November 25, 2006

Unanswered Pleas

All I wanted growing up was pierced ears. In all other aspects, I was a pure tomboy, but this one little girlish vanity trilled to me from a young age. But I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. My mom was luxuriating in her granola phase and thought that any kind of body piercing was unnatural and unnecessary. As the 5th girl in the family I was well aware of the obstacles to obtaining my goal. My mother doggedly repeated we could only get our ears pierced once we went to college.

But did that stop me from trying?

In going through my boxes of childhood memorabilia this week, I came across a series of notes I had left on my parents' dresser. I can only imagine my parents' saved them for me out of some sick sense of delight at being able to crush my darling youthful desire. Just one of the small kick-backs of parenting.

Here's one:

Dear Mom & Dad,

I love you both. You are both so kind. Mom I love your beautiful curly brown hair. Dad you are so handsome with your nice dark eyes.

From Hollywood

P.S. This is a note to make you say yes to me getting pireed ears.

And another:

Dear Mom,

how much does it cost to get my ears pirced? Am a alowed to? If I am I will pay for it with my money. PLEASE?! I promise I will not wear weard earings and will pay for it all. If you think I am to young I'm not! I'm 10. Please!

From Hollywood

And another dated January 1990:

Dear Dad, I have left some money on your dresser please change all the change to bills. All together the moeny is $3.80. I have allredy paid tithing for it please give it to me asoon as possible. Talk to mom about me geting my ears pirced. I wrote in my letter to mom that I would pay for it all. Ask Mom for more details. From Hollywood

And one final incoherent plea of desperation:

Please Mom? Change in the money don't forget Dad! CASH!

My cries were lost in the wind and so I sourly waited until my freshman year of college to get my precious studs. You can then imagine my utter disgust when 3 years later my Mother called me from home asking me about where she and my little sister (who was barely a teenager at the time) should go to get their ears pieced together. You know, a mother-daughter bonding kind of thing. There is no justice.


Silly Marie said...

The rule in our house was 16 to get ears pierced. That is, it was until I came along. I think my parents were tired of saying no and I talked and begged them into letting me when I was 13. Sometimes it pays to be the younger sibling...

Anonymous said...


You act as if this was about principle - the piercing simply cost more than $3.80 and you just did not have the cash!!!!

Love Dad

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of my own story. My mom insisted that I wouldn't be allowed to get my ears pierced until she did. Of course, i knew she would never. When I was 16, she changed her mind -- we went in together, and she got hers pierced first, just so she wouldn't be going back on her word. :)

Mumsy said...

Mother-daugher bonding....yes, actually that was SUCH a bonding experience for me and Nubsy. Ahh, the times we've spent making matching earrings, admiring ourselves in the mirror...together. Shopping for earrings all over the world, then reflecting together on our shared joys, symbolized by the dangly beauties hanging from our mutilated bodies. Of COURSE I said yes to her. How could I reject the pleas of a beloved daughter?

Samantha said...

I love, love, love, finding letters like that.

Th. said...


I am appalled.

chronicler said...

So typical! My mom did the same thing! I pleaded, begged, bribed to no avail! Then my sister and her went and got them done. I was livid. Mom's explanation: Well, she needed a boost so we went and had them done. Fine, I'm just chopped liver!

Happy martyrs' day said...

Apalled? Go have nine kids and try to do everything for every single one of them exactly the same. Keep track over the years, and get back to me.
Much love, Sarah's adoring mother

amanda said...

"adoring mother," your last comment really cracked me up. i am going to take your word for it rather than actually try to have 9 kids to see if you are right.

this was a great post sarah! it is funny that "silly marie" (my little sis) said that the rule was 16 in our house, because i begged at least once a month for my whole life until i was over 17, and i said, "hey mom, if i get my ears pierced now i can wear real earrings to my senior prom." and my mom said, "ok." i was so chocked since the answer had been no for 17 years straight. i gleefully ran to the only place in town that pierced ears and

anyway, my favorite memory on the subject was when my cousin and i were about 10 and we put together a little skit about why we should get our ears pierced and my grandma started in about how you shouldn't be trying to attract boys at such a young age because then you will get serious with a boyfriend too young and then (with tears in her eyes!) said, "and the next thing you know there will be a baby on the way." my poor cousin and i had no idea what she was talking about and just said, "ummmm, we just think that they are pretty."

anyway, the sad ending to the story is that i have ultra sensitive ears so i haven't even worn earrings most of the time since i have had them pierced, and now i can only wear 14k gold. boo hoo.

Anonymous said...

My mom made me wait until I was 8 and I intend to do the same with Katie. I don't know if that's even a good idea since my 7 yr olds in my CTR 8 class sit and point out their "dangly" earrings every Sunday, which while cute at first, is annoying after a bit. "Yes, they're pretty. I'm glad you were a good girl this week and got to wear them. No, I don't want to hear about your others. Anyhow, back to Jesus..."

Love your persuasive letters! Who said flattery will get you everywhere? Liars!

Anonymous said...

BTW, I bet you sorely missed traveling the world searching for the perfect earrings with your mom and sis. Too cute. Spoken like a true mom-veteran.

bethany said...

sarah, you should have just done what i did with mom and dad. i knew the 18 rule, so i just didnt ask and had long hair. i knew i wanted earings for prom and senior year festivities so i just got them pierced and didnt say anything about it to anyone. i even pierced my cartillige etc. dad didnt find out until we were shopping for junior symphony ball and the attendant showed me a necklace earing combo and i told dad i wanted it. he made the comment it would be a waste of earings and i just flashed my lobes. i think he assumed i had recieved some sort of permission due to my total confidence. but hey, i had my ears pierced when i was 17 or just before then and no one gave me guff. it is all about acting like your know your stuff so noone questions you. Hahaa dad, that was great!

Silly Marie said...

Hey amanda, I never knew that story. I really did think it was 16.