quaker fencer

kathz isn't quite my name. I may be a Quaker. If I'm a fencer I'm a bad one and I don't do sabre. If I'm a Quaker I'm a bad one - but you've worked that out already. Read on. Comment if you like. Don't expect a reply.

Location: United Kingdom

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Help! I've been stabbed in the ears

My daughter won.

Last week she and her boyfriend (the sabreur) celebrated the end of exams and 6th form college by each getting one ear pierced. The piercings are quite high up - "through cartilege",my daughter said, proud of her ability to bear the pain - and they plan to wear matching ear-cuffs, or something of the kind.

When she returned, after the initial "ow! does it hurt? - my baby's got a hole in her ear" reaction, I remarked that perhaps I'd get my ears pierced too.

I think it was meant to be a frivolous, throw-away remark. For heaven's sake - I'm 52, which is a bit late to embark on a life of glamour and beauty treatments. But my daughter thinks I'm her mission in life (when she's not concerned with acting, her boyfriend, her friends, her busy social life, writing, computer gaming ...). She decided to take me in hand.

It was all slightly alarming. For a start, the professional young lady who pierced my ears - and did her best to check I hadn't been bullied into it - used a gun, not a sword. She gave me lots of warnings about what to do if my earlobes became infected or the stud got trapped inside the pierced lobe. (I was turning pale by then.) My daughter smiled in a way that was supposed to be encouraging.

I raised the crucial questions. What would happen when I put on a fencing mask? Would the ear/stud/piercing be at risk if I took a particularly hard hit to the mask? What should I do if a fencing injury caused problems with my newly-pierced ear-lobes? Strangely, the experienced piercers in the shop didn't seem familiar with this line of questioning.

My daughter suggested I ask my opponents not to hit me in the mask. I tried to explain why that wouldn't work but she seemed to think earrings more important than epee. Then she suggested plasters over the earrings - I think friends with newly-pierced ears used plaster in ballet displays and exams. The piercers thought plaster might work but said I must be careful for six weeks.

I decided to risk it.

My daughter stood by, grinning manically.

The first shot hurt but the second wasn't so bad. Suddenly I had holes in my ear-lobes and sparkly, dark blue studs.

The pierced ears will help in my piratical (post-retirement) career. I've found a place nearby where I can learn to sail too, when I have time, money and a boat. There's a colony of parrots in Richmond Park. Perhaps I could trap one to train on my next visit to London.

But I'm still uncertain about the fencing mask and how (if) to protect my ear-lobes and studs for the next few weeks. Any ideas? I don't want to lose this significant pirate accessory before my career begins.

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Blogger Elizabeth McClung said...

Congrats! If you are concerns put the paper medical tape over the earring stud and ear and there shouldn't be a problem, you can remove or dissolve the tape when you get home (that way if your ears ooze, the adhesive won't bind). Use the tea tree or whatever they suggest and in a few months you will be putting in your skull earring studs while jogging out the door like the best of them.

9:49 pm  
Blogger kathz said...

thanks - I'll report back later.

11:40 pm  
Anonymous BrianH said...

Your story made me laugh! I got my right ear pierced last week in honour of my 60th birthday. My son-in-law got his done at the same time, so it was a bonding moment for us, and we were very brave.

I had mentioned that I might get a piercing, and my son gave me small diamond studs for my birthday (his wife complaining that he never gave HER diamonds), so I had to follow through.

I won't start teaching my fencing class for almost a month, so everything should be properly healed by then. Even so, I think I will use some tape over the stud for a while.

Good luck with your piratical future.


4:06 am  
Blogger kathz said...

hallo Brian - congratulations on your piercing.

Fencing with earrings doesn't seem much of a problem. I wish I could say the same for picking up a suitcase and going out through the front door - that's when I caught my earring and it really hurt.

Good luck with the new season's fencing - good to hear from you.

12:09 pm  

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