About a month ago, when I was halfway through a bottle of chardonnay, I had the not-so-brilliant idea that I should re-pierce my belly button.
In our bathroom.
With my old belly button ring and a tube of Polysporin.
I’d had the thing for 12 years before I got pregnant, so I figured it wouldn’t be any more difficult than putting an earring in after almost 3 years.
I was wrong.
And I’ve spent the last 4 weeks cleaning, disinfecting, and inspecting my belly button every second of every day while simultaneously praying my 2-year-old will find it in her heart to stop touching that part of my body with her hands, feet, legs, knees, and elbows.
Do you know how often kids touch that part of your body? Approximately 3,957,983 times an hour. I’m not even kidding.
Now I know what you’re thinking.
I should just take the stupid thing out, right?
I can’t remove it until I know it’s 100% healed and free from infection.
And at the rate I’m going, that won’t happen until my child goes to college.
So I continue to clean, disinfect, inspect, and pray.
Of course, this whole…situation of mine has left my husband shaking his head at me.
But every time he opens his mouth to tell me that re-piercing my belly button was the stupidest thing I’ve ever done, I lift my shirt, show him my tattoo, and remind him that THAT’S the stupidest thing I’ve ever done.
I got it when I was 20-years-old.
My BFF from sixth grade had come to visit me. We’d only been friends for one year in middle school before her family moved back to the US, but we’d managed to keep our friendship going all those years, through handwritten letters, faxes, phone calls, and, eventually, email.
And I couldn’t believe she actually made the trek out to visit me.
It was so much fun remembering all of the crazy stuff we did together.
The prank calls we used to make.
The mean things we did to the first person who fell asleep at our sleepovers.
The time she almost got suspended from school.
The list went on and on.
I wish that trip could’ve lasted forever.
On her last day, while we were nursing a hangover and making promises we wouldn’t let another 8 years pass by before we saw each other again, I asked Laura if there was anything else she wanted to do before she headed home.
She said yes.
She wanted to get a tattoo.
And I’m not one to rain on anyone’s parade, so I opened up the Yellow Pages, found a place that was within walking distance from my apartment, and off we went.
From the moment we stepped into that joint, I knew it was bad news. You know how they claim the casinos in Vegas pump oxygen through the air-conditioning to keep you awake longer? Well, I’m willing to bet tattoo parlors pump adrenaline through their air-conditioning systems to keep you from walking out without at least 3 piercings and 6 tattoos on your body.
So while Laura was in the back getting that flower tattooed on her right hip (how original, right?), I frantically scanned the designs at the front of the shop for something, ANYTHING, that would look cool.
Because you shouldn’t spend more than 5 minutes selecting a design that is going to be etched on your skin for the rest of your life.
Thirty minutes and a lot of screaming and swearing later, I walked out with the Chinese symbol for “LIFE” on my lower back:
I was trying to make a statement.
And I keep hoping and praying someone will invent a time machine so I can go back and ask my 20-year-old self what the statement was.
Do you have any tattoos or body piercings?