Those who know me know that I am a "less is more" kind of gal. I wear little make-up and not a lot of bling. At 75, I believe in aging gracefully. However, sometimes the universe aligns and you just know that you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. That’s where my "aging disgracefully" side kicks in.
A few weeks ago I was at a Toronto event still feeling quite jetlagged after a 12 hour flight from Turkey. The venue was hot and crowded. I was dressed too warmly and suddenly I felt ill, quite faint, in fact. 911 was called and I ended up in the emergency ward to make sure there were no hidden medical reasons for my body to have responded that way.
Hospital emergency wards take care of emergencies first. That meant hours of me hanging around in between blood tests and those other routine medical checks. One of the ambulance attendants chatted with me as I waited to be assigned an examination cubicle. I remember mentioning that I liked her tiny nose piercing – a sparkly, diamond-like little adornment.
"I’ve always wanted one of those," I said.
"And what stopped you?" she asked.
"My young impressionable grandchildren," was my reply. "They are budding teenagers now. I don’t want them to think that body piercing is an option. You know, ‘if grandma can do it, why can’t I?’"
She giggled in response. "Just tell them that when they are your age they can do it, too."
By the time I was shown to an examination room, it was just about midnight. The hospital lights had been dimmed and the corridors were filled with the hum of hospital sounds. My mind wandered to the "what if" place. What if I really am ill? Could something be wrong with my heart? I dozed on and off.
The doctor showed up at 2:00AM to give me my results. "I wish my blood pressure was as good as yours. You look fine. You are fine. Go home. Case closed!" I slept extremely well that night.
Several days later I detoured through Yorkville, an upscale Toronto locale. I often take this route and know the area by heart. Yet, this time amidst the trendy shops where matrons happily put down a thousand dollars for a handbag was a new addition to the hood – "The Village Ink- a Tattoo and Piercing Parlour." Believe me, this was not some seedy little joint but a gorgeous, drop dead ultra modern boutique.
Need I say more? You know what’s coming, don’t you? Grandma thought back to her 911 adventure of the past week and …
I popped in right then and there and met with manager Joseph Langton and tattoo artist Sarah J. I admitted to knowing zero about piercing procedures but Joseph was infinitely patient with my endless questions. In the long run, I based my final decision "to modify" on the extreme cleanliness of the place and the nice young people running it. How else would a grandmother decide?
These are the hands of the person who would be doing the deed.
And those hands belong to Tyler Musselman, the man who would be "THE MODIFIER." Was I nervous? You bet I was!
The night before my appointment I had dinner with a few contemporaries and I casually threw "a piercing" into the conversation. Jaws dropped and there was absolute silence around the table. Did that make me more nervous? Uh huh!
But what made me most uneasy of all was walking into Tyler’s cubicle and seeing his instrument tray and those extremely black gloves. Oh boy! I immediately retreated from potential hipster right back to grandmother mode focusing on …wow, look how clean everything is!
Owner Jonny Silverstein popped in to watch the proceedings and offered to hold my hand during the procedure. He’s a hunk. Of course, I accepted the bonus.
I braced myself for the worse and it hurt for no more than thirty seconds. I just forced myself to keep thinking …but it’s clean … really, really clean! Plus, I do admit to squeezing Johnny’s hand a whole lot tighter.
To be perfectly honest, this was not a procedure or world that I understood at all. I was putting myself into the hands of "tattooed in a lot of places" and, "pierced in a lot of places," young people. I didn’t know if they were good at what they did or if I would be completely sorry I tried the process at all.
And then, I looked in the mirror and absolutely loved the results. It was exactly what I had always imagined – tiny and sparkling and it went perfectly with my red glasses.
Mission accomplished. I had been MODIFIED!
P.S. It is now five days post procedure. I am following the stringent after care instruction sheet I was given. Nothing hurts and I seem to be healing well.
The Village Ink might be my only piercing experience but based on the way I was treated I give them an Aging Disgracefully Gold Star rating.
P.S.S. I told my granddaughter about my experience. Her response? "Oh grandma, I would like to do that too!" My response? Of course you can, darling…. on your 75th birthday.