While I was in the bathroom, I happened to look down and saw that, um, when I was washing my face, I pulled one of my earrings out! I took a frantic moment to see if the back was there as well, thinking that – gasp – I could have lost it anywhere… but I found it and mentally knocking on wood, put my earring back in…
And my mind zipped back to 1985 in an instant, bringing up a scene of the first time someone asked me if I were gay because I was now sporting a shiny gold earring in my left ear. Way back then, even though the “style” of men wearing earrings was just getting started in my neck of the woods, eh, wearing earrings was something only women did so if a man was wearing earrings, well, he must be gay… and I’m guessing the perception wasn’t helped by the fact that the flamboyantly age men roaming the city were not only wearing earrings but wearing some that made some women jealous.
There was even some meaning lent to which ear contained the earring: If in the right ear, well, you must be gay… but in the left lobe, you were either a musician or other kind of artist. I had gotten my ear pierced to fulfill a promise to my brother who had gotten an earring and, at the time, had the nerve to suggest that I’d look good with one… and I told him that he’d be dead and gone before I’d get my ear pierced.
Then he died so honor him and to keep that promise I unwittingly made, I went to the mall, went to one of the two Piercing Pagodas there, and got my ear pierced. I almost chickened out because I realized that I didn’t know how they got the earring in; I’d only seen girls getting their ears pierced with a sterilized sewing needle, an ice cube (or several of them), a pice of string or a cleaned piece of straw from a broom to keep the hole open until the earrings could be put in. But, duh, none of those “tools” were in evidence and there was only one way to find out how it was done, wasn’t it?
I didn’t have the benefit of seeing it done to someone else; I walked up, picked out an earring for rookies, and a minute later, the girl was ready to put it in. Ah, man, I was quite nervous and a glance showed that I was drawing a crowd of onlookers because it was unusual to see a guy about to get pierced. The girl made a mark on my left earlobe (after I told her which ear I wanted done), I verified the spot and watched, with trepidation, as she loaded the earring and its back into a gun-looking device, put it in place on my ear, asked if I was ready… and pulled the trigger.
I was ready to totally embarrass myself by yelping out in pain… except it didn’t hurt; all I felt was a pinch, heard a click, and, yup, there was my brand new earring. Got some after care instructions and a solution to care for it and I was going on about my business… and very aware (and even self-conscious) of all the looks I was getting.
By the way, I still wear that original earring and I did buy the pair instead of just a single earring, you know, so I’d have a spare…
And then I wound up having a lot of people asking me if I was gay and I’d gotten quickly tired of explaining to those folks why I’d done something so “unmanly” as to wear an earring; once they heard the why of it, well, I’ll admit that it gave me some satisfaction to see the look on their faces to learn that I wasn’t wearing anearring because I was homosexual – and my very legitimately reason didn’t give anyone reason to think or suspect that, in truth, I was quite bisexual.
Worked for me…
Today, I wear four earrings, two in each ear. I’ll admit that getting my right ear pierced was kinda daring despite having seen a lot of men who were sporting one in each ear and thinking, hell, why not? Then seeing that I had room for two more? Sure, why not fill them with gold? Over the years, I’ve collected quite a few earrings, from studs to hoops, some given to me as gifts, some because, uh, I liked them. I had some fairly gaudy earrings that I may have tried on but never really wore because while my employer wasn’t too keen about the men working for them wearing earrings, as long as they were tasteful, they were kinda okay with it, especially after I explained why I was wearing an earring to begin with and if I couldn’t wear it/them at work, thenmwomen shouldn’t be allowed to wear the at work, either.
But it did feel good to not have people asking me if I were gay… but I’d often be annoyed and even felt disheartened to hear people “whispering behind my back” that despite my explanation, the only reason why I was wearing earrings was being I was secretly a flaming fag. I heard a guy a work offer up this thought as I walked by and what he said andnhowmhe said it offended me enough that I stopped, gave it a moment of thought, then went to him and, quite unprofessionally, stepped off in his ass and in front of his so-called peers.
It was one of my better tongue lashings, including a suggestion that he was raised by animals instead of having human parents and hinting that his knowledge of flaming fags must have most certainly come from personal experience on his part. Oh, yeah, he was looking as if he wanted to take a swing at me and I smiled at him and said, “It’ll be the last thing you ever do… so go for it, homie…”
He was terminated a half an hour later. They were gonna fire me, not that I cared, but I did tell them that there were some things I wasn’t gonna tolerate from anyone, like being called a faggot just because I wear earrings; I told my boss that he could fire me if he wanted to… and I’ll see him in court. The matter was dropped and the message was sent clearly: Yes, I wear earrings, no, I’m not homosexual, and if you have a comment about it, don’t let me hear it.
So what earrings do I wear, you might be wondering? In my left ear, I wear my birthstone (sapphire) and a diamond earring given to me by my mother; in my right ear, I wear the original earring from 1985 and a diamond given to me by my baby, Linda. The only time I remove them is when they need cleaning and if I’m being X-rayed. I don’t change them because these four earrings have a special meaning to me…