So, remember how I went to Claire’s Accessories a few weeks ago, all rebellious and edgy-like, and how I let the cool bored teenager wielding a piercing gun do this to my upper ear:
-who then, after taking payment, only let me go once I had filled out the disclaimer and had a long talk about the importance of after-piercing ear care and who then thrust a huge bottle of disinfectant at me to take away? And then I went back to see Mark at the Apple store, not exactly hiding my shining new earring, but not showing it off either, and it was then that I made up my mind to prolong the joy of keeping a secret by saying nothing about it; instead, that I would run some kind of covet unscientific love-test see how long it would take for anyone in my family to notice.
And here we are, over two weeks later, and no one has shown any awareness of my new piercing, or, in fact, even looked up to meet the area of my eyes and ear region, otherwise known as approximately my FACE. Even when they sit on my left hand side and I pull my hair up into a high bun and talk with my head facing resolutely forward does the message get through that YOUR MOTHER DID SOME HARDCORE BODY MODIFICATION. Not even when I stopped and stooped down to show the boys the psoriasis patches behind my ears – behind, in fact, the massive new 9carat gold butterfly clip and stud and stem sitting like a huge metal ANOMALY ATOP MY EAR RAVINES. Not even when we all clean our teeth together and I am busy swishing my bruised upper ear with my babyish disinfectant, branded “CLAIRE’S EAR PIERCING AFTERCARE SOLUTION”, does anyone clock the new punk mother they have in their midst.
Not one person out of six can see it, because apparently I am not a new punk mother, but just the same old invisible nagging chef who moonlights as a table wiper-downer and tends to spend a quite a bit of time picking up crisp packets from under the couch. I am all this, as well as school dropper-offer and wee-monitor but not visible in any other sense. This sucks, but this unintentional past-her-prime-and-therefore-so-boring-no-one-can-possibly-engage-in-any-meaningful-manner camouflage situation could be useful should I take to a life of crime. Imagine the whiteware I could just carry out of Iceland! The electronic stuff from Currys!
I have spotted Mark looking fairly intently in my ear direction a few times, and I suspect he cannot workout whether I have been pierced like that for years, and we have perhaps already had that discussion about his disappointment in my choices, or whether it is…maybe…new….but, I think his internal narrative goes a bit like this:
It can’t be new because she never does things like that except for that time she pierced her navel when she was 18 but that got infected and now you cannot even see the scars among the stretch marks and she’s much older now and she’s a mother and where are my keys/glasses/dog lead/I need petrol/I must call Kevin about that roof/should I play golf tomorrow/what’s for dinner/I wish I was in New Zealand/I want to kill a pig.
And so his sharply questioning eyeballs leave my ear region into a wistful middle-distance stare and then he goes and gets a New Zealand hunting magazine and sits on the loo for a bit.
So I am feeling a bit wounded. I keep thinking that today is the day I march out into the living room and and stand in front of the TV and turn off that show about the last Alaskans and clap my hands and lift my hair and MAKE them notice and perhaps shame them a little, all the while delighting them with my uncharacteristic bravado and my utter post-1990’s ironic take on grunge stylishness. But, frankly, they don’t deserve it.
Also, to make matters worse, I have discovered a few tiny, white, thick little hairs sprouting out of my face in a random manner all over the cheek and jowls. Is this normal? Is this what happens when you are not young anymore? Do I pull these out or leave them to grow unheeded and then perhaps plait them out of my way when I eat messy things? Are they WHISKERS? Any advice appreciated.