My Personal Horror Story: Piercing Gone Bad

Halloween is just around the corner. Horror stories and movies are gobbled with fervor. But … horror lives outside the fantasy realm. Horror lacking the supernatural or the psychopaths. We can find our own horror stories within our own life stories. Here is mine. (if under the age of 18, you actually can read this horror story)

I think it was in middle school when it seemed like every girl in my class was getting their ears pierced with little studs and showing them off when school restarted. So on my birthday, I had convinced my mom to go to the little shop in the mall that held all the cheap trendy accessories that were every preteen girl’s dream. Think of a more glittered Claire’s if you don’t know what I am talking about.

So there was wide eyed 10 year old me with my mom ready to do what the cool kids were doing and get my ears pierced. I carefully selected a set of sparkly blue studs that I thought were just perfect. I took it to the big counter in the back and proudly announced that today I was getting my ears pierced. Kindly, the shop assistant (who couldn’t be more than 16) guided me to the high chair in the front where the equipment for piercing was stored. She quickly passed me off to the designated piercer.

The girl piercing my ears had to be in college or at the very least just graduated high school. She slowly walked me through the post care instructions and liability forms. My mind was buzzing with excitement. I was finally going to be matching with all the cool girls in class. My eyes were more focused on the other preteens racing about the chaotic story with moms and dads chasing behind. My mom, god bless her, was listening carefully as the young women continued to prattle on. Next thing I know is the big piercing gun was being loaded with my preselected earrings.

The gun looked like it came from some sort of sci-fi comic book. I was almost bouncing in my seat as the girl slowly wiped my lobes with a small cotton swab. She lined the gun with each lobe and moved the weapon slowly around trying to straighten to the perfect angle. Next thing I know ….



It was done, or so I thought.

As the gun was being removed, it got stuck. I am not taking about just a little. I am talking full scale stuck. The slot of the gun was caught on my bright shiny new earrings. I think this was the part when I started breaking out in cold sweat. The shop girl tried to remain calm as she tried to wiggle my ear free. My mom now realizing that something went wrong started trying to see what the girl was doing. Next thing I know, the manager was coming over to try to slip my earlobe out of the slot.

It was so long ago so I don’t remember if I was I crying at this point or not. But, I have a feeling there were few tears. They kept trying and trying to wiggle my ear free. In my head, I kept seeing this image of my shiny new earring being ripped out like a scene in a gore film. I was throughly terrified.

Then …

My ear was free and my earring was still glistening in my ear hole. I raced out with my mom after quickly paying for the piercing before what could have been my nightmare could fully hit me. It wasn’t until a week later that we would realize that earring didn’t go in straight which is probably why it got stuck. It would be several years later that I would decide to let the holes close up so I could get my piercing redone properly.

Funny thing is that even getting my piercings redone did not go well. I may or may not have passed out. It is a long story.

Now I no longer have the desire to pierce anything else. I shudder when I watch other eager young girls get their ears pierced remembering my own horror story. Horror of what could have been. Horror of what came after. Horror of the decision I didn’t go to a professional.

Now that you know my horror story, what is yours?

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