Thursday, November 10, 2011


Older Daughter got her ears pierced this week!

This was a treat that was supposed to wait until her 16th birthday. We're a few weeks short of that. But the grandparents are still in town, and our friend GG was with us for a week, so we decided to give her her birthday present early so everyone could watch.

We offered to pierce her ears the biblical way -- standing her at a doorpost and punching her lobes with an awl -- but she would have none of that. So instead we went into Coeur d'Alene, to a place called Claire's. This store is unabashedly dedicated to a single purpose: selling bling.

And let me tell you, it sells bling.

I was probably more nervous about this procedure than Older Daughter was. I guess that's a mom's prerogative. (And yes, I have my ears pierced too.)


Here are the options for studs. Older Daughter chose stainless steel 4 mm rounds (right hand column, fourth from the top).

Here's the sterilized piercer...

...and the sterilized earrings.

The woman who did the piercing did a careful and clean job. Here she's sterilizing Older Daughter's lobes.

Next she made a tiny dot on each lobe with a removable marker, to mark where the lobes would be pierced.

She looked carefully to make sure the dots were even on both sides...

...and then made sure Older Daughter was satisfied about the location and evenness.

Then came the big moment. PINCH!

Ta da!

Examining the results. Lovely!

Older Daughter was shown how to keep the piercings clean, how to twirl the earring for the first few days, etc.

Then came the fun part: choosing a few blings for when she can wear them (toward the end of the year).

As Older Daughter puts it, having pierced ears opens up a whole new opportunity for jewelry! (I remember thinking the exact same thing when I got my ears pierced when I was 20). What a fun time in one's life.

She went home with a tidy ear cleaning package.

However went I went to pay for everything, it turns out Grandpa quietly paid for everything behind our backs, the sneak. (Ah, the privilege of being a grandparent.)

On the way out of the mall, we passed a clean, wholesome-looking store that offered additional piercing services. Well darn. We could have gone there.

Older Daughter has been meticulous in caring for her newly pierced ears. The earrings make her look more mature, in my opinion. My baby is growing up!


  1. I just barely remember getting my ears pierced at the WalMart jewelry counter when I was about 13. I had garnet colored piercing studs put in. Garnet is my mother's birthstone. I may still have them somewhere(26years later).

  2. What chapter and verse tells us the "Biblical" way to be pierced? Somehow I thought piercing and tattos were a no no?

  3. Aww, what a nice gift and the whole family involved is a bonus!! I remember when our Daughters had their ears pierced I was a nervous wreak!! I thiught they needed to be in a hospital setting, silly me. Your Daughters hair is gorgeous!!!!!

  4. Anon 7:45, it's Exodus 21:5-6:
    “But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’ then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.

    - Patrice

  5. I guess it's a mom's job to be nervous about these things. I was right there checking out the sterility of the piercing equipment, too. Since some ladies in my family have had problems with metal allergies from earrings that aren't good quality gold, I was very careful that my daughter only wore 14K or higher posts.

  6. Congrats on going through one of life's interesting milestones. It's a bit late now, but for what it's worth - those "wholesome looking stores" you refer to (Piercing parlor / shop / etc.) are generally more sanitary places to get a piercing done. And piercings done in that way heal faster.

    Of course I can't speak for that particular shop :-) I enjoy reading your blog, keep up the good work!

  7. My Mom refused to allow me to have my ears pierced.My Grandpa was the one that won the argument for me.He gave me a gift certificate to have my ears pierced for Christmas.No one dared to tell Grandpa no.Once she realized she had lost the battle,she bought me a nice pair of earrings.

  8. Patrice, like you, I didn't get my ears pierced until I was 20! My dad wouldn't allow any of us to get our ears pierced while we lived under his roof. As he said "You don't need another hole in your head!" LOL! Funny that I am 55, I rarely wear earrings of any kind. Got out of the habit when I had a house full of kids and never got back into the habit. Might have to look and see what I have in the old jewelry box...

  9. My first holes in my ears were done in the bathroom at school. Ahhh... the things we did when we were young.

  10. I really regret that I ever had my ears pierced when I was 18. Especially after reading
    Isaiah 3:16-23. I no longer wear jewelry. I also no longer wear pants, only skirts and dresses. See Deuteronomy 22:5.

  11. Hi Patrice, a different Anonymous here. When I was 16 I pierced my own ears, using a sterilized needle and ice cubes. Forty years ago all the girls in my high school were doing this! But the piecings never healed right and I let them close. Turns out I had a nickel allergy. When I was 21 I had my ears pierced professionally and now make sure that earrings are nickel-free.

  12. My dad grew up in Latin America where girls have their ears pierced after birth in the hospital. My mom held him off until I was five. I remember the experience really well. I picked out blue stone studs, and I got to hold a big giant teddy bear. Since I was so young, they got infected I love earrings and jewelry...especially since I never have to try them on.

    And to Anonymous 9:09-- If you regret getting your ears pierced, remember we'll get a new body in heaven!

  13. I got mine done in the exact same way right before I turned thirteen (in the same store in our local mall, in fact!) I got the ruby birthstone studs since July was my birth month! I think I just recently threw them away though.


  14. Gerald is right, those body piercing shops (at least in states that regulate & license them, like Oregon) are cleaner & safer than earring shops like Claire's, and they give much better after-care instructions. (Although Claire's IS a fun place for bling!) The body piercing shops can be off-putting, of course, since their workers are likely to be heavily pierced & tattooed. But since I learned about how extensive their training is, I wouldn't recommend any other place. I doubt half the employees at Claire's even know what an autoclave is, much less how to use one.

  15. I got one ear pierced when I was in my mid-30's for my wife. I've always worn a gold hoop (47 now) which of course causes my SIL to always refer to me as a pirate.

    You do have to be careful about one thing with those piercing guns: I have thick earlobes and the lady that did mine couldn't get the gun to ratchet all the way so that it would release. My ear hurt more from the tugging and pulling trying to get the gun off than it did from the piercing.

  16. my sister did my ears when i was 16..she was 13..used ice cubes, sterile sewing needle and heavy duty thread...oooh it hurt!! i had them re done by a very good jeweler years later when i was 30 with no problems whatsoever. lesson learned...leave it to the experts.

  17. Very cool post! Our oldest just got her's pierced for her 13th. I'm sure that we'll also encounter well meaning individuals that won't hesitate to voice their disaproval. But we studied the subject as a family - both physical safety & spiritual concerns - and feel confident in our decision. Thank you for sharing.

  18. What fun! And how nice of Grandpa. :)

    My dad pierced my mom's ears and also all her sisters'. He did mine when I was 14, I think, using a sterilized needle and ice cubes. My studs were my mom's tiger's eye earrings. I ran away from him after the first one, declaring that I would let it heal and to never mind the other one. But he convinced me to let him finish. Now I rarely wear earrings, but it is fun when I do. Have to be careful about the metal, though.

  19. I always said I wanted a daughter but... this part kind of makes me glad I don't. So 2 boys, no piercings. Too dangerous on the farm and around animals. Oldest son did get tattooed while overseas. His mother cried. So the youngest will probably get one also when he leaves. Me? 27 years in the military, no piercings, no tattoos, my scars, visible or not, tell their own stories.
    Lorenzo Poe

  20. I have to chime in with Gerald and Jeanne... I got my ears pierced with a gun at a place like Claire's when I was a teen, and my holes have always been crooked. It finally got to where it took so long to put on earrings (trying to find where the hole went next), and the insides of my holes got so scratched up, I gave up.

    I'd like to have them re-pierced, but I started doing some research when our daughter was thinking about getting hers pierced. I concluded after much reading that a piercing/tattoo place was much safer than the places that use the guns, and also that the holes are better.

    The stud from the gun pushes your earlobe material out of the way, bringing the potential of crooked holes. Whenever you take the earrings out, the earlobe naturally tries to close in on the hole. Also, while the studs are sterile, the guns rarely are. You have a picture of a "sterilized piercer", so maybe this place is actually way cleaner than most.

    At a piercing/tattoo place, like others have said, the employees have a lot of training. The good ones have levels of cleanliness that approach that of a hospital. The piercing is done with a hollow needle that is shot through the earlobe, actually removing the part of the ear that will be the hole. The hole is straight, and doesn't push in on itself. Each needle is new and sterile, as are a number of other things used in the process, and whatever isn't new (I'm assuming the thing that shoots the needles) is autoclaved.

    If our daughter ever gets her ears pierced, or I ever get mine re-pierced, it will be at a place like that, as strange an experience it would be.

    My mom had hers done with a sewing needle into a piece of potato behind her earlobe. Her holes are crooked, too. She wears clip earrings because of metal issues, though.