My older sister had done a good job getting me started in fashion, but now I was starting to make decisions on my own. Some good, some bad, some ugly. Let’s cover the good first.
Back in the late eighties, there was one style secret that a few guys stumbled upon. I suspect this trend found new footing thanks to George Michael. The ear ring.
I had considered the possibility of getting stabbed in the earlobe for some time, but likely avoided the situation due to several factors. One, McDonald’s had a policy of no ear-rings for men ( today they clearly don’t care in the slightest ). And secondly, just not a fan of sharp things going into my head.
Nathan was the first to step up to the plate and prove his manhood. And I concluded that it indeed looked pretty darn good on him. It added a bad boy flair that chicks go crazy for. So I hear. I have no personal evidence to back that up.
So with several hilarious dating attempts behind me, I figured any style advantage was worth pursuing. I booked an appointment with a hair salon in the Brandon Shoppers Mall that would do the dirty deed for $15. Genuine gold-plated ear-stud included.
The way it worked in 1989 ( no idea what is done today ) is that the ear-ring goes in the left ear. If it was the right, then obviously you were into dudes. If both ears, then pursuing a career in piracy on the high seas was in order. I made damn sure the man with the nail-gun is going to the proper side.
“You ready?” the barber asks as he daps my lobe with an alcohol swab.
“Yeah, just let me know when…”
A sharp stab in the ear-lobe later, it was done. I wince and deliver a subtle stink-eye to the barber. But hey, this is what I paid for. I take a moment to assess the look. I nod, and conclude I made the right call.
The instructions for the first couple weeks were to daily disinfect the stud until it healed. After that I could track down George Michael’s cross ear-ring and render useless the defense mechanisms of countless hot women. The key instruction was to disinfect and leave the dang thing alone. No removals.
That ass-clown Ronald McDonald had different plans. The managers were not impressed by my impulsive disobedience of their dress code. So I had two options; lose it or lose employment. So I did what I felt was a compromise, I took it out while I was working and put it back in when my shift was complete. This disturbing of the area greatly increased the heal time and also brought on a minor infection. Yeah, a swollen ear-lobe looks a lot better to customers than a simple stud. Good call you dopes.
Nathan’s mom fixed me up though. She was a hairdresser and had access to a multitude of disinfectants. As long as I kept that area cleansed the swelling would stay down. But disinfecting a partially-infected open wound stung like a bitch.
In about a month, it was safe to remove the stud and finally add my most prized fashion accessory, a gold loop. If I was feeling particularity awesome, I would slip the cross in. I looked back at myself in the mirror and smiled.
I think even George would have approved.