Dan Kang

My First (and Last?) Piercing

Piercing

The What

I got a horizontal eyebrow piercing, also known as an anti-eyebrow.

The When

Exactly two weeks ago. (The date on the picture above should be 11-6-2012, not 10-6-2012.)

The Why

I always thought that horizontal eyebrow piercings looked really cool, but never gave serious thought to getting one myself. Around a month ago, I somehow got thinking about piercings and wondered why I didn’t just go and get one done. I couldn’t think of a good reason not to; if I ended up not liking it, I would just remove it and that would be the end of that. Anyway, what better place to get a piercing than San Francisco?

The Where

I didn’t want to accidentally get HIV from my little experiment, so I took forever choosing a place to get my piercing. I ultimately decided on a shop with near perfect ratings called Body Manipulations. I had initially intended on waiting for my acne to clear up before getting my piercing because I didn’t want to increase the chances of infection, but a simple phone call with the receptionist at Body Manipulations made it clear that I’d be fine if I just clean the piercing as instructed. Cool beans.

The How

When I enter the shop, it’s pretty much empty. The receptionist has me fill out some forms, scans my driver’s license to make sure that I’m not 12, and tells me to hold on for a bit. After sitting in the lobby for five minutes, I follow a woman named Andrea into the back room. I’m taken aback by how many piercings Andrea has, but I guess it only makes sense. She begins to ask if an apprentice piercer could come watch, but for a minute I think that she’s asking if an apprentice piercer could pierce me and I have to catch myself before screaming “OH HELL NO” right in her face. Of course the apprentice can watch. As long as it’s not voyeuristic or creepy. Andrea laughs.

As I sit on a long black seat, Andrea explains how she’s going to put two dots on my face to indicate where the piercing will go. It is at this moment that I realize that I never really clarified that I wanted a horizontal eyebrow piercing instead of the much more common vertical one. After getting that sorted out, I think about how bad it would’ve been if I had ended up with the wrong piercing. I probably would cry at that point.

Andrea marks me with a purple pen and I face the mirror. Eh. We play around with the placement a little bit, and I’m finally happy with where it ends up.

Time for the real deal. To be honest, I’m a bit nervous at this point because I don’t know how much pain to expect. Andrea calmly tells me that she’ll ask me to inhale and then on the exhale she’ll drive the needle right through my face. Well, she didn’t word it that way, but I know that’s essentially what’s going to happen.

Breathe in. A pause that seems entirely too long. Breathe out. A strong pinch right above my eyebrow. And just like that, we’re done. Huh. It hurt a lot less than I thought it would.

The After

After getting a piercing, the name of the game is “don’t get infected”. It’s a pain in the ass to soak the piercing in salt water and then clean it with soap twice a day, but I’d much rather do this than end up with a nasty infection. I’ve also become a much less aggressive face washer after quickly learning that my old ways will simply cause the piercing to bleed.

Two weeks out, I’ve stopped noticing the piercing whenever I look in the mirror. Actually, the piercing in itself is far more subtle than I thought it would be. From a distance, the curved barbell appears to be a part of my eyebrow; it’s only when you get within a couple feet that you can really see that there are metal balls poking out of my face.

Overall, I’m really happy with the piercing and the job that Andrea did at Body Manipulations. I’m pretty sure that I’m done with piercings forever, although I don’t see how any guy can resist getting the Prince Albert. You should look that one up on Wikipedia if you don’t know what it is. Just don’t do it at work.