Tuesday, July 11, 2006

piercings and tattoos

When I was a young girl - I think I was in the 4th grade - my mom decided to allow me to pierce my ears. I was thrilled and somewhat scared. My mom was always very strict w/ me - she was the disciplinarian in my family - and didn't allow me to do a lot of what the other girls were doing, especially when it came to things to do w/ my body.... i.e. getting my ears pierced - but... for some reason, maybe because of my older sister's urging and my constant asking, she decided I could do it.

My older sister, it was decided, would be the one to do it! Yeah, you may not believe it, but... my sister made little black dots on my earlobes w/ a felt-tipped pen - where I wanted the piercing to be - and that afternoon I was to go to my sister's house and she would pierce not only my ears, but also my niece's ears.

I was so excited. I can remember running to my cousin's house up the street to show her my earlobes w/ the black dots on them. I went home w/ my sister that day and that afternoon we got out the ice and started freezing one of my earlobs. In thinking back... I think I was more excited than afraid... but now... I can't imagine doing such a thing! But anyhow... I can remember sitting w/ the ice on my ear and hoping it would freeze. I mean, how do you know if you're freezing your earlobe? I guess it gets tingly, but I don't remember that happening. I can remember my sister taking a large pin and as I sat very still, she stuck it through my ear.

One ear was finished. I ran into the bathroom and looked... and low and behold, the pin was sticking clean through my ear! I could hardly believe it. It wasn't hurting at all. I was thrilled. She took the pin out and put an earring in. Then... as I sat freezing the other ear, she pierced one of my niece's ears.

Soon, the ear piercing was finished and I had nice little earrings in both my ears. I still have pierced ears today - only one hole in each - altho I've thought about getting more .... I've really thought about getting a few on the top of my ear, I've always liked them there and I've thought about getting one on the inside of the ear - don't know what that part is called - but I asked one girl who had it done and she said it hurt a lot.... AND I HATE pain!!! so... didn't do it.

I've also thought about piercing my nose. When I see girls who have their noses pierced... I always like it, but I can't imagine it. I wonder what that would be like... but I like the way it looks. I've also thought about piercing my naval, but I'm past that stage now, so I guess I'll stick w/ my one little earlobe piercing! ;)

My next favorite things are tattoos! I have three of them. The first one I got was about 8 years ago. I got it on my left ankle and it's a really cool looking cat head w/ eyes, ears, whiskers, nose and mouth. It's beautiful and I'm really glad I got it. It didn't hurt at all really... maybe a little irritating, but I only had to look away and focus my thoughts on something else and, before I knew it, it was done. I got my second tattoo about a year after that. I went with a girlfriend that I worked w/ and this guy who worked w/ us - who wanted a christian symbol on his shoulder - and decided to go ahead and get another tattoo on my right hip area. I saw one on this girl and really liked it there, so I decided to do it.

This time, it hurt like hell! It took forever to do. It's a weird looking tattoo - very unusual. I can't explain what it looks like but it's sorta like spikes that go in a circular pattern and it kinda resembles a flower ... in a way but not really. It's blue, green and yellow. I was probably leaning over in this guy's chair for about 45 minutes while he gave me this tattoo. At first it wasn't too bad but as he started really getting into it, it started feeling like I was being slowly cut open w/ a razorblade! And I mean slowly. Sweat dripped off of me because of the pain. It's weird how you sit and endure such pain.... all for a tattoo. and... here I hate pain! go figure.

Come to find out, they hurt more when you get them in fatty areas, and since this is a fatty area for most women, it can be one of the most painful areas. Even though, I love it and it looks really cool. Altho, some of the sides of the pattern bled... so it's not real crisp, which pisses me off, but... it still looks nice.

My third tattoo I did right before coming to Bahrain. It's a big butterfly on my lower back. This tattoo took about 45 mins. to an hour to finish, maybe a little longer. It has a lot of colors in it and it's very detailed. And... I'll tell ya, this tattoo caused me the worst pain of all of them. I didn't think she'd ever finish it and I had to bend forward in a chair while she did it... which wasn't real comfortable and then w/ the pain... it was a bad experience. But the butterfly is beautiful and I'm glad I did it. When I bend forward, the tattoo gets really big... which is really cool. But when I stand up, it's normal size.

The girl who did this one was such an artist, which I think is really important when you're getting a tattoo. The guy who did my first tattoo - the cat - was a really good artist as well. I think that most tattoo artists are exceptional at drawing... if they're not, then you don't want them. The guy who did my 2nd tattoo.. looking back, I don't think he was that great.

There's a girl that I know that does tattoos here in Bahrain. My SIL got one from her, but honestly, it's not very good. She got a rose on her left shoulder blade... the lines aren't crisp and the colors aren't bright and beautiful like they should be. Personally, I don't think she's an artist, but she thinks she is. She has tried many times to talk me into getting eyebrow tattoos! I'd never have those things. I know girls that do it here, but... to me, what happens when the style changes and here you have these dark ass tattoos on your eyebrows. Just not worth it.

There are no tattoo parlors in Bahrain. Too religious of a country to have them, I'm assuming. My BIL went to Thailand and got an armband tat. It's really cool looking. My husband has talked about getting one... maybe on our next trip to the U.S. I want a couple more... I saw a really nice one around someone's toe. It was really cute but one guy told me that they come off because of wearing shoes.

The one thing about piercings though... women here pierce their daughter's ears when they're infants. I see women doing this all over really, but I don't agree w/ it. A girl I work w/... she pierced her daughters ears when she was a baby. My friend Cynthia pierced her daughter's ears when she was little... but I just don't know if I'd do it. One... I think that it should be my daughter's decision and not my decision. What if they didn't want their ears pierced?! I may be oldfashioned in a sense... but I just wouldn't do it.


Olivia said...

I was the same age when my mother got my ears pierced. It was at this sho where the machine looked like a staple gun. The earrrings were little gold dots, and for a few days after my ear lobes ached.

I've never wanted more piercings, and never wanted a tattoo, though one of my guy friends at uni used to tease me about getting a little red rose on my hip!

I think a nostril piercing would be torture. Once it was in I'd probably be wiggling and picking. And then, when you catch a cold, and you have to take it out, there is still a hole left!!!

Your hubby must be one liberated Bahraini to marry a western girl with tattoos, and to want one himself!
Do your in-laws know any of this?

My friend's ex got himself some good tattoos in Thailand - he pretty much has all the chakras in place! Funny, when we were uni roommates she always said she'd never go out with a tatooed guy...

Olivia said...

Knew I forgot something. I have cousins who pierced their daughters' ears while they were babies - but they married wives who were more traditionally Indian than our family. (They are from Guyana.)

Even poor Indians in India manage to put gold on their babies. I am sure you see childhood gold in Bahrain too?
The tradition is a tiny cherry cluster in the ear, and a tiny gold bangle, but we never went in for it.

My gran had a gold bangle made for me when I was born, very fine craftsmanship like that has died out in Guyana.

I was so tiny I couldn't wear it till I was 12! I still wear it from time to time now, but I don't like gold. It's getting tighter - at one time I used to be able to slip it over my elbow!

My mother has a pair she has been wearing since she was a teenager, and they have such a fine tinkle I always know where in the house she is. Coincidentally, my landlady who is white English, got a similar pair also in Guyana and I hate that she jingles like my mother, but her daughter also tells her she can hear her coming.

Sorry I sort of wrote a new post...

Munther said...

Hello tooner..

Pricings have never been my cup of tea, but I’ve always wanted to have a tattoo when I was a student !! I remember summing up all my courage at the end of a night out (cold and wet Scottish weather) with my mates just to chicken out and run away at the steps of the tattoo parlor like the wimp that I am !! But I can always blame it on my society and started this moto when ever my mates picked on me (my body is a temple, I will NEVER temper with it) !! ;)

Olivia said...

Um...my long posts were just the first sign that I would feel very bored today...waiting for various things so I can go out later...

The Moody Minstrel said...

In my early college days a number of my (male) friends got an ear pierced. I was tempted to do it, too, but I never followed through. To this day I still wonder why I didn't...though now wouldn't be a good time to have one. Japan is rather less forgiving of such things. If a 4th grade girl got her ears pierced she'd probably get sent to a juvenile reformatory!

Tattoos...those definitely take courage. Tooners, I respect you for enduring three of them. I knew a woman in college who had two put in (both including her and her boyfriend's names) and later had one modified and one removed (because they included her ex-boyfriend's name). She said the removal was far more painful than the installation.


Olivia, your long comments are actually entertaining! Sometimes boredom can be a good source of inspiration.

saba said...

I got my ears pierced when i was just a few days old..wierd i know lol..as for tattoos...i always wanted one, but im too chicken to get one, and i know my parents wont be cool about it.but i might get one on my hip..its a really intimate place to get one ;)..i had an eyebrow piercing for a couple of months, but then my mum found out, told my dad, and i had to take it out..i still dont see whats the big deal, its just a piercing :S...but oh well i guess its a social thing..i miss it :(

tooners said...

olivia, i don't remember my earlobes aching, but i sometimes have probs w/ them swelling if i wear really cheap stuff. but as i get older, i have less probs w/ them.

yeah, my in-laws know i have tattoos. at first i was very afraid to let them know, but when my SIL saw them, she immediately wanted one. after she got the one on her shoulder blade, i felt comfortable and unafraid. i think i was the inspiration behind my SIL getting hers. my BIL... well, i'm sorta shocked he got one. i thought he was more like what munther describes - the body being a holy temple, so i was really sorta shocked when he got it. but it looks good on his arm.

my husband is very liberated. now... mind you, he hasn't gotten a tattoo yet... not sure if he will.. but he has talked about doing it. the proof will be in the pudding.

the thing w/ nose piercings... yeah, i thought the same thing - what if i get a cold and such. i think it would really bug me. i'd prob want to twist it all the time or even pick at it.. which wouldn't be good.

and yeah, gold jewelry for kids is big here. i see it all the time. i'm not into gold either, but i love your story about your gold bangle. i think it's really sweet that you still have it and still wear it. i'm sure it feels you w/ such loving memories. i have a gold ring, the first my mother gave to me when i was little, that i wear sometimes.

btw olivia, i love your long comments. keep them coming! :) oh yeah, i was gonna tell ya... one thing about jewelry here... did you know that men are ONLY supposed to wear a certain type of jewelry... either gold or silver. my husband was wearing a silver chain around his neck and his father insisted that he take it off.. i think because it was silver. now.. his father doesn't insist, but... i can't remember the reason behind it and my husband's not here to tell me. i know guys wear silver bands for marriage and females wear gold. i, although, wear platinum... i'm not into gold jewelry... i prefer silver myself.

munther, well.. my brother feels the same way about tattoos and i remember when i got mine, he said that it was a sin for me to have them. so... what did i do, the rebel that i am, i went out and got another one. ;) i've wondered about it, to be truthful - the whole religious part of it - but i try to let it go. i will tell ya, getting a tattoo does hurt. i wanted one for years before i actually got up the nerve to do it. and i thought it hurt until i got the 2nd one. for some reason, if you ever decide to do it, i've heard that calf tattoos don't hurt as much... and the ones on the shoulders don't hurt as much. a girlfriend of mine, miss bees knees, has some really cool tattoos... she has a nice one on her shoulder. yeah, i'm not really into piercings either. i can remember this girl that worked at this restaurant in dallas... she had so many piercings it was sorta frightening to look at her. once i was at this hotel where they were having some type of tattoo/piercing convention... and i've never seen such holes in my life!

moody, my husband got one ear pierced when we were in the states. he wore it all the time there, but when we moved here, he took it out. it's still there... we've tried it a couple of times.. but no one knows. you dont see many male bahrainis wearing earrings - actually i'm not sure if i've seen anyone wearing one. i see only a few w/ tattoos.

i think it's a good thing that girls don't get piercings and such there in japan. i'm not into doing this to children but most do it here. so... do older girls get their ears pierced? what is the normal age for such there?

tooners said...

hi saba! i've so missed your comments. i've heard that the piercing thru the eyebrow hurts... did it hurt you? yeah, i think that a tattoo on your hip would be cool... no one would know it except for you and your significant other. and.. if you wear bikinis and such. i like tattoos... but they hurt like hell when you're getting them, but it's over soon enough.

i think mothers and fathers, especially here, get more worked up over such. but hey... they prob do in the states too. i look at piercings and tattoos as a personal choice and a way to express your individual freedom... there's something very liberating about getting a tattoo... i'm not sure what, but it really sorta sets you free in a way. plus, it's a great conversation starter. for instance, i went to the salon yesterday and the girl who did my hair has a tattoo on her lower back, in the same place as me, and when she saw the one on my ankle she showed me hers. then we talked about how much it hurt and when she got them and all that. it creates this unusual bond cuz you know the pain they went thru to get it - as odd as that may sound.

Olivia said...

Moody - thanks :)

I thnk it is just plain silly when boyfriends and girlfriends tattoo in each other's names. They're just asking for trouble later on!

Saba - I remember when eyebrow peircings came out, after extra-ear ones and nose - it seemed so shocking at the time, and now it's so passe no one takes a second look!

Tooners - hey Tooners, why are you called Tooners?

YOu reminded me that my mother's piercing closed up repeatedly when she was younger, so she gave up and wore clip-ons and put her original gold earrings away.

Then for her 60th b-day her sister DRAGGED her off to the mall for a new piercing and some cute crytal earrings with silver posts, and now it's fine. She goes on earring buying sprees now :)

I don't get it - about your hubby - is he not allowed to mix the metals at one time? Or does he have to stick to one all the time?

vampyregirl said...

I got my ears pierced I blieve when I was 12....in the middle of JC Pennys. With one of those staple gun looking things. All I can remember is the crunch sound it made in my ear, and the sickness I felt after hearing that noise!

tooners said...

olivia, well, i decided to go w/ tooners cuz my husband calls me toon all the time or tooners. why, i don't know. his friend, hussain, started it and it just stuck. everyone has nicknames here... i've never had one until now. the reason i took it to this blog is because i didn't want anyone knowing who i was... because of where i work mainly and prob because i might write something that would piss ppl off - which i tend to do - so i thought it best to be somewhat anonymous... altho, there are several ppl, friends of my husbands and such, that know me but i'm not sure if they read this blog. anyway... sorta of a weird answer for your question, but that's why. w/ respect to the jewelry my husband wears.. well, his father insisted that he take the silver off, i'm not sure why.. i think cuz guys aren't supposed to wear silver around their necks for some weird reason.. i'll have to find out more on this or get my husband to leave a post here about it... but, the hubby doesn't do it any more. if he wants to wear silver, he does it and his father says nothing now. not sure why there's been a change... but it's better, i think.

it's sweet that your mom went out and got her ears pierced at 60! that's fabulous. my mom goes on earring shopping sprees too. she LOVES to buy earrings. i think if she could wear three or four pair at a time she would! ;) ;)

vampyregirl, oooohhhh, i think that sound would make me ill too. i didn't hear anything like that when my sister did mine, but when my husband got his pierced, i heard that same noise. they did his w/ this gun looking thing as well. it put the earring in at the same time. to me, it sounds like it would hurt but he said it didn't.

Alfanan said...

Men here are looked down upon for wearing gold. I used to wear an earring when I was in college (remember toooners?). I loved it. But since we started living in Bahrain, I stopped wearing it. I agree with you Munther, I blame the society here for judging such thing. I think wearing tattoos and body piercing is a form of art, and one should be entitled to do whatever they want to their body (not that I would pierce my nose or lips or… anything else).

I’ve thought about getting a tattoo…. I have a birthmark on my right arm that looks like a grape vine. I thought about drawing flames coming out of it, or somehow, magically, turn it into a musical note. After many years, I’m still thinking about it, and I probably will only think about it, and never get it done.

Keda, this may be a bit late… but I do apologize for my horrible comments on the earlier post. Hope to see more of you here.

tooners said...

hmmmm... Alfanan, then why did your father not want you wearing the silver necklace and insist that you take it off? I thought it was siler, not gold!!!???

Alfanan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
tooners said...

well then, i think you should start wearing one because you want to wear it...

all along i thought it was because you couldn't wear silver, and here it's about gold.

TechZ said...

I was never interested in getting a tattoo or a piercing, not my thing I guess :D

Olivia said...

Alfanan - hm, I see. I can see how gold can be considered the "feminine" metal.

Tooners, go ahead and laugh at me. While I was trying to imagine why you were called Tooners I thought, "She is from Saskatoon...wait, that's in Canada..." So I had to ask ;)

Puppy said...

Its common in my country that parents pierce the eirs of their baby girls. Generally its done before they 1 year old.

My mom didn’t pierce our ears (mine and my siss), saying that “she doesn’t have guts to do it, when we will grow up, whether we decide we will do it on our own” Which I really appreciate. My sis pierced them when she was on 8th grade, I didn’t. I was afraid of any piercing and injections, and I cant stand any pain. I thought if I can live peacefully without having them why I should do it? Beside I saw how my sis ears were pierced with sewing needle (specially cleaned), with initial freezing of an ear, which wasn’t that something I want to do.

I am proud to say that on my age of 24 I don’t have any pierce on my ears. Several times I was bribed by mom saying that she will buy me nice and expensive earrings if I pierce them, my female colleagues from work were saying “Look at you a City Girl, who doesn’t have an ears pierced” (meaning its absence of style, not to have earrings, something that kind, don’t know how to translate the sense).
Relating tattoo wanted to have one, but again will never do it, since I cant stand the pain, plus I am not a big FAN of that type of art. Will do it when I will really really want it. But I used to have a holiday tattoo which was a Chinese or Japanese Letter/sign which meant “INTELLEGENCE” which I thought was cool and the other one meant Death, but I had them in different years.

As for golden jewelries women wear them a lot on weddings here, especially when they are approximately or close to 40. Their husbands are trying to show everyone that he is so rich and successful that he covers her wife with gold, rings, earrings, necklaces, braslets. Lots of gold. Younger generation doesn’t wear much, but still u can find some big Fan of gold, luckily they don’t wear them on day to day.
I personally prefer silver, I wear without taking out a silver ring, which my mom bought me as a bday present when I was on 8th grade, to be honest its cheap maybe 6$ or something, but very dear to me and its my lucky ring :)

To sum up, eastern people like a lot of gold jewelries and not much of piercing and tattoo.

Sorry for writing it long, it’s the end of working day, hot outside, lazy to go home.



Leilouta said...

Wow!! You guys are awesome with the comments.
Wise choice with choosing your blog's name. If I could go back I would definitely change mine, even though it is a nickname,people can recognize it.Nobody at work knows about my blog and I almost had a heart attack when my manager once in a meeting asked me to search some Arabic blogs :)

I pierced my ears at 12 years old and that was very exciting for me too. I will never forget it. It is very common in Tunisia for babies to have pierced ears, necklaces, bracelets, and rings...kind of weird for babies.We are obsessed with 24 karat gold. Some travel to Egypt to buy it since it is cheaper.

Christopher said...

Pierce away sweetie! I'm a slave to the needle and love the jewelery one acquires after the pain!

tooners said...

hey puppy, yeah, ppl load up on the gold here too. 24k is VERY popular. we have a Gold Souq here where you can buy anything and everything imagineable in gold... it's very popular, but i hate gold. it's given a lot at weddings, altho i think more and more women are starting to go w/ white gold - or from what i've seen. but, you do see tons of little girls and babies w/ bangles, earrings and such. bigger girls wear tons of jewelry. but... in what you were saying about weddings and men showing off... yes, that if very popular here as well. women tend to get tons of jewelry at their weddings. but i would say that they most ppl go out of their way to show off at their weddings.. i guess it's a custom or such. it's not for me though.

olivia, you're funny. nope, i'm from little ole madison, indiana. but... i like your thought patterns! ;)

leilouta, yeah, i know what you mean about fearing that someone from work would find out about your blog. i fear the same. that is why i stay anonymous. when and if i leave this job, i'll prob go to my real name.

christopher!!! wow... thanks for stopping by my blog! i love your piercings... and i love your blog.