Nose piercing for the middle-aged: a guide

August 13, 2014 § 3 Comments

Since I had my nose pierced a few months ago as a birthday present to myself, (and you can read about it here) both friends and acquaintances have become obsessed with snot. I’m sorry, but there’s no refined way to say it.

Not only have several wannabe piercees come out of the woodwork, but by far the most common questions I’ve been asked are: “Did it hurt?” and “How do you blow your nose?” A sub-question to the latter is: “Don’t your bogeys get stuck on it?”

So, at a friend’s behest, I am writing you all a guide.

1. Did it hurt?

Well, duh. Of course it did. A sharp needle was inserted into my nostril till it came out on the other side. Logically, that should hurt. But it wasn’t excruciating – imagine squeezing a blind pimple on your nose, and you’ll have an idea of what it feels like. And it’s over in a matter of seconds. Your eyes water a little, and it’s tender afterwards, but there are far worse pains in the world.

2. The snot

I can’t believe I’m writing about snot. But I am prepared to sacrifice my dignity to inform you, my friends. I hope you are grateful.

Basically, the stud I have has an L-shaped post. One arm of the post goes through my nostril, and the bit perpendicular to that lies flat against the inside of my nostril. I can blow my nose as usual, and so far I have not noticed anything unusual in the passage of my mucus. No trapped tendrils, no bogey blockages, no green gunge that will not be dislodged.

Granted, I haven’t had a cold or flu since I had the piercing, but in the normal course of allergies and my general nasal health, all is proceeding as it always did.

3. Where to have it done

You don’t just walk into a jewellery shop and ask to have your nose pierced – they do ears, and that’s it, by and large. So I began by asking someone I’d met who had a number of non-ear piercings and tattoos.She very kindly recommended a tattoo and piercing business not far from where I live, and I made an appointment. Simple as that.

What I hadn’t considered – and clearly my friend had – was the hygiene practices. Everything was clean, sterilised and properly handled. I think that’s an important consideration – if needles aren’t coming out of sterile packaging, you need to get out of there in a hurry.

Just as an aside, the wondrous thing about it all, was how it broke down a number of my preconceptions. I arrived at the converted house, which was painted black inside and out, feeling very nervous. I’m a suburban working mommy – this was way out of my comfort zone. Inside were a variety of very pierced, very tattooed, much younger people, the kind who might make someone as middle-class-boring as me a little uncomfortable.

But it turned out they were just people. Lovely people. In fact, the woman who did my piercing was so kind, so warm, so humorous that I wondered why I’d ever felt uncomfortable in the first place. That was a huge lesson for me – I honestly thought I’d got past judging people by they way they look.

4. If you want to do it, just do it

So many people have told me, when they’ve seen my nose stud, that they’ve been considering having it done, but haven’t done so because their children will be horrified. My children were horrified too, but you know what? They’ve largely got over it, or learned to live with it. Because I am unapologetic about it. It’s my face, not theirs, and if it embarrasses them, then I’m probably doing my job as a parent.

Besides, my parenting approach is this: they’re probably going to blame me for all of their woes in therapy one day. I might as well give them something to work with.

If you’ve always wanted to have a piercing, just go and do it. If you don’t like it, you can always have it removed.


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