Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Adventures in Piercings

Its spring break. The last spring break of law school and quite likely the rest of my life (unless of course I return to teaching- which I'm beginning to highly doubt). For reasons beyond our control, instead of the exotic trip to Rome or Madrid, I'm home catching up on missed lectures, papers, and eating inordinate amounts of grapefruits. Really.

But I did manage to do one non yawn inspiring thing, I got my nose re-pierced. I had a nose ring two years earlier. I loved my nose ring and it loved me. It loved me so much in fact that it refused to come out. It was, shall we say, clingy. This was fine until the interviewing for legal internships began I knew if I wanted to intern at a traditional law firm I'd have to remove it. So the night before my first interview I sighed, and with a wire cutter snipped my nose ring. I sadly accepted the end of my nose wearing days.

But then at one of my interviews I met a young Indian woman, an associate at a very prestigious law firm in the city who changed my perspective. She wore a gray suit with a hint of pink in her scarf and a lovely diamond nose ring. Imagine my surprise when she said she interviewed with it without anyone taking any notice. Well then!

So thanks to the lovely people of facebook I learned of a good piercing studio. I picked my ring, checked off the consent forms and went to the back room. What happened next was strange. A simple poke, a simple turn of the metal, and in that simple second, my mind and body parted ways as I fainted.. I could feel my palms clamming up, the blood leaving my face... yet my mind knew perfectly well such a reaction was unnecessary. It was the oddest feeling to want desperately to get up but not being able to because your body was limp like a rag doll acting utterly contrary to how you commanded it to behave. It was an eerie moment of mind-body disconnect. Luckily, a cool ice pack, a sugar tablet, and a glass of water combined with ten minutes of inhaling and exhaling brought me back to normalcy. I managed to walk out to the counter gingerly feeling my tiny nose stud, and looked up to see the cashier, and the others in the room, and suddenly feeling quite silly as I looked at their tattooed faces and piercings on every conceivable parts of their visible bodies: I'm a wimp.

So some words of advice from yours truly on the art of nose piercing (1) Take a friend with you in case you get symptoms like I did. I can't thank Zainab enough for being there to hold my hand because being alone would have truly been terrifying. And just because you've gotten your ears pierced without drama doesnt mean you wont get drama piercing your nose. (2) Never use a gun! The blunt force of the gun shatters your cartilage to some degree causing a higher risk of infection and a longer recovery period. Always ask for a needle. (3) Also, eat before you go since this is likely what caused my body to react as it did.. and no, grapefruits do not count.


Anonymous said...

Do you mind sharing which firm, or at the least, which city, the young associate who inspired you practiced in?


Aisha said...

Rasha, if you want to email me Id be happy to share. I was curious why it mattered which city or law firm it was?

Anonymous said...

Ok, I'll email you later. I was just wondering which firm/city has that kind of diversity. There's not much diversity in the legal field where I live. I'll probably be the only Muslim woman at the firm I'm working for this summer. And it's not just Muslims/Arabs/Asians, there's just not much diversity at all.

Maliha said...

Mabrook on your nose piercing! I once got the top of my ear pierced (two of them) and it was pure torture to go through the healing process..it hurt a lot.

I never really kept up with them after the novelty wore off.

Did he use the gun? Is that way you fainted?

Tee said...

Awh, LOL. I don't think I have ever fully fainted. It must be a very odd sensation.

How did you have your nose pierced the first time? As a teenager I did it with alcohol and a needle by myself. Those were my braver days. LOL.

Also, I can see why you could wear a nose ring even in a very formal profession. I think that people don't even look twice because they accept it as a cultural thing. There's some reverse discrimination though b/c I don't think I'd get the same opportunties if I had one, being caucasian. (Oh, the caucasian struggle! LOL!) ;) (THAT'S A JOKE PEOPLE!)

So, no pic? What kind of stud did you get? Gold? Silver? Diamond?

Oh - and if you ever do take that exotic trip and have to pick between Rome and Madrid - Pick ROME! I've been to both and there is no comparison.

~W~ said...

I once fainted after I broke my arm, I was in so much pain and I could feel myself fading away. You're right, that's quite an experience.
As for piercings I am the real wimp. I had my ears pierced as a baby so that doesn't count. I've been thinking about getting one more ear piercing for the past 20 or so years, but never mustered the courage to do it as an adult.

Jane said...

Wow. I've never had anything pierced aside from my ears so I can't imagine the difference. I'm so glad you decided to get your nose repierced. It's part of your culture--not just some fashion statement. Good for you.

frenchita said...

Phew !! I shud say u called up the trouble :-(((
I wont ever dare to get into such piercing thingy :-(((
Is it worth u feel ?
my sister was thinking about getting her nose pierced, but backed off.
I'm planning to get 2nd piercing in my ears.
Didn't you had it done with a gun?

Huda said...

I think I've told you this already, but I was SO nervous about showing up to work with my nose ring, even though I work in a pretty laid-back environment. Luckily, my boss didn't blink an eye. I think Tee's onto something with it being more acceptable for people where it's obviously culture and not just punkiness.

I love my nose ring, but if the hole ever closed over, I don't know that I'd do it again. The original piercing/healing process was so long and drawn-out!

Remember to turn the stud daily so the hole stays solid! Also, I think I heard somewhere that sea salt helps with the healing process too. (Neosporin worked for me, but apparently that's not really a good thing to use as it dries out the piercing?)

Anjum said...

I got my nose pierced about 1.5 years ago; I had wanted to get it for YEARS but I always refrained because of concerns about it affecting how I was treated professionally. Then one day I saw a desi jewelers shop and thought, "that's it, I'm gettin it!" and so I did, and haven't had any problems or anything at work. But then I am not a lawyer, though I do work in corporate america. and frankly, I don't think anyone WOULD say anything, not to me directly at least.

I wear a smallish tri-diamond stud, not a hoop or anything; I think studs are more appropriate/acceptable at work.

I think it is accepted as a cultural thing; if I were white and got a nose ring, it would probably be seen as more out-of-the-mainstream than a brown woman having a nose ring.

I think it might cause ppl to treat me differently if I wore hijab too; my theory is that brown+nosering+hijab = seemingly really traditional, whereas brown+nosering = non-issue. *shrug* just a theory.

Anonymous said...

Anjum, it might even be hijab = seeming really traditional, regardless. But even if they think that, they wouldn't say anything (if you, of course, fit in in other ways - the way you dress, talk, etc). They have to be politically correct and they want to have diversity; it's better for their business.


ps. Oh yea, Aisha, I've fainted numerous times in my life. So, you may want to be cautious not only when you get nose piercings, but in other contexts (at doctor's office, etc).

Aisha said...

Rasha, I wonder if maybe in bigger cities in not such a big issue? I live in the South and there are girls who get kicked out of court b/c the judges are offended that she wore a pant suit! So for that reason I thought I couldn't though there actually is much diversity in the city in general. I guess for the reasons others mentioned a nose ring isnt going to be pointed out b/c ppl may think theyre stepping on toes. Big Firms are I guess, always going to be an 'ole boys club. Even being a woman regardless of diversity must be difficult.

Maliha, no he didnt use a gun. I researched before I had it done and I read how bad they are for you.

Tee, I thought I should put a pic but after the pericings and my faintings I ended up looking quite messy so thought since its not Halloween, I should save the pic for another day, lol, also, my battery is dead for the camera, d'oh! :( and yeah you 're right as a white woman even if you wore it for the same reasons I do (its cute!) you couldn't w/out getting assumptions made. I never really fully thought about that. Hmmm. Really TEE? Have you been to Morroco or Greece? We're planning a trip during the summer (hopefully) and we want to do a two country stay for two weeks, either Morrocco/Spain or Italy/Greece. Any suggestions?

Aisha said...

W, ?Im so sorry you broke your arm! :( What kind of peircing would you get now?

Jane, thanks :)

Frenchita, it was a repeircing which means I had it done before so it wasn't my first time. The reason I reacted as I did was because I did not eat before going and I am prone to fainting in general. Most people don't faint. Guns are no advisable for such delicate areas as a nose, needles are better.

Huda, my "care packet" says to NOT turn it daily. Which is surprising b/c I thought you were supposed to. Do you remember if you were told to do it, or it just felt right?

Anjum, I think law and corporate america type of reactions are not going to be very different! Did people even mention it? I noticed when I got it the first time around people did not even mention it, it was kind of funny. I think it was just very inconspicuous b/c one of my students half way through the school year looked at me and shrieked " YOU HAVE A RING STUCK IN YOUR NOSE" It was so cute but funny since I'd worn it all year.

Oh yeah Rasha, I've fained about six or seven times. I hate the feeling!! :(

koonj said...

this is actually really useful. i had to take off my diamond stud because it used to scratch the baby and make her cry. And now i think it's mostly closed up (of course). but i was concerned about the white folks prejudice factor in the job market. maybe i will go re pierce. and i'll take svend too.

Aisha said...

Koonj if you decided to do it let me know. This place I got mine done at has a location in your neck of the woods.

Huda said...

I got mine done in India, so there was no care packet... but three generations of women in my family all stressed the importance of doing that. Also, they're all older than me, so I pretty much had no choice about doing it. ;-)

chai said...

congrats! and yeah to sticking it to corporate america. :)

i got my third hole in my ears repierced before i left for india and the wedding. the care packet didnt say anything but my trusted piercing artist told me to twirl the earrings everyday.

and as a lawyer in a gov't setting, no one has asked or said anything. plus i would never remove it cause i have had it for 11 years.

Anonymous said...

You women are impossible ... u know it pains but still want to get it done ... why do u torture ur body like this .. ummm well i mean women do look good with a nose ring and ear rings ... but even then .. ok I would re phrase my statement ... I would say women are daring :D ...

Tee said...

Oh man, I would love to go to Morroco or Greece. Those are at the top of my list, actually. (I'm not surprised you'd pick them, too.) LOL. I can't imagine what gorgeous photos one would come back with from either country.

I think if I had to pick between the 2, due to the feelings towards caucasian Americans in the world at this time, I'd pick Greece. (Again with the great caucasian struggle. LOL!)

Besides, in Morroco I'd spend all my money on decorative items and have nothing left for food. LOL. I absolutly LOVE mosaics and all the colors/patterns they use... Also, I don't think Carlos would enjoy Morroco with me since it would be hard to keep my eyes to myself. Morrocan men are really good looking. :D

I can't tell you if Rome is better than Greece or Morocco since I haven't been to the last 2. Most people who have been to Rome though will tell you, there's just something about that place that is like no other.

I can't pick!! LOL. All I can say is that Italy far exceeded my expectations. Monaco was extrememly boring to me (some pretty views but not too exciting).

France was a disappointment, too. (We were in "Nice" though - not anything fancy like Paris), and Spain was also fairly disappointing (and I had been so excited to use my Spanish).

Had I not gone to Italy first, maybe they wouldn't have paled in comparison.

Ok - I'm done now. Promise. LOL. This whole comment is a mess. Blah blah blah. Sorry - I can't concentrate. Kids are talking AT me.

Aisha said...

Huda, hmmm I guess I will twirl it then. This one though is so small and flat it will be tough to do. Still, who am I to ignore the advice of three generations of Indian women??

Chai, thanks for your input, 11 years is long enough to have been able to tell if you'd get issues for wearing it. I feel comfortable about my decision :)

anon, men get peircings too you know!

Tee, wow now i'm more confused than ever! lol. Its interesting what you say about spain, most ppl I know are disappointed by Spain who visit it for a short time. Those who stay a month or so fall in love with it. I dont know whhy that is, I guess the atmosphere takes time to get used to? I dont know! Thanks for your input on Italy though!! I REALLY want to go to Greece (particularly Santorini b/c of Sisterhood of the traveling pants, lol) and Italy was doubtful to me since it seems like a toursist trap much like Paris. (which btw- Paris is OK.... overhyped, I had wanted to go to Nice! lol). Thanks for your input!! :)

Rabia said...

neat! i keep thinking about getting mine done, too. but then i started wearing hijaab and i didn't want to see too "ethnic." now, that i've stopped, sometimes i want to get it pierced. i did get the top of my left ear pierced and the novelty wore off. that is the reason why i haven't pierced my nose yet. i am afraid that when i get it done, i might not want it anymore!

do you think you almost fainted due to a vaso-vagal reaction? it is common in women in response to emotional stress. i am not too sure it has to do with you eating. besides, if you do eat, you may vomit!

rehtwo said...

Oh cool! Yay for the power of facebook (hahaha).

Aisha said...

Rabia you should totally do it, you'd look cute with a nose ring! Vasovagal so that's like the swooning type thing that the women in the 50s used to do? Is there any way to prevent this?

Rehtwo, yes, facebook is indeed mighty cool :0)

Enyur said...

Oh God you just brought back a wave of memories! I got my nose pierced 5 or 6 years ago. I didn't really plan on getting it done...my mother and I actually went with my younger sister cuz she wanted to get hers done. After she got hers done, my innocent mom somehow emotionally persuaded me into sitting down and getting mine done too...it happened too quick! All I remember is a gun with a gold coloured stud stuffed between the inside and outside of my nose and then PATAK! The stud was in...a streak of red blood made its way down one of my nostrils and followed by a stream of tears from ONE eye....and as if it wasn't enough, I had all the desi workers and customers standing around the chair I sat somewhat shocked and somewhat crying in. I studied my new 'nose-do' in the mirror and thought...Oh God, this golden coloured stud looks so hideous!

Long story short...little did I know that the gun was going to cause an infection. My friend's mehndi was in two days. The day I got my nose pierced, she laughed and said "don't eat channay (chickpeas), or you'll get a chickpea on your nose. Well, guess what was served at the Mehndi? CHANNAY...did I eat it? You bet I did! Did I get a channa on my nose! Darn right I did! I swear the next day the peirced area swole to the size of a chick pea!

I had heard of this happening...but never believed it until it actually happened to me. But I've also heard that it's caused by the gun...so now I'm not sure what really caused it. Alhumdulillah, the swelling was gone in a MONTH...but oh God...it was horrible!

(sorry about the long comment! couldn't stop myself!)

Tee said...

That is interesting that people who stay longer enjoy it more. Now that I think about that, I wonder if that couldn't be said about most places. A couple days just isn't enough time to seek out the spots natives go to and soak up the real culture, you know?

I was in Italy for about 3 or 4 days but I found it easy to jump in and meet people there. People were so friendley and interested in talking to me. I was able to enjoy the culture almost immediatley.

Madrid was weird. It seemed cold (people-wise) - not what I expected. It just seemed like any other American city mostly.

I had expected quaint villages stacked upon each other, narrow winding streets, kids playing soccer in the alley, clothes hanging out to dry from windows on lines, orange trees, flamenco dancers and bull fights. I'm sure there are parts of Spain like that but I didn't see them.

There was about 1 hour I enjoyed there. I got off on my own away from the group (something I wasn't supposed to be doing LOL). I found a street with some performers, like guitar players and a nice little cafe.

So I'm not knocking Spain in general. I just didn't have the time to find the kind of places I was seeking.

Next time I'm able to tavel abroad I plan to seek out places that are very rich in a culture that is different from mine (such as Morroco). The cosmopolitan cities of European countries don't appeal to me much.

Anonymous said...

...i wear a teeny, tiny diamond stud which's pretty unnoticeable...i've always wanted to wear a nose ring but got scarred for life when i wore it to school one day (one upon a time ago) and the boys started teasing me, saying i looked like a cow and mooing in my direction...sigh -BOYS...it's funny...just a couple of days ago i was thinking about the diff in perceptions in both the countries i've lived and grown up in (pk and the us)...in pk, a nose ring/stud is considered very much the norm/traditional and no one would blink an eye upon seeing one on a female and long hair is considered to be at LEAST waist/hip length...whereas in the us, a nose ring is considered more, um, "punk?"/non-conformist...and long hair is applicable to hair length below the shoulders...


Anonymous said...

...not to forget i'm considered "tall" in pk at 5'5 and um, thin, by desi standards at my current weight...or as the aunties here say, "beta, you need to get more healthy"....here healthy is used to denote anyone looking nice and plump and not a reference to your health...whereas in the us i'm in the average to short height range/quartile and, well, ok i guess even be thought of as thin considering the rate of obesity there :)...(no offence intended to any overweight and/or obese people)


Aisha said...

Enyur, thats so interesting that your mom pressured you into getting one b/c my mom absolutely forbade me from having it! She said "after ur married do whatever but not until you leave this home" How odd! lol. Do you like it now that the swelling and all is down? BTW- I sent you an e-mail but already did what I asked, I'll send you another email soon insh'allah!

Tee, yeah I think with Spain the flamenco dancers are in Seville, I think that is why staying longer in Spain helps one like it more, thins are all over the place so you get to soak in the whole country by staying there a while. You know one thing Ive always wondered, when ppl want to vacation to France/Italy/Morroco, etc. its easy to say that, but coming to the US I think how can you say "i went to the US" because its so vast an diverse. You could only say "I went to NYC, or Colarodo, etc" I wonder what would give you the true flavor of America if one had a one week trip here. Hmmm. Its for this reason I hesitate going to Australia though Kashif wants to do Australia/New Zealand. Australia is a CONTINENT. Where do you go to get the full flavor of the entire place? It feels lke if you traveledalmost 30 hours to get there you should see as much as you can!

Ash, yeah Im 5'5 too! And aunties are alwyas like "aisha kee height kaaffee hain" hehe :) ?But the value for "thin" is spreading in desi culture too I think b/c the sons of these mothers have those standards. Mooooing???? What jerks those kids were! I'm glad you are wearing it again :)

Kashmiri said...

Alright luv?

Im gonna have to see a picture before i can make any relevant comment to the post :)

Aisha said...

Kashmiri?!? Where have you been? It's been at least two years! Ill get to work on that picture, maybe I'll find some batteries for the camera tonight :)

Anonymous said...

...no, never did go back to wearing the nose ring sadly...have stuck w/a small diamond pin since then...which hubby likes better as well and i've gotten used to, too...


Mia said...

I love my piercings in a way they are part of what makes me me you know? I was a hostess at a restaurant and my boss made me remove my eyebrow ring because he felt it sent the "wrong" message and his was a family establishment. Yet the rest of the female staff wearing lowwww cut shirts. Cut so low I might add that every time they bent over to serve a customer they risked their boobs plopping out on the customer's plate. Pants so tight they looked as if they were painted on was okay..lol

When I finally quit the job the first thing I did was to call a friend head out into the village and get my eyebrow re-pierced.

Enyur said...

Trust me, I was surprised when my mom let my sister get hers done...in fact I was the daadi amma who kept telling my sister she shouldn't be getting one, not at least until she's a bit older, (she was 16 at the time). But I'm glad I did get my nose pierced. The one I where is a really tiny fake diamond stud. To me, it's noticeable but I was surprised when 2 people at work told me that they had NEVER noticed it until now (and I've been there for 2 years!) Others who did notice, complimented on how nice it looks (I like hearing that lol!)

And thank you, I did get your email...I will reply to it tonight Insha'allah.

AKA said...

You're post put me much at ease because I've always wanted a nose ring but as I entered law school, the same thought of applying for positions in traditional law firms and being rejected for a piece of jewelry put me off the idea. But maybe now it's time to reconsider...

Aisha said...

Ash, I also have a stud :)

Mia, i'm glad you went and got your eyebrow repierced! Do you have a nose ring as welll? And I Agree it becomes a part of who you are..

Enyur, yeah, ppl dont even notice often! :) Your stud is pretty small?

aka, well this is just one girls perspective! I dont know if it will hurt or not, but if it were me, just to be safe I'd probably remove it before interviewing just to be safe. Like you said youd hate to have it go against you simply b/c you chose to wear a little piece o jewerly. But ofcousre this is just my opinion!

Mona said...

i love nose rings! i would love to get one, only 1) i'm far too chicken and 2)poor z would have a heart attack, he's not into piercings so much.
grapefruit? you eat grapefruit voluntarily? :)

Enyur said...

Yes, very small...but I have seen ones that are even smaller! Almost like the size of a glitter/sparkle...not sure why anyone would want that...I think it defeats the whole purpose of getting your nose pierced. I have a typical Punjabi nose - i.e. long lol! so I prefer smaller ones. My sister has a cute small nose - not sure where she got that from - but she prefers the really aunty-like/desi-like KOKAS

Rabia said...

aisha, okay, if you all of your faintings have occured during stressful periods and you don't have any heart disease, just make sure you are adequately hydrated. :) So, your eating comment was partially correct.

Aisha said...

Mona, for me the piercing was worth the pain though :) but if the spouse doesnt like it its not worth it, though I must say that Kashif at first didnt think he'd like it but once done he really did. And yes, grapefruits are delicious!!! :)

Enyur, KOKAs, lol, that just cracks me up! :) I think small is nice :)

Rabia, yeah, each time I faint its usually 1) high stress situation 2) not enough food. It seems much more romantic in the movies to faint! :)

Aisha said...

ughhh I hate 39 comments. Even numbers are so much better. I'm weird :)

Anonymous said...

Hey why not goto KSA since you missed the Hajj part ;).

AKA said...

Umm...I have nothing to add, just making it an even number of comments for you ;)

Anonymous said...

:) i like commenting on your blogs way late. and this entry was of particular interest to me. you should have included tan's 'lemme get a mop' comment. that was classic. i feel honored to have been there, and have my hand crushed (to anyone who thinks aisha's a wimp: try holding her hand through the piercing ordeal, and you will change your opinion immediately)...i'll do it again anytime...

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