Belly button piercing
Okay, so I admit it! I am what you call a "goody two shoes." I get good grades, I study a lot, I'm respectful to my parents and peers -- and I even clean my room everyday. But more than anything, I wanted a bellybutton ring. "Cute," my mother called it. "Not for you!" is what my father called it, and "cool!" is what my friends call it.
Getting your navel pierced isn't the same as getting your ears pierced, where you walk into an accessories shop at the mall and have a teen-ager pierce a hole through your body. With your navel, you have to find the right place, with the right person, at the right time. My father was dead set against this, so dead set that we never even discussed the fact that I was seriously considering having it done.
While visiting my grandmother four hours away, my mom, little sister and I walked into our first body piercing shop. I cannot remember the name of the place -- but the people inside, I remember. There were two owners of the shop, and as we walked in they greeted us with happy smiles. My mother had told my sister and I that if we liked this shop, we could get our navels done here. After grilling the "professionals" with every question we could possibly think of, from "does it hurt?" (apparently not that much), to "how long does it take to heal?" (around 6 months), to "are you SURE it doesn't hurt?" (NO!), we decided to look at the rings themselves.
It was like a candy shop to our eyes, with the various colors, sizes and metals for every type of bellybutton. The owners were the first piercers we had ever talked to, and in examining the shop, we found it to be surprisingly clean. There were long, dentist-like chairs in two "operating" rooms, and the two professionals appeared to be clean cut and know exactly what they were doing. Although my sister and I both picked out the exact ring we wanted, in the end ... both of us chickened out.
"You go first!" I said to Allie. "No, you're the oldest!" she said back. Because neither of us had ever witnessed a piercing, we wanted to see it before the clamp went over our own skin, and a needle pierced through our stomachs. Walking towards our car, I thought maybe a bellybutton ring was not for me. Maybe I just wasn't rebellious enough, maybe it wouldn't look good on me, or maybe I was just too much of a wimp to go through with it. My "goody two shoes" persona once again showed up.
After our first piercing shop experience went well, we expected the same with the next set of shops we went to. My mom set aside the day before my first semester finals for her two daughters to have their navels pierced. The first place we went to you could see smoke all around the building, and t-shirts printed with complimentary comments about certain drugs and other substances. When we went up to the manager, he offered very little information about the actual piercing experience, and mumbled something that was so slurred that my mother hurried her two innocent daughters out of the shop.
Finally, we found the shop we had been looking for in Campbell. I admit, it was scary. The whole place was gothic, and all of the piercers were gothic as well. I don't mean to sound biased, but I was scared that they might not be gentle. In the store was a tall glass case with thousands of navel barbells, tongue rings, earrings and more.
After talking to the piercer, we became comfortable and at ease. He helped each of us choose the exact gauge of the navel barbell we needed, and even helped us with color choices. While I picked a diamond with a silver barbell, my little sister chose a topaz color. My mom then signed a stack of papers, and we prepped up for the big moment.
I don't even know how many times I asked the piercer, "Does it hurt..?" or "Are you sure it doesn't hurt that much?" I stood up straight in front of him, and pulled up my shirt just enough to see my stomach. He took out one of those purple pens that accessories stores use to mark your ears, and marked a little dot just above the hole in my stomach. He then rubbed alcohol all over the area to sanitize it. All this while, my choice for the barbell that will sit in my stomach for more than six months was soaking in alcohol.
I then was directed to lie down in the blue, dentist-like chair and to breathe...deeply. I was never shown the needle that went through my stomach, probably the piercer feared that I would have fainted or chickened out. Next, the piercer old me to breathe in, and breathe out, breathe in, and then breathe out.
Honestly, I had never been as scared in my whole life as I was right then. For what seemed like an eternity, but in reality was around two minutes, I lay in the chair breathing in and then breathing out. Finally, I felt a sharp point cross through the barrier between my skin and the air surrounding it. Although there was a small amount of pain within the five seconds or so that the needle was actually in my flesh, I was relieved to find that getting your navel pierced does not hurt nearly as much as I anticipated. A few minutes later, there was a small amount of blood oozing from the wound, but nothing to make me have a lot of discomfort.
Overall, getting my navel pierced has been an interesting experience, and I am glad that I did it. The pain is comparable to getting your ear pierced, and the experience is worthwhile.
submitted by: timmm
on: 07 Aug. 2010
in Navel Piercing