Last Thursday evening at about 6:30, I called J from San Francisco and asked him to guess what I'd just done. "Do I have to?" he says. "Yes, you have to," I say.
So he says, "I don't know. Got arrested." "Nope," respond I, "what have I been wanting to do for ages and ages, but haven't because I'm lame and afraid of pain?"
"You seriously got your nose pierced?"
I did. And I now have a sparkly blue gem in my nose, and I LOVE IT. Seriously, I love it. I can't stop looking at it.
And I had the best nose piercing experience ever. I'm positive of it.
Right at the end of the day, I mentioned to somebody in my office that I really wanted to get my nose pierced. She told me I should totally do it, because I have the nose for it. "I do, don't I?" I say. We walk over to Josh, who has lots of piercings, and I ask him where I could go to get my nose pierced. The person who does his piercings is in the city, he says, and I'm feeling kind of lazy and don't really fancy a drive up the 101 in rush hour traffic. I'd already done that for the Bach Festival two nights in a row.
So Josh tells me what to look for in a piercest (is that the word?) and I go on to yelp, and find a place really close to my hotel. They have lots of good reviews, so I call them up. "I want to get my nose pierced, but I'm really chicken, and sixteen years ago I got my eyebrows waxed and fainted and woke up in an ambulance, so I'm totally scared," I say. The girl is super-sweet and tells me to come in and check it out, and she'll explain the process to me, and then I can decide.
Along the way, I listen to the punk rock station, which is playing Avenged Sevenfold, and is totally pumping me up. I'm gonna do this thing, I think. I really am. I'm gonna get my nose pierced. I'm sick of walking around thinking how I really want to get a nose piercing, and not doing it. My lameness is literally driving me crazy. Either do it, or stop saying you want to do it, say I. Either way, make up your mind.
I park the car, walk in, and a big tattoo'd guy asks me if I'm lost, cuz I look like I could be. "I want to get my nose pierced," I say. "But I'm chicken." He responds by telling me that he's chicken too, and rings a buzzer, and within two minutes, a sweet twentysomething girl comes bouncing up the steps. "Oh, I talked to you before! It'll be fine. We'll take good care of you."
I go downstairs where the girls' cousin is hanging out as well, and they tell me that they'll let me lay down so I don't faint, they get me water, and she explains the piercing process to me. First off, they put a little doohicky (technical term) behind your nose so that the needle doesn't go through into more skin if it slips. Then they insert a hollow needle. Then they put the jewelry through that, and bend it up against the inside of your nostril. All told, the process will take less than 2 minutes, I'm told. Probably less than a minute. I agree, pick out my jewelry, and lay my head down.
The doohicky is placed inside my nostril.
Then the needles come out. She places them all right by my head so she won't even have to reach for them, thus shaving off an additional ten seconds. She tells me to take a deep breath, which I do. I ask if there's some drugs she can give me, and there aren't, of course, but the reason she gave me as to why I wouldn't want to be on drugs was really great. "You're participating in an ancient ritual," she says. "People have been doing this for thousands of years. You want to be present. It's special."
She's right, of course, and I'm glad to have it pointed out to me. So I take the breath, and as she inserts the needle she tells me to let it out. My eyes watered a bit, but seriously, it wasn't really any worse than getting blood drawn. I sat up, drank some water, she cleaned it a lot, told me what to do to take care of it, gives me her cell number in case I have problems. I sit for another five minutes or so, until I realize that I'm not going to pass out, go upstairs and hand them $50, and ten minutes later I was at Trader Joe's buying an Odwalla juice.
Now it's almost a week later, and I can't even feel it. Every once in a while I brush against it, or accidentally go over it when I'm washing my face, and I feel icky for a second, but that's it. I'm so glad I finally did it, and I know that I was waiting to find the perfect place and the perfect person to do it, and I had the perfect experience.
And now, without further ado, here are the pictures. So awesome. I'm in love with my nose piercing.