Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A Birthday

I took my mom to a tattoo parlor today for her birthday.

She's been talking about getting her ears pierced for awhile, and when I mentioned to my food bank buddies that I was going to take my mom to the mall, the FB director said his wife would tell me to go to a piercing parlor. The word from her is that those guns they use in stores can't be totally sterilized, and that if we went to a parlor she would get really clean needles and stuff.

She suggested Braindrops on Hayes and Ashbury. They have a location on Haight but somehow she knew that my mom might not be comfortable with a Haight Street shop. In fact, when I told Mom it was on Hayes, she thought I had said Haight and cried, "I'm going to get my ears pierced on Haight Street?!?!" in a no-way-Jose voice.

The store has a lot of really cool looking jewelry - I saw stuff I liked but would never fit in my (mall-pierced) ears. There is a spiral staircase leading up through a low mirrored ceiling to where they do the tattoos. Paul, the guy who pierced my mom, had five piercings I could see, and tattoos on both arms and one of his hands. I thought she'd be uncomfortable in a place like that, but she totally wasn't. She's very hip, you know.

The FB directors' wife was right about the sanitation: Paul changed his gloves five times before he even picked up the needle. He very carefully went over the aftercare instructions with Mom, detailing the difference between regular soap and antimicrobial soap, and warning her to keep her head out of the water when she goes swimming for the next couple weeks. Mom got stainless steel hoops with carnelian beads. Later Mom and I laughed about our momentary confusion when we read in the instructions that one should soak her ears in a glass of water with a pinch of salt, or if filling a bathtub to use 2-3 cups of salt. It was that moment of forgetting that there are lots of places to pierce below the neck.

So, she got her ears pierced after all these years, and I went to a tattoo parlor with my mom.


Tea said...

Ha, I spent my 13th birthday with my mom getting my ears pierced (she made me wait until I was 13).

Needless to say, it wasn't at a tattoo parlor:-)

Bill said...


Very cool of you to enable your Mom to do something she's wanted to do and was too anxious to do it on her own. Very supportive.

Good picture too. And, did you know that, if you click on the picture, which blows the picture up to full frame, and look carefully over her head, there's a reflection of you taking her picture in a mirror or mirroring object inside the store?

More pictures, please.

Aloha, nui loa, Bill