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Always Hidden, Almost Pointless

I'll go ahead and start this like the cliché 'girl gets septum pierced' story: I never thought I'd want my septum pierced. Out of all the possible piercings it was, in fact, the least likely thing for me to do. I'd seen many different pictures and seen them live and it simply wasn't something that appealed to me.

I had a very good friend on IAM who had her septum pierced. She frequently talked about it – stretching it up or different jewelry she tried in it – but I never really gave it much thought. When I first met her live I was amazed that her septum piercing was completely hidden. I knew it existed, but I couldn't see it at all. The more I saw her, the more I thought about it, but still never thought I'd want it for myself.

One evening out of the clear blue I decided I was going to get my septum pierced. I called my IAM friend and asked her if she wanted to go with me. She offered to drive since it was nearing twilight and she knew I can't see too well in the murky half-light of twilight. We talked and joked on the way there, but as we got closer my heart started beating faster. I'm not really one given to spontaneous action and I hadn't done any research or even given it any real thought prior to my snap decision. For the most part I didn't let my brain wander to the real question "what the hell am I doing?!" but was more concerned with the smaller, simpler questions, "how am I going to actually say 'I want my septum pierced'?" and "what's he (the piercer) going to say?!" At the time, my piercer of choice (or maybe 'of choice' isn't quite accurate – 'lack of choice' may be a better term) was a tattoo artist who also did piercings. He didn't enjoy doing piercings and tended to treat them as an i nconvenience and treated the people getting them done almost as if they were on an assembly line. In and out. Quick. I described him once as a "wham-bam thank you ma'am" piercer. The first time I went to him, he didn't even introduce himself to me. But by the time I was going in for my septum, I'd been in so many times I was a 'regular'. He'd tattooed both my husband and myself and I'd brought friends in to him. He was more conversant each time I went in, weather because he realized I was a constant source of business or what, I didn't know. Even still, I had some butterflies simply because I was going to ask him to 'inconvenience himself' by doing a piercing.

We got to the parking lot and parked. I didn't quite want to actually go in just yet so we sat for a minute. Then I realized that I didn't want anyone from the shop to come out for a smoke break and see me sitting chicken in the car, so I took a deep breath and got out of the car. We walked inside and 'the Smoking Man' (a name I had given one man who worked there because for the longest time I had never seen him actually do anything other than stand outside smoking and because he never bothered to introduce himself so I didn't know his real name) asked what he could do for us. (Another random tidbit about the Smoking Man was that unlike every other employee in the shop, he never seemed to recognize me, no matter how many times I'd been in.) I told him I wanted to get my septum pierced as the piercer walked out to the front room. The piercer came over, apparently pleased to see me and we chatted for a bit while I filled out the paperwork and paid and bought a bottle of H2Ocean . Once done with the preliminaries, we were ushered back to the back room. One thing I did like about this piercer was that friends were allowed in the back to watch. He got everything set out and ready and I sat down at his wooden junior-high style desk with chair attached. I had requested being pierced with a retainer and he apparently thought that was a bit of an unusual request but pulled out a retainer that my husband later said looked like light bulb guts rather than the more common U or staple shape. He poked around in my nose with lubricated gloved fingers, clamped, pierced, followed with the retainer and was done in the space of about five seconds. The sensation of the needle penetrating my septum wasn't particularly painful, mostly it felt like a strong pressure, but it made my eyes water so much so quickly that my tears literally pushed one of my contacts out of my eye. Fortunately they were disposables and my week to wear that pair was up anyway, so I tossed it i n the trash rather than try to put it back in with no contact solution or try to keep it until we got home. I was extremely grateful right then that my friend had decided to drive because with only one contact I could see well enough to walk without tripping over anything but certainly not well enough to attempt driving. My friend and I thanked him, I left a tip and we headed home.

The next morning I woke up rather bleary eyed and went to the bathroom. As soon as I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror (I'd replaced my contacts the night before) I started cracking up and could not stop. I had random metal pieces hanging out of my nose. I shook my head in almost disbelief at myself and continued on with my morning. But every time I passed a mirror my laughter returned. I simply could not believe I had actually gone and gotten my septum pierced. So random. I wasn't displeased by any means, just highly amused with myself. I tried a couple times to flip the retainer up into my nostrils but the legs were too long or my nostrils too small and it was not working. By around 5:00 that afternoon I was almost panicking. My daughter had Girl Scouts the next day and I was her troop leader! I needed to get that retainer safely stowed before 14 little 8 and 9 year old girls stared up at me awaiting guidance and direction in whatever project we had going on that wee k. I called my IAM friend up and she came right over. It was awkward; me holding my nostrils up and her twisting the retainer up and around. Several minutes and many tries later it was finally up, almost pain free no less! A little sore, but nothing I actually considered 'pain'. In fact, the whole of the day I was amazed by how little 'pain' there was. If I bumped the end of my nose I could definitely feel that something was different, but for the most part it was out of sight and out of mind. Once the retainer was flipped up the 'out of sight, out of mind' was almost complete. I cleaned it twice a day with the H2Ocean for maybe a week and then started to let it slide. It seemed pretty healed already and I honestly forgot about it for the most part.

I tried wearing various visible jewelry in it a few times over the next year, but nothing ever really pleased me. I really liked having it done, but I didn't like the look or feel of anything other than the retainer in it. Eventually I gave up looking for new jewelry for it and accepted that all I wanted in it was the retainer. About a year and a half later though I realized that the 14 gauge retainer was really loose. I was constantly putting my fingers up my nose readjusting it. So I pulled out my box of jewelry bits and found a 12 gauge horseshoe. It slid effortlessly in. But then there was the problem of having the jewelry brushing my upper lip again and I still didn't like the look of it on me. I had a small bar in a 10 gauge that I thought would be hidden but the 10 didn't want to go in. So I drove around all the next day in search of a 12 gauge retainer. When I finally found one, I was pleased as punch. But for some reason I really wanted to have a 10 gauge in. So a fe w days later I messed with it again. This time the 10 gauge bar I had went in with only a little effort. The skin around the hole felt tight, but it was almost a pleasant feeling. The bar wasn't as perfect as I'd thought it might be though and I switched back to the 12 gauge retainer for the night. The next day I went on a search for a 10 gauge retainer. This time I went to the most likely place first and was rewarded with their last 10 gauge retainer. Immediately after leaving the shop I slid it in place. Ahh, perfection. The legs are the right length to go in and out of my nostrils relatively easily and the 10 gauge sits in the hole without slipping around.

For now I am completely satisfied with my 10 gauge septum retainer, but I have a feeling it too will loosen in enough time (and it has already started to a little in the 6 months or so since I got the 10) and I'll begin a search for an 8. Maybe one day I'll actively stretch it up so I can play the "stick fun things through your septum" game, but for now I am quite pleased with my always hidden, almost pointless spur of the moment piercing.

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 13 Aug. 2008
in Nose Piercing

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