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Getting His Ears Pierced October 18, 2015

earrings

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My thirteen year old son wants his ears pierced. My sunny little blonde haired blued eyed smiling little boy wants to poke holes in his head and decorate himself.

Ok, his hair isn’t clear yellow anymore: it has become a light brown/dirty blonde, and he isn’t little so much as 5’9”, but his eyes are still blue, and he is still sunny and usually smiling.

I have a visceral reaction to this request for earrings, which is a loud, resounding “No, no, no, not in my lifetime, no.”

Jacob’s arguments are sound, which is a problem for me. I like to have logic on my side, and I’m afraid I don’t on this one. His irrefutable arguments are these: 1. He has proven his responsibility. 2. His sister, who is two years younger than him, has had her ears pierced for years. 3. His grades are outstanding and he keeps his room neat and does his own laundry. He has earned this privilege. 4. Earrings on a boy are not alternative or counterculture or rebellious like they were when the Earth was still cooling and I was thirteen. 5. Many boys his age who are generally good boys have pierced ears. 6. Many of my male friends who are perfectly decent human beings in addition to being in their forties or beyond have pierced ears, and they managed to have decent, stable jobs. 7. He can always just take them out and you could barely see the hole, just like I can barely see mine when I am not wearing earrings. 8. He will be 14 in a few weeks, and we can’t think of anything better to get him as a present.

My husband says no, for one reason and for one reason only: my son is a guy. Guys don’t wear earrings.

Mike is even older than I am.

My Dad, who is even older than that, doesn’t even like earrings on women. “If God wanted extra holes in your head, He would have put them there.”

I searched deep for the root of my reasoning. If I was honest with myself, I had to admit that a lot of it had to do with public perception. There are at least four women that I am aware of who are vying to be his future mother in law. This means that they want their daughters to end up with a boy like him. I can think of no higher compliment. This is no doubt because he is smart, good looking, polite, and well-behaved. He looks clean cut and well scrubbed. I fear that earrings will mar this image.

I challenged him to find a picture of a non-celebrity guy who was wearing the type of earrings he wanted to wear who didn’t look like a thug. It took him five minutes to find an adorably cute, quirky looking guy with the same coloring and basic look as Jacob and small black dots in his ears. I still didn’t care for the fashion, but the earrings were no more a part of my dislike of the outfit than the jacket with a weird collar the guy was wearing.

It comes down to a boy vs. girl thing in my mind, and I am conditioned to think that if I want to say that girls can do anything boys can do (only backwards and in high heels, like Ginger Rogers) then it isn’t fair to say that boys can’t do anything girls can do. Which is a great theory and all, but we are talking about MY boy here, and letting some chickie at the mall or a guy at a tattoo shop violate the very essence of the Hippocratic Oath – first do no harm. The fact that I have done the same thing, and allowed the same thing to be done to my daughter is immaterial. Or is it?

So I thought this:

I’ll try to take off my Mom Goggles for a minute and see this worthy, independent kid for the individual that he is, and I’ll let the Court of Public Opinion have a vote. I still have ultimate authority, but I’m curious what you think. Let me know in the comments below.

 

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Getting His Ears Pierced

3 Comments

  1. Tammy Osier

    The line of grace drawn around our son was wider than that of the girls. Unlike his “content” sisters, my Jacob had to taste every flavor of ice cream (just to say he tasted them). He wanted a tattoo at 15. We told him that he had to wait til he was 17. If at that point he still wanted it, we’d go with him (he had to pay for it). I also had to approve of it (no naked ladies). Turns out, he got one that represented his faith. He was also the kid with the big pants, and gelled, spiked hair. At 19, he went into the Army, and when coming home from boot camp, looked into his closet, saw his hideous clothes and said, “What the #&%% was I thinking???!!!???” lol
    Bottom line, he could have it, but had to give it a waiting period, pay for it and we had to approve the choice. That way, we gave him the freedom to make a choice, but we still had the last word (all bets were off if he couldn’t agree to our terms).
    Funny, I let me son have one, not two (mama’s last word on the earring issue). Also, we had him talk to a guy at church that had tats all over his body. He told my son that he was a bum til he was 27, finally realized he need to find his life’s calling (aka a decent job) and discovered that he was a computer geek. Now, he works a white collar job, but winter, spring, summer, or fall, he has to cover his tats; something he didn’t consider when he was a young hippie freak. His advice was to not get one somewhere he would have to cover up later on if he got a job that forbids them. Your son’s argument that he could take them out might be a pretty sound argument.

    Reply

  2. Lori Duff

    That’s great, Tammy! — my son knows he’s not getting any tattoos until he is old enough not to need my permission.

    Reply

  3. Tammy Osier

    As long as you have the final word and the two of you negotiate terms, I say yes. Here’s the deal with respecting authority though…if it bothers grandma, then take it out when you go to her house. If it’s ok at school, then no problem, but if a dress code problem, then take it out. So, a long as he respects others in respect to his wants, then I think it’s a growing up experience in how to balance the responsibility that goes with freedom.

    Reply

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Getting His Ears Pierced

3 Comments

  1. Tammy Osier

    The line of grace drawn around our son was wider than that of the girls. Unlike his “content” sisters, my Jacob had to taste every flavor of ice cream (just to say he tasted them). He wanted a tattoo at 15. We told him that he had to wait til he was 17. If at that point he still wanted it, we’d go with him (he had to pay for it). I also had to approve of it (no naked ladies). Turns out, he got one that represented his faith. He was also the kid with the big pants, and gelled, spiked hair. At 19, he went into the Army, and when coming home from boot camp, looked into his closet, saw his hideous clothes and said, “What the #&%% was I thinking???!!!???” lol
    Bottom line, he could have it, but had to give it a waiting period, pay for it and we had to approve the choice. That way, we gave him the freedom to make a choice, but we still had the last word (all bets were off if he couldn’t agree to our terms).
    Funny, I let me son have one, not two (mama’s last word on the earring issue). Also, we had him talk to a guy at church that had tats all over his body. He told my son that he was a bum til he was 27, finally realized he need to find his life’s calling (aka a decent job) and discovered that he was a computer geek. Now, he works a white collar job, but winter, spring, summer, or fall, he has to cover his tats; something he didn’t consider when he was a young hippie freak. His advice was to not get one somewhere he would have to cover up later on if he got a job that forbids them. Your son’s argument that he could take them out might be a pretty sound argument.

    Reply

  2. Lori Duff

    That’s great, Tammy! — my son knows he’s not getting any tattoos until he is old enough not to need my permission.

    Reply

  3. Tammy Osier

    As long as you have the final word and the two of you negotiate terms, I say yes. Here’s the deal with respecting authority though…if it bothers grandma, then take it out when you go to her house. If it’s ok at school, then no problem, but if a dress code problem, then take it out. So, a long as he respects others in respect to his wants, then I think it’s a growing up experience in how to balance the responsibility that goes with freedom.

    Reply

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Lori Duff

Lori B. Duff is an award-winning author who practices law on the side.  Her latest book, "If You Did What I Told You..." is set to be released in the Fall of 2019. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook. For more blogs written by Lori, click here. For more information about Lori in general, click here. If you want Lori to do your writing for you, click here.

Getting His Ears Pierced October 18, 2015

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