I have a friend whose major criticism towards me is always that I’m just not spontaneous enough.
And I’ll be the first to admit that is absolutely true. I like planning, I like being organised, I like detailed itineraries and a set course of action. I like doing research and having a back up plan and always knowing what is what and when it is.
And this anal obsessive controlling behaviour drives my friend absolutely mad.
It used to bother me, but nowadays I don’t really care. I did try and tone it down a bit so that when other people are involved I don’t get quite so obsessive, or at least not openly so. But when I’m left to my own devices I like to know what’s going to happen. I don’t like being spontaneous.
But this friend is coming home again in a week, and we haven’t seen each other in a while. I had this urge to try and do something that would impress her. Something that would prove I can be spontaneous when I want to be.
So I drove into town today to get my ear pierced.
I’ve actually been meaning to get this done for a while, but was planning to wait until next year before university, so I could go to a place that I know is good, clean, safe and reliable.
(The place in question, for those interested, is Polymorph in Newtown, Sydney. They pierced my nose two years ago and the whole thing went off without a hitch. Very professional, very helpful, very good service. I highly recommend.)
But fuck the plan! I was being spontaneous. So without thinking about it too much I put last weeks pay into my wallet and drove into town. I hadn’t told anybody, I hadn’t even fully decided where to go or how to go about this. All I knew was I was determined to just do it.
Side note: my ears are pierced already. In fact, the lobes of each ear have been pierced twice. On top of my nose ring, that makes five. The part of my ear I was wanting to get pierced was the cartilage on top. Anyway…
I drove around, feeling pretty good, until I found what I was looking for. “Tattoos and Piercing Services” the sign boasted. “Professional, friendly service.” Sounded good.
The shop was small, and a bit out of the way, but being so fucking spontaneous as I am, I powered on in. Suddenly feeling a wee bit more nervous then I had up until then.
The insides of the shop did not inspire confidence. The walls were papered with tattoo designs and suggestions, and while I love a living canvas as much as the next inked up person, well, it would seem the theme of the day was chauvinism at its glorious finest. Big boobed mini skirted shirtless images of pouting women folk stared down blankly from the walls. Dragons and dice ringed with fire and vague, non-descript symbols were dotted in between. Next to these were the occasional glittery butterfly.
I stood my ground and waited for someone to appear, trying not to look at anything too closely in fear of contracting an eye STD.
Finally a man appeared. He greeted the customer behind me with a friendly air and invited him out back.
A woman entered the shop and we both continued to wait.
I could see employees hanging around on the other side, but they ignored us. Finally, after a long wait, the man re-appeared, and stood there, looking at me. A moment passed.
“You want something?” he said at last.
I really should have backed out by now. The alarm bells were ringing loud and clear “GETOUTOFTHISPLACEANDNEVERRETURN!”
And I ignored them.
“Yes,” I said. “I want to get my ear pierced.” Was there a chance I could get in that day?
“Yeah”, he said. And then turned to the woman behind me.
“What do you want?”
Right. That was weird. The woman was from Melbourne and wanted three red stars tattooed on her wrist, and some touch up work on her back.
Turns out they don’t do touch ups.
“It’s just some purple ink,” she said, “It’s faded a little that’s all.”
The answer was a firm no. And as for the stars, she had to be more specific.
After dismissing the poor woman behind me, who’s confused face mirrored my own, he turned back and said “come back in an hour.”
We both left the building.
“That was a bit shit,” the woman said to me.
“Agreed,” I said. And we went our separate ways.
I returned in a hour.
Half an hour ticked by, and the nerves were back. At last, someone came out and after going through the whole stupid routine again, agreed to pierce my ear.
Now let it be clear I was having serious doubts this whole way through, but my desire to be spontaneous was forcing me to ignore the signs. I had to do this. I would do this.
We agreed on a fee.
A very large man who called me “girly” wheeled a bench from the lobby into the middle of the shop, and told me to lie down. He gave me a mirror and pulled out a texta to draw a dot on my ear. I stared at his hands. He hadn’t touched the bottle of disinfectant sitting nearby. His hands were bare, and heavily tattooed. Still, I was determined to go ahead. No turning back, I thought. We’re going to do this.
Then I saw the gun, and this is when I drew the line.
“Woah there, hang on,” I sat up quickly and jerked away from this guy, staring at the contraption in his hand. “You pierce with a gun?”
“Yeah,” he said. “What’s the problem?”
Here’s the problem. Piercing with a gun is an huge no. I do not do it. It’s not safe, it’s not clean, it can cause serious damage and even so, this was cartilage we were talking about. I can almost overlook piercing your lobes with a gun, that’s borderline acceptable, but there was no fucking way in hell I was going to let this guy shoot me in the ear.
The misogynistic crap lining the walls, the horrible customer service and the blatant rudeness, fuck me even the shitty hygiene measures, that I could all turn something of a blind eye to. But not this.
“Sorry,” I said, “I’m not okay with the gun.”
They tried to talk me into it of course. The gun is perfectly safe on an ear, they said. You don’t know what you’re talking about girly, we’re professionals. We know what we’re doing. This is completely safe.
Ah, but what they didn’t know is that this girly is also the worlds biggest obsessive freak when it comes to research and detail. I have five piercings in my face. I have done nominal reading on this subject, talked to experts, experienced it first hand.
Piercings guns are not okay. I got my shit and got the fuck out of there.
So, ladies and gentlemen, fuck being spontaneous. I’ll stick to my anal ways.