Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Too Cool for School

At 20, I acquired a dainty lip ring. I loved it madly. It made me feel like a million bucks. I kept it there until, at maybe 22, I realized it was knocking the enamel off my teeth. I still miss it.

Otherwise, I'm not and never was big on body jewelry, or jewelry at all. I almost never even wear earrings. Although I didn't want to take my lip ring out, I felt like I should know how. Which I did not.

On the first day of fall quarter, I noticed another girl in my seminar. She had her lip, nose and eyebrow pierced, in addition to various ear piercings. I wanted to ask her about taking them out, but I was intimidated by the way she was obviously much cooler than I. She probably hated everyone, and would just roll her eyes and sneer.

One day after class, she approached me. She looked apprehensive and uncomfortable. My mind raced. Had I told someone I wanted to ask her about my lip ring, and now she felt obligated to give me a tutorial? No, I didn't remember doing that. What could it be?

"Um, Erin?" she asked, hesitantly. "This is terribly embarrassing, but," she gestured toward her face, "I don't know how to get these out."

It should have been the beginning of a lifelong friendship, but for whatever we never became more than friendly acquaintances. Still, I got to know her well enough to learn that she was many things. Creative, funny, intelligent, and an enormous Morrissey fan. But cool? Nope.

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