My motivation for getting a piece? A funeral. My Aunt passed away earlier
this year. For as long as I've known her, she spent her life working hard
sacrificing so that her kids could have. She was a selfless Saint devoted to
her church and was always doing for others less fortunate than herself. Hers
was a beautiful funeral. Such nice things were said about her.
Then I thought about me. I'm not ready to die yet because I haven't lived. So many of my ambitions were delayed for one reason or another. I dropped out of college when it became apparent my kids who were old enough but still young needed me more than I needed a college education. My art career was limited to doodling and perusing the gallery pages of the newspaper and figuring I couldn't go to the openings because I had other responsiblities. After a rare evening out dancing with kids young enough to be my own I woke the next day sore as a mug and did I mention I was heaving out there on the dance floor? I can't do the things I used to when I was younger. I even need glasses just to read the small print I used to could see from across the room. At 42 I'm too young to retire with full pension.
I have always wanted to have my navel pierced. When I could wear a midriff without flesh dripping all over the place I didn't think much of it. I knew I'd get it when I had the time. But the time just went by, and Auntie died which made me stop and consider my own death but more importantly I thought of my own life. Like, why don't I have a below the neck pierce? I thought of all the people I'd seen with them and they were all young and slim and still filled with the spontaneity that permits one to act with total abandonment. Why else? Because when you hit the big four O you should have grown beyond spontaneity and other such foolishness. But in my case even if you haven't gotten over the foolishness you can't ignore the weight. The result of too many lunches eaten at the desk and not enough physical activity to balance them. When I left the funeral parlor my mind was made up JUST DO IT. I'd rather die having tried to live than to continue as I had up to then, not living at all. Sacrificing my selfworth in the name of some edit that says it supposed to be that way. I was ready to take the responsibility for my own happiness and to heck with what people think. If they were going to belittle or talk bad about me getting a pierce then let them. When I'm lying cold in that casket I think I'd like to have my midriff sporting a nice shiny CBR.
Still I had feeling of doubt. Am i too old? Do I weigh too much? I knew that this was about more than just a naval piercing. I visited one of those online groups for big voluptous (fat) women where I learned about the 'feeders' and 'feedees' Can you imagine a romantic relationship where you lover feeds you till you're too big to get out of the house? While there I queried other readers if they had pierces and got hardly a response. Perhaps I didn't phase my question correctly but I was shocked that the only reply I got was one of encouragement from a reader who felt she was to flabby to get a pierce. However visiting that group did a lot to raise my self-esteem because there I saw women partaking in activies like slim ones. I was able to see myself a little bit more clearly. It really tickled me that an author had taken the time to explain how to have sex with a woman 400+lbs. One of the things I'm glad I did was to consult the 'frequently asked questions' at rec.arts.body arts hosted by Anne Greenblatt. I wrote her directly telling her my intention and my concerns about weight and silently asking for her approval hoping that I was not making a fool of myself. I'm was certain she thought I was an idiot and a pervert. I didn't know what a below the neck piece was at the time. Her reply came quick and was very encouraging. She didn't exactlty take me by the hand and lead me to the nearest salon but had her response been anything like I thought it would be I would probably not have my pierce today. Not wanting to appear foolish and uninformed I read just about everything in the newsgoup but there was little mention of age and even less mention of weight. I was concerned that perhaps if I got my navel pierced at my age and girth I'd hurt something and the emergency room nurses would call over their friends to see what happens to foolish over four O's who get their naval pierced or worse yet the Piercer would laugh me out of the shop. And I being the sensitive soul that I am would withdraw permanently never to come out of my shell again and never to experience what being me was about.
I chose the Body Shop on Briar for the actually pierce I had talked with one of the piercers over the phone but he like a few others insisted that I should come in let the piecer see me and that I should look the place over. I never got to the shop I couldn't find Briar and figured that if I did there would be no parking. Instead, I landed a quick parking space near Chicago Tattoo, surprising because parking is really just as bad or worse on Belmont as it is on Briar. While I'm waiting my turn I flip through the piercing book. I saw the usual ear, eyebrow and tongue piercings but can you image my discomfort when I realized while looking at the female genital piercing I was sharing the book with a kid who looked every bit of 16? I just closed the book and looked around for someplace to sit. Then I met face to face with one of the voices I had spoken with over the phone, a guy named Hank. First look at him with smoke billowing out of his nostrils and metal studs on the flesh between his brows sent sshivers down my spine. Could this extreme looking guy be sensitive enough to my concerns? But then on the other hand if he did that to himself at least he might know what he's doing. I nearly freaked when he asked me to raise my top so that he could see what we were talking about. Right there in front of that 16 year old looking boy, the man who was perusing tattoos and the world I raised my top and held my breath. He didn't take long to access the situation it wa really only a second or two, then he was off to get the room ready and I could conceal my gut.
Hank turned out to be a sweetheart. He showed me a tray of beads and I chose the Mother of Pearl. Well, ain't I a mother? It turned out to be really bad choice or could be that the MOP had lived out its purpose, eight months later it cracked causing a nasty irritation. Hank replaced it gratis, with a Hematite one...I hear Hematite is good for the uptight. His piercing room reminded me of the Dentist office. There was a tray with the necessary tools on it. And in the cabinet behind a glass were bottles and swabs and other sterile looking things. He may have smelled of smoke at first but now donned with latex? gloves he looked like Dr Hank Bangcock. He painstakingly explained everything about the proceedure and the aftercare. I nodded my head in agreement, I couldn't get over how serious he was talking with those studs up there in his head. Every question I asked, he answered. Then he had me lay on the 'piercing table' with my top up and pants lowered to expose my navel. Looking up at the ceiling there was some kinda of picture, I sorta felt like I was in the delivery room with the doctors and nursing all staring at what was coming out of my genital. "You're going to feel a little pinch then I want you to take 3 deep breathes like this, inhale then exhale and again 3 times." It was over in a flash. I felt a slight pull/push sensation as he inserted the jewelry. I lay there elated. And gushed to Hank why I wanted my navel pierced. He understood the symbolism, we shared a blessed moment. When I saw my pierce for the first time I was somewhat disapointed, the flesh enveloped the ring making it less prominant...I saw the bead sticking out of my navel. I promised myself to take the necessary steps to do something about all that flesh but for now I could be happy and proud that I had begun to live in the moment.
On the way home I felt such a feeling of benevolence for all kind and I had such a sense of wellbeing. I never knew a pierce could provide such a rush. It reminded me of the elation I felt moments after having delivered a child, naturally of course. I would felt then SUPER and INVINCIBLE as I looked at the other wasted looking women who had had C-sections or numbing drugs to allay the pain of birth. Then I'd walked down the hall to shower and make my way to my bed. The rush from the pierce lasted all the way from downtown Chicago in rush hour traffic to an hour later when I reach my home in the western suburbs of Chicago. Where upon reaching the door, YAWN, I was over come by sleep. Later when I woke I still felt it somewhat. It was nothing like before.
Having the pierce has changed my perception of my self. The first weeks of aftercare found me constantly checking that I was keeping my new pierce happy. Somehow that care has caught on and I take better care of my self overall. I'm happier, more confident and in tune with my body. I'm not afraid to touch my own body, I'm less uptight. I no longer feel I have to live my life to anyones standards but my own. I don't need anyones approval for anything. I decide to do with my body. While you might not see me anytime soon at Oak Street beach sporting a midriff and some lowriders to show off my pierced navel I am happy my pierce makes me feel special. It's mine and I just love having it. I can tell the world or I can tell nobody. For all the good my Aunt did other people I just hope she was happy with the way she lived her life and that she spent some of that time to do something for herself. When my time comes the undertaker will be in for a suprise. Heh, heh, heh. And yes, they better mention my pierce and my tattoo in the eulogy.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 Jan. 1999
in Navel Piercing