My soon-to-be eighty-nine year old mother, still of sound mind, wants to pierce her nose. “A little diamond stud,” she said, reaching up to touch the side of her nose with a blue-painted fingernail. “Right here.”
Mom has said that she’s wanted one for years. I know this to be true, but figured that she was over it.
Just like the “little tattoo” she’d “wanted for years” on her ankle. She got that on her eighty-fifth birthday - a monarch butterfly she’d chosen from the catalogue at the Shamrock Tattoo Parlor on the Sunset Strip. The place she’d heard “was the best and where all the movie stars go.” The whole family went with her to be a part of the big event that my nephew set up. And, no, she was not their oldest client to get a tattoo…
Now, it’s the diamond stud on the side of her nose.
My mother has never been what she calls, “the mother with the Peter Pan collar and the bun in the back.” So, a request like this is not out of the ordinary. For Mom, it’s typical. When I visited her last Monday, she was wearing her usual sparkly top over stretch pants sporting a long necklace with a big iron cross “like Madonna,” she said.
“I just need to get your permission,” she told me. “Maybe the nurses (at her skilled nursing facility) can do it.”
“Mom, I get it. And, why not, you’re eighty-eight…. But, let me think about it, ok?”
I googled nose piercing before I put in a call to her doctor.
Up popped: When should I allow my thirteen-year-old to get a nose piercing?
And, “Help! My fifteen year-old wants to pierce her nose!”
I typed in: Is it safe is it for an eighty-eight year-old woman to get a diamond stud nose pierce?
I scrolled down. No eighty-eight year-olds popped up. Just a sixty-nine year-old woman who’d done it with no regret and a fifty-three year-old who felt that as long as you pay taxes and abide by the law, why not?
I moved on to the LIVESTRONG site and jotted down a few medical reasons why Mom shouldn’t get one at her stage of the game. She doesn’t heal well, she has allergies and a compromised immune system which can lead to infection and the list goes on…
But, then, I thought, why not? She’s close to ninety.
Like when a friend questioned her about getting the tattoo: “But, you’ll have it the rest of your life!”
I weighed in with my sister, April, citing all the medical reasons. “Oh, hell-to-the-no, Heath. She doesn’t realize that it’s not just the diamond on top. There’s the post stuff inside.”
Later, I called Mom. “About the diamond stud…”
“The bloom is off the peach," she cut in. "I’m going to pass.”
“I talked to April and once I heard about anything like an infection, I realized it’s just not worth it. Sickness and all that.”
“Well, you’re slow to heal now and…”
“It’s like the mink coat,” she said, interrupting me again.
“The mink coat?”
“Yeah. Years ago I wanted a mink coat. It was a symbol of something lush. The diamond stud in the nose today – it’s like a symbol of youth. Way-outness.”
“And, so you’re ok with not getting one, Mom? Can you think of something else that might make you feel young?”