I have now had a cartilage piercing for five months. It came about because I was travelling a silly amount at the end of last year and much like a sixteen year old, I wanted to get a pierced ear to show I had some control over my life. A tiny rose gold piece of rebellion that made no logical sense but made me feel a lot better about living out of a suitcase. I put very little thought into getting it. In the one day I had at home in-between Stockholm and Shanghai I had the thought and ran to Liberty to get it done (you can read the whole story here). Given the complete lack of research into what it would be like, here are the things I wish I had known beforehand:

  • Even though your heart will be pounding a million miles an hour it doesn’t actually hurt that much, getting a bikini wax is way worse.
  • When you have hair blessed by Richard Simmons it is impossible to take a picture of your piercing for a blog post.
  • Turns out that unlike getting your ear lobes pieced a cartilage piercing takes fucking ages to heal…like ages. We all heal differently but mine took two weeks to be able to sleep on it and then four full months to fully heal.
  • The rose gold won’t clash with any of the earrings you put in your earlobes.
  • When you are stuck in hotels and need to bathe your piercing in salt water you will find yourself ordering room service just to get the salt sachet.
  • Cartilage piercings can get a weird lump, but one day you will wake up and it will be completely fine. Don’t freak out, it will get better.
  • You will look like a middle class millennial bad-ass.
  • You will be the only one who thinks you look like a bad-ass.
  • For the indecisive a cartilage piercing is a better decision than a tattoo.
  • You will need to bathe it in salt water twice a day for five minutes at a time (just pressing, not twirling or rubbing).
  • Five minutes is a really long time to hold your arm to your ear, leaning on a pillow will make this easier.
  • It will be an awesome decision.

Maria Tash at Liberty piercing

From: Rebecca
To: Family
Date: 23/10/16

Ok family don’t freak out.

Most importantly I am completely safe and you don’t need to worry. I have some news, and I know I should have got a permission slip signed by each of you first prior to action. In my defence, since I’m back in London the time zone makes it rather hard to get parental (or sisteral, or brother-in-lawal) consent at midday on a Sunday.

And thankfully since I managed to convince them I was 28 they didn’t actually ask for my Dad to be present.

Ok team, sit down, take a deep breath and have a sweet cup of tea ready.

I got my ear pierced.

STOP FREAKING OUT.

NO YOU STOP FREAKING OUT.

Yes I look like a punk*, but I don’t think it will impact on my future love or career prospects. It is a rose gold hoop on the top bit of my right ear. I don’t have a photo for you because ears are stunningly hard to photograph. Also I am concerned I look slightly like a pirate; I am currently avoiding being in photos with parrots or rum just in case.

I knew you would be worried about me getting it pierced somewhere safe and clean, so I went to the poshest place I could find – Liberty. Yes that Liberty. I went in for a pink lemonade to celebrate being home from China (and doing a 12hour flights with no drugs and no freak outs!) and came out with an extra hole in my body. At least I am a classy hooligan?

I completely understand if you no longer want to be my whanau. But please try to understand that this was not an act of rebellion and I think our family friends will still talk to me, this piercing is not a reflection of bad parenting or sistering or brother-in-lawing. I wanted it because all the cool kids have them. And rose gold is really pretty. And how fucking awesome is it to have got a piercing in Liberty.

I do hope that you agree to continue our relationship irregardless of this act of self mutilation I have undertaken today.

Yours sincerely,
Rebecca ‘please don’t disown me’ Kiwi.

*I look nothing like a punk, saying that is an insult to punks. At best I look slightly more like a middle class hipster than I normally do.

————————————————————————————-

From: Sister
To: Rebecca
Date: 24/10/16

My top 5 things that crossed my mind before you said piercing…

1. You are also pregnant
2. You got married
3. You invested in a coffee startup
4. You burned your passport and are never coming home
5. You spent all your money on coffee and we don’t get Christmas presents.

So based on the above, the rose gold piercing from Liberty sounds wonderful!