of them. So I was surprised when she said yes to the ear extravaganza I wanted. I wanted an industrial piercing on my left ear and a triple forward helix on my right. For those of you who don’t know what that means, I wanted a little bar-thingy in the top left part of my ear, and three little studs in the top flap that connects to my face in my right ear (now two due to the bottom one growing out).

I had already had a good day, so when my mom called me with the news that my dad was ready to take me to the tattoo shop, my day got even better. I wasn’t too nervous when we arrived, but it didn’t stay that way. I was informed by the woman who would be doing my piercing(s), Shanda, that the industrial by itself was very painful, and that the forward helix was even more so. After a few minutes of discussion, we decided to do the industrial first, then see if I was ready to do the other piercing afterwards, or wait. I should also inform you that in my past, needles and I don’t get along well. I usually end up passing out after receiving a shot of any kind. After hearing my dad tell me the story of the woman who was screaming bloody murder while she received a tattoo when he came in earlier, I was less prepared for the event.

Ouch. Seriously. The internet does not describe the pain felt with these piercings.”

— Avery Cummings

I entered the room with the piercer and my boyfriend, sitting on the long black chair that I couldn’t help but picture a mad-scientist using to inject me with a painful zombie-virus. My imagination hasn’t always helped me in certain situations. My father and the owner of the shop decided to stand by the door and watch me in my pain. Wonderful entertainment they must have thought I would be. Shanda had a little table with the little green cloth dentist wrap around your neck when they dig around your mouth. On the cloth laid two needles, a barbell (the jewelry) and several corks. The mad scientist picture wasn’t going away.

Ouch. Seriously. The internet does not describe the pain felt with these piercings. Most of it is just pictures of happy people with pretty diamonds in their ears. I never really looked up the process of the piercings being done, which is probably a good thing, because I most likely would have passed out. I didn’t know ears could bleed so much. I mean, it’s like they were getting stabbed…but I guess they actually were. I was lucky with my first piercing, as they usually have to use two needles, but I was gifted/cursed with small ears, and the needle was longer than usual, so Shanda was able to pierce my ear with only one needle. It was still very painful, and I was beginning to shake the chair, but I made it through. I was told that I was the first woman not to cry, and I would have been proud at that moment, but I was in too much pain to really process anything, and was attempting to clean blood off that had dripped down my chest. I was given a moment to rest and decide if I wanted to do the other piercing. I figured that I might as well get it over with.

My previous luck was nowhere to be found. I was told to lie down on my side, as this piercing was much more difficult to do. It was a good thing I was laying down, because I probably would have fallen off the chair. I was shaking so much that I’m sure caused a magnitude-7 earthquake. At one point, my boyfriend cried out that I was hurting his hand. I thought I was almost done with the ordeal only to be informed that one hole wasn’t big enough, and that it needed to be re-pierced with a bigger needle. I am now proud to say that I didn’t cry at all, even if my body did produce more adrenaline than I ever have experienced. Yes, it was very painful, and it felt like I bled enough to donate several pints of blood, but I don’t regret it. However, I most likely won’t be getting another piercing until I forget how painful it was. I guess it’s a good and a bad thing that pain isn’t something that can be remembered, because I’m already ready for another one.

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Needles and glamour