STYLEWISE: Not-so-precious moments in a farmhouse full of tiny dogs and creepy ceramics
It's never a good idea to pierce any sort of body part while in the company of Chihuahuas. Most people would probably consider that common sense. Dogs in general are not the most hygienic creatures. And despite the fact that a dog's mouth is actu...
It's never a good idea to pierce any sort of body part while in the company of Chihuahuas.
Most people would probably consider that common sense.
Dogs in general are not the most hygienic creatures. And despite the fact that a dog's mouth is actually cleaner than a human's -- it's true, I read it on the Internet -- when it comes to poking holes into previously hole-less parts of your anatomy, you don't want to be wondering what part of his anatomy little Snuffy was licking before he strolled into the room.
And yet, when I found myself in this very situation some years back, the last thing on my mind was the personal grooming habits of the pack -- yes, PACK -- of Chihuahuas that somehow managed to squeeze into a room with me and a large, glass display case holding carefully arranged Precious Moments figurines.
I was on a mission. And that mission had led me and my four horrified friends to a slasher-movie-worthy farmhouse full of tiny dogs, creepy ceramics and possibly a skin lamp.
I was there to get my belly button pierced.
I was 18 and in my first semester of college at UND. My friends would probably describe me at that time as straight-off-the-farm naïve. I like to think I was "in wonder of the world." Either way, my decision-making skills were obviously lacking.
I was living on my own for the first time, and I could do whatever I wanted. Cookies for breakfast? Best idea ever. Sleeping until 2 p.m.? Showing up for class is for chumps. Tequila shots with no chasers? Barfing really isn't THAT bad.
Getting a belly button piercing at a sketchy, rural, word-of-mouth business? Sign me up!
And that's where I found myself: stretched out on my back on a table in a closet-sized room in a dilapidated farmhouse in the middle of the country. My exposed stomach glowed white under a painfully bright lamp hanging above. A large man sporting a beard rivaling the likes of ZZ Top loomed over me, needle in hand.
Between the dogs and ZZ, the room started to feel claustrophobic, and I started to feel nauseous.
I couldn't watch, so I turned my head, coming eye to dead-blue-eye with hundreds of bobble-headed children.
"Those aren't very precious," I thought to myself.
Suddenly, a pain like nothing I had ever felt in my young life radiated from my midsection. My toes curled and my fists clenched as ZZ shredded my skin like a guitar riff. "Dear Lord!" my brain screamed. "I'm going to die! This must be what childbirth is like!"
And then, it was over. I had two slightly bloody holes in my navel, now-decorated with sparkly, blue rhinestones. I paid the man $60, waved goodbye to Snuffy and the gang and headed home with my friends.
Three months later, after two bottles of hydrogen peroxide, one visit to student health and many hours of suffering through a belly button infection, the piercing had to go.
Fourteen years later, I'm left with two things: A barely noticeable scar, and the knowledge that it's never a good idea to pierce any sort of body part while in the company of Chihuahuas.
Martz is a copy editor at the Herald and can be reached at email@example.com or (701) 780-1124. Her column runs the last Sunday of every month.