There’s a Hole in My Ear

On December 5, six weeks will have passed since I had my left ear pierced. After that date, according to the piercing-person, it will be safe for me to remove the surgical steel stud she placed in my ear and replace it with something else: I’m thinking of another stud, perhaps, or a small hoop. Whatever I decide, I’m confident the replacement will be low-key; something subtle. My wife pointed out last night that a ‘small’ hoop may be impossible, inasmuch as the hole is a bit high on my ear; if I want a hoop, I may have to sacrifice my interest in the unostentatious.

The idea of seeking out a piece of jewelry that won’t draw attention seems a little odd. Jewelry is, after all, an attention-grabber. Didn’t I get my ear pierced to draw attention to myself? No. That wasn’t it; at least I don’t think that was it. The thing is, I can’t adequately articulate my reason without writing an essay on self-image, something I’m not prepared to do at the moment. Suffice it to say my rationale for adding a piece of jewelry to my ear has more to do with how I see myself than how others see me. Yet I know that’s not entirely true. Somewhere in the recesses of my psyche I am making a statement to the world with my display of ear-jewelry: “Look at me (but not too closely), I am not the conservative stick-in-the-mud you might otherwise assume me to be.” Maybe that’s what I’m saying. Or maybe that statement is directed inward.

Perhaps I associate jewelry with creativity; perhaps I look at jewelry as an expression of the creative nature of the wearer. The only jewelry I have ever worn has been my wedding ring, except for my wrist watch (which I don’t necessarily consider jewelry).

This morning, I am trying to name other males I know who wear ear jewelry; only one name comes to mind and I know him only in passing. I’d like to ask other guys why they chose to have their ears pierced; maybe their answers, if they were willing to respond, would be me clues to my rationale. Yet, the more I contemplate this matter, I come to the conclusion that my reasons don’t really matter much; I wanted to do it and finally, with some encouragement, I got it done. I’m glad I did. So that’s it. But still, I wish I could properly understand and articulate the reasons.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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