Socially Unacceptable Post 40: Earrings

I’m still getting used to changing earrings – It still feels really weird to be pushing bits of metal through holes in my earlobes that weren’t there a few weeks back, and actually seeing and feeling the holes in my lobes is still a bit freaky.

–Mischa Barton

I wrote a poem when I was a child about how I was fed up with everyone telling me I would look prettier with earrings. I didn’t care if I was pretty. I didn’t care if anyone was pretty. It was simply irrelevant, not a thing that ever crossed my mind. I thought everyone else was kind of dumb for caring about their personal appearance. That should have been a dead giveaway that I don’t experience aesthetic attraction. Or only experience it under very specific circumstances, as I would learn later. But at the time, I did not understand split attractions, so I just figured everyone else was strangely conceited and shrugged it off as, well, it was not as if I didn’t already know humanity was messed up.

I didn’t get earrings until a few years ago. My mother said that if all three of us older siblings got them together, she would pay for them. Dumb, if you ask me. Why wouldn’t she pay for them if just Leona and Hawk wanted them? Whatever. I said yes so she would pay for my siblings’ earrings. After all, I was indifferent.

I picked my birthstone for my first earrings. The November ones are a kind of amber-color; topaz. A nice color, I guess. The lady punched the earrings through my ear after I signed some forms. When I got home, I looked at them in the mirror.

What everyone else probably saw were twin, sparkling amber earrings. I saw a neon sign screaming “doormat.” I shrugged, hating the empty eyes that stared back at me from the mirror, the stupid acne, my dumb face. “Lipstick on a pig,” a lovely saying. I twisted the earrings absently as I had been told, so that they wouldn’t heal. I didn’t get it. Why was being stabbed through the ear like some stupid rite of passage for girls? I considered ripping them out and letting the holes heal, but then thought of how I would feel my mother’s disappointment and my sibling’s confusion.

One ear got infected and started to swell. It hurt. I cleaned it again and again. My mother conceded to helping me with my ears every night. Eventually the swelling went down. Yay.

My friend made me earrings, a pretty green-blue. She sent them in the mail. I put them in and looked in the mirror. She gave them to me, made them with her own hands. A warm feeling filled me and I smiled in the mirror, and then cringed. My voices mumbled about my stupid ugly face. I sighed and left them in, dangling from my ears.

My brother bought me demon slayer earrings. I wore them, and cautiously looked in the mirror. That was more…more me. A pair of earrings from an anime I love, worn by a character I love. My voices began to whisper, and I stared into my own eyes. Dead eyes. Depressed eyes. I removed the earrings from my ears and put them away for months.

When I went to New Hampshire, I found earrings that looked like my logo for my old website. I looked at them through the glass, their blue-purple brilliance. Pretty. Too pretty for me. I walked away. Then I walked back. I purchased them and wore them when I got home. This time I didn’t look in the mirror. I sent a picture to Marie and wore them constantly.

Months later I bought a pair of snake earrings on Etsy. That was me. Pure me. I wore them. I showed them off shyly. I avoided the mirror. I wore them when I first met Marie in person.

And then there were the shell earrings, bought by my fiancée for me. I wore them and looked into the mirror. They…looked good on me. So did the smile. They were very me. I looked into my eyes, which shone back with more than a spark of life. No hatred. No judgement. My voices did not show up.

Thank you, Marie.

Post 40 in Socially Unacceptable: The Daily Life of a Queer Schizophrenic Wreck (2022)

This is an autobiographical series about my life, something I have wanted to do for a long time. I intend to add new content daily.

For the whole series, follow this link.

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