Isaac and Dillon were little.
Like, “we love Between The Lions” kind of little, and their babysitter, Ryleigh (name changed), was one of their new favorite people.
We were just happy to finally have a babysitter so we could go on 2 hour dates.
It was important, at the time, to have these quality times alone to argue.
It was a season. If you’ve been married longer than five minutes, you know what I’m talking about.
During those days, since 30 was on the event horizon, I decided it was time to do something fun. Already had crazy, streaked hair and I wanted to get my nose pierced.
Because, of course?
Now, these were lean years for us.
$20 dates had devolved into the “pick up fast food” and sit at the park. But I was determined that there was a way to get my nose pierced for cheap.
I know. Don’t be jealous.
I’m a Proverbs 31 woman.
I did go to a local shop to talk tattoos, didn’t get one, and piercings.
The guy showed me the Big Book of Body Piercings and, frankly, I decided I wasn’t quite old enough to be in that shop. People have KA-RAZY things pierced. I was better off not knowing.
One afternoon, after coming home to discover Ryleigh had fed my 3 year old black ants, we had a nice chat about facial piercings. Since no toddlers were harmed or died from toxins found in the thorax of black ants and Dillon’s description of the crunchy, bitter taste was fascinating, it was time to talk about needles and body modification.
Ryliegh says, “I have a friend who does piercings for people. She’ll come to your house, but you need to get the jewelry.”
Heidi, who is obviously out of her mind, replies, “Really? How much?”
Ryleigh answers, “$20 bucks? I mean, whatever, it’ll be fine. She’s really nice. Her name is Summer.”
I make the arrangements and go to Claire’s. The finest purveyor of quality jewelry in town. Said no one ever.
Proverbs 31 woman, here. Proverbs. Freaking. 31.
My husband, being not as adventurous, furrowed his brow and shook his head at me. But, he didn’t express Strong Feelings against it and, I mean, better forgiveness than permission, right?
Good Friday came. Brian went to church to pray with folks. He met with Jesus.
I met with Summer.
She turned out to be a slender 19-20 year old who looked 12. But, more importantly, she had a needle and we got right into it. In the middle of my kitchen.
The boys were in my room watching PBS, learning how to be a neighbor, and I figured we wouldn’t be bothered for the few minutes it would take to get this done.
I had a full schedule for the morning.
Excitedly, I pull out my exceptionally awesome small sparkle and she got to work. First attempt? Fail. Second attempt. Hm… This isn’t going well.
Forty-five minutes later. FORTY-FIVE MINUTES. My cheap jewellery is in my horribly swollen right nostril, blood is all over my face, and Summer, who never wore gloves, is happy to get her $20.
Heidi, seriously compromising her highly favored Proverbs 31 status with language of a less than classy nature, then asks the following question, “So, Summer, where do you work?”
Just imagine my face when she named the local rundown strip club and waves her ungloved hands… The hands that had been all over my face.
In an open wound. That bled…
But hey! It’s all about the bling and, at this point, I have a rhinestone in my nose and probably syphilis so I said thanks, sent her on her way, and we headed off to the Good Friday service.
Because Jesus was going to look down on me and give me a spiritual high-five for being cool. Or heal me.
The boys and I arrived at church a few minutes late and I quietly slid into the piew on Brian’s right side. As he moved to greet me, I turned my head ever so slightly, and he saw the piercing.
Without a word, he got up and left the building.
Apparently? It was time for another $20 date.
The stupid thing never did heal right and the screw caught some HORRIFIC boogers but I was determined to get my pain, suffering, and $20 value out of it. It lasted about 3 months before I just couldn’t handle it any more.
The day I took it out, Brian said, “You can do it again, sometime, but by a professional maybe?”
That was nearly a decade ago and though I’ve considered it?
Where would I find a teenage stripper to get it done?
Because I’m still the very frugal Proverbs 31 woman.