Monkey had one big wish for her 14th birthday, to have her ears pierced.
Today was the day and it was quite an adventure!
Friend Paige told me she had taken her daughter downtown to Nashville Ink Tattoo to have her ears poked. I called and talked to a very friendly woman who gave me hours, directions, and the instruction to bring along Monkey’s birth certificate. That seemed like such an odd request, I promptly forgot it.
I didn’t tell Monkey ahead of time that today was the day because I didn’t want her to fret. She was determined to do this, but no use worrying about it ahead of time. I popped down to her room around 10 a.m., told her today was the day!
We headed downtown around 11:30 since the Tattoo parlor opens at noon. Walked a few blocks from the parking garage, a little awed at the immense amount of construction going on downtown. We had to take a serpentine path to get to the parlor because sidewalks kept being closed.
Three young white folks greeted us when we walked in the door at Ink.
“How can we help you?”
“Monkey wants to get her ear lobes pierced.” (This is a piercing place where you reeeeaaallllyyy want to specify which body part you want pierced.)
Second question, looking at me, then with a head shake, turning to Monkey:
“How old is Monkey?”
“Do you have proof of parenthood and ID?”
Thus began a rather twisted path to proving Monkey was my progeny.
The Department of Health doesn’t want “Cool Aunt Ginnie” bringing her niece in, pretending to be her mom, and letting Niece Zelda get that tattoo she’s dying to get, so you have to prove you have the right to give permission for tattoos and piercings. Anyone under 18 has to have parental permission.
(Side note: In TN no one under 18 can purchase a gun, but there is no minimum age for owning one…)
They were not willing to take years of blog posts as proof of parenthood…I asked.
It took a great deal of back and forth conversation, but they finally agreed that they would accept an emailed copy of Monkey’s birth certificate. Thank goodness Buds was working from home today, so he hunted it up, snapped a shot, and sent it off to us so we could proceed with the birthday adventure.
While we waited for the photo to show up, the proprietor started up a video on the multiple big screen televisions in the waiting room.
I was there with my 14 y.o. daughter. He knew she was 14 y.o.
The video he chose to start was from comedian Ron White. When I tell you that I would be embarrassed to watch it with my parents, to fully understand that statement you need to know that Buds and I watched “There’s Something About Mary” with my parents one movie night decades ago, and I wasn’t embarrassed.
That’s how raw and raunchy this video at Ink was. Monkey and I were cackling like crazy and looking at each other with big eyes as Ron White detailed every inappropriate sexual activity you’ve never heard of. The curse words abounded.
Monkey and I agreed that no matter how good her experience was, this was not where we’d be bringing Yessa when she decides to have her ears pierced. Yessa is a a cursing abstainer. And she wants the rest of the world to be as well. Ron White would displease her mightily.
The wait was good because in addition to building up our repertoire of filthy jokes, we had time to look through the tattoo albums. Ink has a great selection of dragonfly tattoos, should I ever decide to get one.
After a good long while, the necessary proof of parenthood was secured. The time had come!
Christina was learning to be a piercer, so she observed, and Rose was the fellow who did the piercing. They were kind to Monkey, willing to let me take photographs (but not video), and relaxed and laughed with us by the end. We even got a chuckle when I told them I was actually her aunt, not her mom. (Saying things to amuse myself. That is my way.)
Rose gloved up. Cleaned Monkey’s ears. Had her put her hair back, then marked the exact spot where the holes would go.
Tough to see, but Rose put a tiny black dot on each ear so Monkey could approve the placement.
Monkey said it only hurt slightly more than her allergy shot. She’s a tough one, this kid.
Rose was quick, efficient, and skilled, and after five minutes, she was pierced up.
Rose talked Monkey through how to care for her ears. (Not the peroxide of my childhood.) And we were off.
We grabbed a bite at the library cafe to celebrate. (Red Velvet Cake for the win.)
You might think that was the end of our adventure, but you’d be wrong!
Then we stopped at Target to look for clothes for Monkey. We found a couple different items, but the highlight for us was when we asked for helping in finding a certain dress that was displayed on a mannequin, and when it was not easily found on nearby racks, the Target Team Member pulled that mannequin’s arm off and stripped her down for us. (My phone had died by then or I’d have a picture of naked mannequin to post. Ron White would approve.)
Monkey and I were kind of wishing we’d gotten to do it ourselves, but we appreciated the help.
We wrapped up our adventure by driving home singing our hearts out to the Dixie Chicks.
What a splendid, loving afternoon.
Happy Birthday Monkey. We love you!