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The Other Ear Drops

So I put the kindly, warm-hearted, touching-ish, coming of age half of the ear piercing story over on The Lipstick Chronicles. And yes, it was all true. But…

I may have left some things out.

One was, I was taking a lot of FLACK for not re-piercing mine when she pierced hers. I was being asked, in arch tones, by more than one person *cough Maisy cough Sam cough EVEN MY HUSBAND cough* if I was scared to do it. Worse, when the boys ragged on me too hard, I was being told, in a SUPER solicitous nine-year-old voice that IF I was scared, I could HOLD THE CLAIRE BEAR. And she would say this while patting me in this enragingly reassuring manner.

SO I explained about how I DID get them pierced once, so I was not and never had been SCARED, thankyouverymuch, only I had a metal allergy and my lobes turned into an oozing puffy festival of MISERY and therefore I was clearly not MEANT to have pierced ears.

Maisy would cock her head to the side and give me the pity eye and say, “Mmmm Hmmm” in this PATRONZING way.

Eventually I came to the last bastion of ear defense, MY OWN SAINTED MOTHER, the beloved gramma that Maisy calls BeeJay. I pointed out how BeeJay does not have pierced ears because she got her ears done when I did, and she was also allergic, and she had the same miserable reaction, and so she let her hole close, too.

If PERFECT BEEJAY did not have pierced ears, this was just…a sensible lifestyle choice based on a medical condition. Not cowardice. Because BeeJay can do no wrong in the eyes of Maisy.

Then that traitorous BJ went to the dermatologist and had her lobes punctured and strung with cat gut, and she wore little loops of cat gut in her ears for 6 weeks, turning them every hour, until the holes were
entirely healed and she couldn’t react to the metal. She showed up sporting sassy diamond studs and a BIG GRIN, and suddenly the pressure was back on and Maisy was offering me the Claire Bear to hug again.

FINE, I said. I am immune to peer pressure at my age, but not, apparently, to the pressure of my fourth grade daughter. Heh. SO I agreed to get mine done when she did and then conveniently did not have time or forgot or rescheduled due to emergencies like we needed milk or I had a phone call, ETC ETC for about six months. HEH.

FINALLY I ran out of excuses, and we ended up at Claires.

“You first, Mama,” Maisy said.

SO I climbed up in the tall chair and the owner of the store came and touched my lobes and said, “I can’t pierce these.”

I had CALCIUM built up in there. She said. My actual HOLES had never closed. She said. I already DID have pierced ears. She said. Just full of…calcium.

She told me if, every night, I spent a little time MILKING THE CALCIUM OUT OF MY EARS, my thirty year old holes that had been SEALED SHUT since I was THIRTEEN YEARS OLD would MAGICALLY unseal themselves and I could pop in any old earrings I wanted with impunity and maybe even sang froid


But still, I went home, and every night, I milked my ears like I was farmer Jack and they were as full of calcium old Bessie, and LO AND BEHOLD, after eleven nights of this…

Absolutely nothing happened.

My ears were as sealed up and grown over as EVER. And a little sore from all the fondling.

I suddenly realized that SOMEWHERE, at that VERY moment, the owner of Claire’s was doing shots and screaming with her cronies as she choked out, between peals of laughter, “Calcium, I said. CALCIUM! Then I …ahahaha…Told her to …AHAHHAHA…AHAHHA.. MILK them!!! AHAHAHHAHAHA.”

So a couple of weeks later, Maisy ranout of cleansing solution, so we dropped back by to get more. The lady REMEMBERED US.

“Did you ever get your holes unclogged?” she asked.

I gave her the fish eye and shook my head. “There are not ‘full of calcium’ and is that even a real thing? I pulled the earrings out less than two days after I got them pierced! Thirty YEARS ago! They grew closed.”

She shook her head and toted me to the front of Claire’s and plopped me down in the tall chair right in the front window. And then she GRABBED MY LOBES and began—I am not even sure how to describe what she did. She began…rhythmically molesting them.

I sat in the front window of the MALL CLAIRE’S with a woman I BARELY KNEW giving me some sort of WEIRD PUBLIC EAR MASSAGE.

As I prayed for a hole to open in the earth and swallow HER so I could get my ears back and slink away, she said, “Oh. There we go.”

And I said, “There we go what?”

She held up a mirror, and lo and befunkmaster general, I WAS WEARING EARRINGS.

Real ones. Posts going all the way through my lobes. Yeah sure it looks weird to have teeny starter studs on my grown up ears, but she left them in to keep the calcium from coming back.

Apparently if I ever take my earrings out for more than a day or so, I will need to be remilked. Which, ew,. No thank you. STILL! HOW AMAZING IS THAT? Thirty years later, I learned that my EARS had ACTUALLY BEEN PIERCED THE WHOLE TIME.

Heh. Guess what I want for Christmas.

15 comments to The Other Ear Drops

  • Beth R

    Emeralds in gold! Hardly anyone reacts to gold… and NOBODY reacts negatively to emeralds 🙂

  • I am now convinced that we must be blood related somewhere waaaaay back in the family tree, because this is exactly the sort of bizarre thing that only ever happens to me or one of my cousins.

  • Mel

    You make me laugh. And, also, I think I need my ears milked.

  • Jennifer in NC

    Initial reaction: Ewwww, ear milking!

    Next reaction: Oddly fascinated that the holes were still there after 30 years!

    Just think, a whole new world of gift opportunities has opened up for you. Big-girl diamond studs for Christmas maybe?

  • Aimee

    Ewwww… ear milk. The weirdest stuff happens to you, which is part of what makes you awesome.

    Your ears sure are pretty, though, and I’m sure Santy Claus is, even now, perusing his stock of preshus jewels to figure out which kind would please you the very most.

  • I’m with Kathy. We MUST be related (and HEY! My mom’s family are all Jacksons) because the weirdest things happen to you just like they happen to me and my mom’s side of the family. SRSLY!

  • Scottsdale Girl


  • Les in AZ

    Yeah that’s weird. Milk em? for reals? Glad you finally got some holes that go all the way through. 🙂

  • Em

    That is so weird. Reminds me of an episode of House when a woman had a lump in her leg. He withdrew fluid from the lump and tried to squirt it into her horrified teenage child’s mouth. He explained that she had breast tissue some godawful place other than where it belonged and her leg was lactating or something. I don’t remember all of the details. It was a while ago. I just said your story reminded me of it, it isn’t exact, though VERY similar in its weirdness. Your lobes will come in super handy one day when you have a bowl of dry cereal and haven’t been to the store. Ew!

  • JulieB

    Huh! The things you learn…

  • Pamela

    Well, I am super glad you wrote this, because I think I have the same problem. I very happily had pierced ears for a long time, but then as I aged I developed my mother’s metal allergy, and wearing earrings resulted in the puffy explosions of soreness you describe. So (not being a damn fool) I stopped wearing earrings. I often think the holes have closed over, but every so often I have to clean white gunk out of them. I’ve always assumed that it was an immune response, and evidence that I shouldn’t be wearing earrings. Now I think maybe I just need to gird up my loins, milk the suckers and get some hypoallergenic studs.

    Keep us posted (ha!) please. I want to know what I should do with my ears.

  • Wow, what a flood of repressed memories I just got from you.

    As a guy with pierced ears (from the 80s, which makes me…OLD), I was one of those people who just did it and then forgot about it. My wife has to yank them out of my ear every few months to clean the studs (and she makes me clean my ears…but never MILK them! Erg!).

    And I’m not looking forward to the day when my boys decide they want THEIR ears pierced, or gauged, or sawed off, or whatever the cool thing is then. Because they’re waiting until they’re 18, like I had to do.

    But seriously?! Milked? This will be my squicky moment of the day. Erg!

  • That is amazing. I vote for your favorite gemstone wrapped in your favorite precious metal. Tra-la.

  • Cheryl

    okay…..calcium, really? Have been “milking” my ears for about 30 years or so myself and did not even know it! I just tried poking a pair of earrings through and it worked! Am now totally revamping my Birthday (on Dec. 24) and Christmas lists to include some precious jewels – my collection is sadly lacking and totally needs updating. Thank you so much!