Earring hole, that is...
As a kid I never wanted for anything. I wasn't spoiled, but I got pretty much everything - within reason - that I asked for. I don't ever remember feeling that I wanted something so much, that when I didn’t get it, I felt deprived. Today I possess a deep feeling of thankfulness to my parents for that feeling of security.
When I was 16, I got my ears pierced. I would have to ask my mother whether I got my ears pierced then, because she wouldn't let me get them pierced until I was 16, or I just didn't want or get around to it until then. Don't really remember, but I do remember going to Colonial Jewelers in downtown Frederick and getting my ears pierced for my 16th birthday.
Sometime after that, whether it was in high school or into college, I wanted to get a second hole. Just one, in my left ear - "Left is right and right is wrong" - the saying went. Getting an earring in your right ear meant you were gay. Don't know if that saying still holds true, but that's the way it went. Left ear only.
My mother would never allow me to get that second hole. I remember her saying something about it not being appropriate or cheap looking. Something like that. So instead I wore the wildest earrings ever, and became known for my hamburger and flip-flop earrings or my wild red net ones. Didn't matter - the crazier the better.
I've toned down over the years. Not as wild, but still having fun.
Today is MB's sweet 16. She has been asking for a second hole and I have vehemently opposed it. Saying something along the lines of: “you can move out” or “don't even think about it.”
It was the "but WHY IMMA?" that got me.
I didn't have an answer. It was a just “Because I said so.” For 20- something years I have held the belief that it was inappropriate or not necessary. Nice Jewish girls just didn’t do such a thing. But the words didn’t sit right with me anymore. And I told her to let me think about it.
So I thought.
And I couldn’t come up with any good reason why not.
And then it hit me -- I WANT A SECOND HOLE! – I’m a nice Jewish girl. I'm going to be 41 in two weeks. Why am I still so worried about whether my mother lets me get a second earring hole or not? I like the way it looks, I’ve always wanted one, and I’m going to get one!
I asked Ari what he thought. He was fine with it, which surprised me. Pleasantly. He just insisted it doesn't end up being in our noses, bellies or eyebrows! It meant so much to me that he was okay with it.
And so, I decided to tell MB tonight that she and I would go this week to get our second holes together. She didn’t believe me at first. I explained myself to her, and she just thought it was the coolest!
I don't expect my mother to like it. I only wish she would accept it. Accept me. Accept my daughter.
I DO march to my own drummer. I always have. And at 41 I am learning to accept myself for that. To be me. Not to judge me or criticize me. Just accept me. Love me, even. Don’t have to be something else for someone else. Just be content to be me, for me.
I can still be a good, kind and loving person, love (and fear) Hashem and feel His presence in my life. Do mitzvot and live in Eretz Yisroel - with a second hole in my left ear.
Maybe, just maybe, it will help make my relationship with Hashem stronger.
Maybe. We’ll have to see...
No matter. At 41, I will get that second hole, I will plan and make my own birthday party. I will eat chocolate for dinner and I will love me because I can.
As Rabbi K says, "Don’t judge. You don’t want to be judged, so don’t judge someone else."
Happy Birthday MB! I love you even with your second hole!