Now I can tell a story that happened a while ago – on the one-year anniversary of my arrival in Israel, in fact. I couldn’t tell it before in fear of my life: my mom would have killed me. Sad but true. She is extremely protective of me, even against myself. Now that I have survived her in-person discovery, I feel free to share it with the world.
On the one year anniversary of my arrival in Israel, I was sitting in my coffee place, enjoying the Friday morning and the coffee and the company, as I do. My very good friend Alex, as I’ll call her for the sake of anonymity, came to sit and have a coffee also. I’m not certain how we got on the topic, but “Maybe I should get this pierced,” I mused, fingering the cartilage that comes out a little bit in front of the ear-hole (it’s called the tragus, for those of you who always wondered).
“Yes! Do it! It would look sooo good!” Alexis a very encouraging and supportive friend. And a huge fan of piercings and getting pierced.
“Aaah! I don’t know, I have to think about it. Do you think it would look good?”
“It would look awesome. You should definitely do it.”
“Do you think so? I don’t know. Isn’t it, like, one of the most painful places to get pieced? Which side should-would I get it on? I have to go look in the mirror.”
“Mika, you’re a retard. Just do it. Let’s go right now. That side, I think. No, the other one. Hm, I’m not sure.”
I jumped up and went to the little bathroom in the coffee shop to try and visualize it.
“The right side, I think. IF I decide to get it.”
Let’s go. Right now.”
“I have to think about it. I really want it. My mom will kill me. It would be awesome though, huh?”
“Your mom won’t kill you – you’re a good person and it’s your body. It will look soo cool. Let’s go. I’ll even pay for it.”
“Alex. I don’t think you realize how protective my mom is. I got my upper-ear cartilage piercing eight years ago and she’s still unhappy about it, and you remember how she doesn’t even like me to straighten my hair every once in a while because it’s not good for it.”
“Oh, yeah. Well whatever, she won’t be able to do anything once you get it. And she won’t kill you. She loves you. C’mon, let’s go.”
“She will kill me. I don’t know.”
“FINE. Let’s go eat then.”
“Ok, let’s go get it.”
“I want to do it. Let’s go.”
We go down the block to the local tattoo parlor and piercing shop. There are a couple of Goth-type teenagers flipping through tattoo booklets, an older hippie-type woman waiting to get her nose pierced, and a slouchy kinda-dweeby type waiting for something, I don’t know what. The girl sitting behind the counter was thoroughly fringe-society, with her vintage rebel clothing, ample cleavage, tattoos and piercings. The guy who was working was completely tatted up and had major piercings, kind of skinhead style with a ponytail and obscenity on his t-shirt.
And there I was, in my jeans and little pink sweater.
The guy started teasing me as soon as I went in the little room, and Alex just sat there laughing her you-know-what off.
“I don’t really know you, but I can see that you’re a bit of a nerd. This will be good for you.”
“What?! I am not! Ok maybe just a little. How did you know? That’s not very nice!”
“You want the smallest earring, right?”
I don’t even know how he did it (besides with a needle, obviously), because my eyes were squeezed shut and I was all tensed up, ready for the pain.
“Mika. You can open your eyes. He did it already.”
I opened one eye. “Really?”
“Dumbass.” Did I mention how encouraging and supportive Alex is?
The piercing guy laughed.
And that was that. I love my little piercing, and I’ve been told that it suits me, which is all the better. And since my mom has been and gone, I obviously lived to tell the tale. I wasn’t even injured in her discovery, except in my heart a little, when she saw it for the first time. We were still in the airport – she had just gotten out of immigration and customs. After hugs and kisses and all that, she looks over at one point and her face kind of crumples, as if in pain. “Oh Meekie, what is that?”
I cringed. “What do you think?”
“It hurts me! Why didn’t you tell me??”
“Because I knew you would kill me!”
“True. Oy, Meek. It doesn’t hurt you?”
And so on. But ultimately being the wonderful, loving mother that she is, she accepted it (and tried not to look at or think about it). Dad, other family – I would have told you in person, too, if you had come. It’s really cool and pretty, I swear! Here it is: