Last Saturday, which was during 4th of July weekend, G and I went up to Ithaca to have our navels pierced.
Yeah. I know. It seems weird, and unprovoked, but what the hay. . We had been talking about it for awhile, and were feeling all 4th of July-y and badass, so we decided what better way to celebrate America’s birthday than to submit to voluntary pain.
And let me just say, for the record, we are not”body modification” people. We don’t have, or want tattoos, though we can appreciate them on others.
For me, just the thought of a tongue piercing gives me the heebs, and I often find myself staring at people with eyebrow, lip, and other facial piercings and not even seeing THEM because I am so transfixed by their “body art.” What?? What did you just say?? Sorry, I was lost in thought wondering how much that must have hurt, and why you would even DO that to yourself.
And because I have to go through regular periodontal work involving lots of shots into the roof of my mouth, sadly, needles have totally lost their allure.
I think the reason we wanted our navels pierced though, is that we thought it would make us look hot as we sat under our beach umbrellas, reading our Kindles, on our upcoming beach vacation.
And also maybe because we felt compelled to do our part to keep up, at least symbolically, with the body modification culture.
But it any case, we figured it would be certainly be a lark, and, for me, make for good blog content, if nothing else.
I once accompanied my friend Zee to a place in Ithaca called the Modification Station when she wanted to have her ears re-pierced and I remembered it as nice and clean and classy as these places go, so that was our destination.
But when we got there it was closed. We had girded our loins, (or whatever gets girded for a navel piercing) and were all: Yeah! Let’s do this! Let’s get modified! and then…dark, “Sorry we are closed for the holiday weekend.”
We hit up the Farmer’s Market and Macro Mamas for lunch and then decided to stop at the mall and cheer ourselves up with a pedicure.
The mall was dead, so we just sat right down, plopped our feet in hot water while a massage chair kneaded our backs, and submitted to “pampering.”
Except this doofus pedicure guy had his head turned 180 degrees and stared at a TV for the first 10 minutes as he acetoned off my old polish. At one point he was dabbing my toe and not even my nail and I had to stop him and say, “Excuse me, but that’s my TOE, not my NAIL you’re rubbing.”
And here is where I go into my mental rant about the need for Linchpins in every sector of society. I want to give this kid Seth Godin’s, Linchpin, so he will know that THE GAME HAS CHANGED! I want to gently school this kid because he clearly doesn’t get it.
Eventually I start to talk to him, in an effort to wean his attention away from whatever nonsense on TV has him transfixed, and ask him questions about his life, engage him, bring his attention back to me, and my toes, and the job at hand, and off the goddamn TV.
I tell him that I am a yoga teacher, that I work in bare feet. I tell him that people look at my feet all day and if he does a good job, I will tell people where I got my toes done and maybe they will come here, too.
He nods. But he doesn’t hear, or get ,what I am saying. I am saying, “Kid, be charming. You’re cute. If you were charming instead of hating and resenting your life because you are doing mani-pedis at the mall, ladies would be flocking to you, tipping you, recommending you. You could maybe own this place someday, make it into an mini-empire and then sell it to do something else. But all this not paying attention is going to chain you to this toe job FOREVER.
But I didn’t school him, of course. He painted my toes, and even did this flower on my big toes and I tipped him and G and I left the mall, a little bit modifed.
But that kid? He went on to the next pair of feet, totally unchanged.