May 29, 2002


I got brave or stupid yesterday and stopped on the way home from work to get my
navel pierced. It's always amusing to go to the piercing place, just to look at
the people working there. The girl at the desk had a 2" barbell across her lower
abdomen on either side, low enough that they'd only be visible above the hippest
of hip huggers. The little kilt riding on her hips complimented it nicely, as I
told her, since it was held together by large safety pins on either side. This is,
of course, in addition to the inch-across grommets in her ears and various other
metal in her face. The guy doing the actual piercing was even wilder, with huge
holes in both lobes and heavy earrings that swung them as he moved his head, fangs
hanging from his upper lip, and a hairstyle that somehow made me think of a gangly
half-grown rooster. Nice people -- very patient with all my questions. And it's
one of the best piercing studios in town, where they sterilize everything in an
autoclave. They had a adjustable piercing chair sort of like an adapted dentist's
chair, that I'd love to have in my house. They gave me a packet of sea salt and
told me to soak it in warm saltwater 2-4 times a day, which requires some planning
for the logistics of my life.

Of course the experience is different
for everyone. Hardcore had told me she couldn't even feel it when hers was
pierced, but I most certainly did. Ow.Ow ow ow. But it didn't bleed at all, and it
hasn't really hurt since except when bumped. I had them put in a plain steel
curved barbell. Both ends unscrew, so I can put on a different color or a jewel,
or hang a charm on it, without removing the jewelry.

unfortunately, it was this morning. The piercer, when I told him about rowing,
said, "You might want to hold off for a few days." Yeah, right. I had thought it
wouldn't be much of a problem, since with a proper stroke the hands hit the body
at the bottom of the ribs. I hadn't bargained on the fact that hands are lowered
at the finish to get the oar blades out of the water, a motion just perfect for
ripping out the barbell. I also forgot how much height can vary when the set's
off, and it was this mooring. I spent the practice trying to finish a couple of
inches out from my body instead, but did bump it a couple of times. The short bra
top didn't help either, but putting my T-shirt back on made things a little
better. I have some square waterproof band-aids, and will try wearing one of those
next time. Egret tells me she used a gauze eyepatch when hers was new. She also
tells me she had trouble with the erg -- I haven't tried that yet -- and that it
got sore and oozy if she didn't soak it after practice. Unfortunately, she didn't
tell me those details before I got mine done.

I did the salt-
water soak last night, first thing this morning, and again at the gym after
practice. I also brought my salt packet to work and will soak again in the ladies
room this afternoon. I managed to forget it in my car and had to go get it later -
- there's nothing like the feeling of walking into an office building in an
industry highly concerned with security, with an unmarked baggie full of white

This is another thing, like leasing the Civic, that I'm not
sure was a good decision. I can wear band-aids for a bit, but if rowing is an
issue after the six-month healing period (yes, I know it's really 6-12 months)
I'll have to consider getting rid of it. Rudder thinks the whole idea is silly,
and I don't entirely disagree, though I do like the way it looks. And I like to do
things that scare me sometimes. The nice things about piercings is that they're
removable. Unless, of course, you have huge hanging holes in your earlobes.

Posted by dichroic at May 29, 2002 11:47 AM
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