Of course, once I told the piercing artist that I wanted that flap-thingy-in-the-middle-of-my-ear pierced, she informed me that it was called a tragus. I immediately felt as flushed and silly as the last junior-high girl picked for the dodgeball team, and humbly followed her into the studio, trying not to wonder too hard about how much her multiple arm piercings hurt.
As someone who has had one cartilege and five earlobe piercings, I mistakenly thought that a tragus piercing wouldn't hurt any worse. What I didn't realize then is that your tragus isn't part of your ear, it's part of your face.
I'll spare you the details. The important things to know are:
- they don't use a gun and a small stud, like at Claire's Boutique when I was 11,
- if you choose 14-gauge, and the piercing artist says that's an "effin' bad-@$$ idea," and that she's never seen that gauge in a tragus before--these are signs that it will likely hurt a lot (and is thus a bad idea),
- they don't poke a needle through your flesh--it's more like an apple corer with a razor-sharp edge, and
- if you're going with a potential piercing buddy, and you're trying to encourage them that it doesn't really hurt that bad, the only way you can contain the raw reaction to that level of pain without emitting a 50-db scream is to kick your feet against the wall, HARD.
It is at this juncture that, if my parents read my blog, my father would have to comment, "Why on earth do you get holes poked in your body, anyway?" To which I have no completely rational answer, except the inevitably-juvenile but-admittedly-true, "Because it looks cool." Translated into adult-speak, that's, "Because I am extremely vain."
It's also an odd way to attempt to both break out of the frumpy-librarian stereotype and to retain my youth (as if I'm not already routinely mistaken for being a decade younger than I actually am). And perhaps to get more street-cred with the geeky/goth/comicfan-crowd.