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Mom Convicted Over Piercing Gone Wrong
October 18, 2006 6:51 AM   Subscribe

Mass infection from bellybuttonpiercing was left untreated. This Mom, seemingly neglectful, ignored her teen's self-piercing gone wrong, and now faces up to 5 years in prison. I let my teen daughter get a small tattoo and nose piercing. I have a tattoo, but no piercings. All done by trusted professionals in sterile environments. Another teen's tongue piercing causes ‘suicide disease.’ Maybe a little upfront information is a good idea before proceeding. What are your piercing / tattoo experiences?
posted by The Deej (74 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
seemingly neglectful

How about just neglectful.
posted by three blind mice at 7:13 AM on October 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Entirely positive, thank you (two tats), but I do have a friend who got his ear pierced at a dodgy-looking booth during the second Lollapalooza while under the influence. Afterwards, one of said ears swelled up to the size of a grapefruit and required medical attention. The moral? "Don't get a piercing from someone who dips the piercing gun into what looks like a cup of 7-Up before sticking it through your ear."
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:14 AM on October 18, 2006


The cultural risks of body modification far outnumber the medical ones.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 7:15 AM on October 18, 2006


It is hard to find an artist who will do the palms of your hands for a reasonable price.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:16 AM on October 18, 2006


I got my left earlobe pierced over thirty years ago. A mate did it with a sewing needle, using a pack of cards for backing. We were living in a squat in the red light district of Bury St Edmunds. I was working as a chicken catcher at the time. I never got an infection, nor was my mother involved.
posted by tellurian at 7:16 AM on October 18, 2006



I always think about what a piercing or tattoo is going to look like when you're 70, 75, 80. So I've never entertained the idea of getting one.
posted by wfc123 at 7:17 AM on October 18, 2006


Bury St Edmunds has a red light district?!!
posted by patricio at 7:20 AM on October 18, 2006


How about just neglectful.
Agreed.
posted by The Deej at 7:21 AM on October 18, 2006


the red light district of Bury St Edmunds?????

patricio, you beat me to it...wow.
posted by penguin pie at 7:24 AM on October 18, 2006


Also, one of my daughter's ear piercings was self-administered, without my knowledge. Luckily, everything turned out ok. But I told her in no uncertain terms that any other such things had to be done with my permissions, and by a professional.
posted by The Deej at 7:24 AM on October 18, 2006


Bury St Edmunds has a red light district?!!
Well it did thirty years ago. It was a wild place to live. The squat I was in had pinholes peppered all over the ceiling. When I asked about what they were, I was told that some of the previous residents had thrown their fits up into the ceiling after a fix and just left them hanging. Interesting times.
posted by tellurian at 7:30 AM on October 18, 2006


people are stupid and lack common sense. news at 11.
posted by photoslob at 7:30 AM on October 18, 2006


I always think about what a piercing or tattoo is going to look like when you're 70, 75, 80. So I've never entertained the idea of getting one.

That's a good way of thinking. Both my daughter's and my own tattoos are placed so that they should age gracefully, and be easily hidden if needed.
posted by The Deej at 7:32 AM on October 18, 2006


So what prosecutor charges the US with neglect for allowing a grossly inadequate and inequitable health care system, a system in which insurers profit, insurance company CEOs make millions, doctors are underpaid, and patients are underserved?

Oh, right, we just charge (and sneer at) poor people, we charge them for being too poor and medicine too expensive, for them to care for their children; but if you've made millions you're lauded, no matter who you hurt in order to hoard your cash. Because that's the American Way.

Put the mother in prison and put Bill Frist (a majority owner of the for-profit and you bet they're for profit) Hospital Corporation of American in the White House. She's neglectful; he's a savvy entrepreneur.

Now excuse me while I see if my health care "provider" allows me anti-nausea drugs.
posted by orthogonality at 7:33 AM on October 18, 2006 [3 favorites]


I've always considered tattooing and piercing two entirely different beasts, even though they are commonly lumped together under the flag of "Body Modification". I like both on other people, but I currently have no desire to get any part of my skin tattood, especially because it's permanent. My piercings I can just take out.

As much as I believe that people should educate themselves before embarking on such endeavours I cannot grasp the fact that the mother is getting sued over this. Isn't her (very unlucky) daughter's illness enough punishment for her?

Also, the MSNBC link is simply alarmist: sure, it's a horror story, but anything like this happening to you is so incredibly unlikely, there's no need to be turned off of body piercing by it any more than you should be turned off off flying every time a plane crashes.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:34 AM on October 18, 2006


My mother pierced my ears when I was 13 or so.. she numbed it with an ice cube. But when she went to put in the stud she wasn't able to put it straight through, so she pierced it with the needle again. That ear took ages to heal, and I would still get infections a year or two after. I got my next two sets of piercings done at a shopping mall booth, and never had any problems.
posted by kindle at 7:35 AM on October 18, 2006


the MSNBC link is simply alarmist

The second one, of course.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:38 AM on October 18, 2006


I don't see how this is any different than if the child got sick from any other illness and the mother let her waste away without medical attention.

BTW I pierced my ears multiple times as a teen and never had a problem. The miracle of rubbing alcohol.
posted by miss tea at 7:41 AM on October 18, 2006


I got my ear cartilage pierced at one of those in-the-mall places - she didn't use a gun, but this individually-wrapped piercing needle thing. I'm still not 100% happy with the result (lots of cartilage build-up around the site of the piercing), and if I could do it again, i would go to a professional piercer.
posted by muddgirl at 7:43 AM on October 18, 2006


I always think about what a piercing or tattoo is going to look like when you're 70, 75, 80. So I've never entertained the idea of getting one.

I always think why the hell would I want to do something everyone else is doing? It's so uncool.
posted by three blind mice at 7:43 AM on October 18, 2006


I got a tattoo in August, from a shop that is highly reputable (both by dint of overall regional research and by word of mouth). I got an appointment for a weekday, showed up early, was offered and took a tour of the facilities (auotclaive, gloves, plastics covering all the working parts of the needle assemblies, etc.).

While I was waiting, I also looked through photos in the artist's portfolio (I'd also done so via the web site several weeks before).

The studio was clean and well-lit. The artist was friendly, warm and professional, and specialized in comics-style renderings, which was perfect for what I wanted to do.

The artist did the work quickly, was careful and very professional, and was also collaborative, letting me get up and look the work over, asking for and taking my suggestions on color tweaking, etc. The work was custom, the art custom.

In the end, though the rate was prenegotiated, the artist cut me a deal since friends had sent me.

The tattoo healed up nicely and quite quickly, and I followed the artist's care recommendations to the letter (to the point of moiturizing and pampering the tattoo far longer than I otherwise would have).

Lessons? Find an artist you like. Spend time making sure you really like the artist as a person/professional. Spend time researching the studio. Spend time inspecting the facilities. Spend time and money on a good tattoo from a professional artist. Spend time afterwards caring for the tattoo and making sure it heals properly. Get a tattoo (or a piercing, by all means), but do it with care. The thing or its hole will be with you for the rest of your life, unless you choose to have it burned/scraped/cut out.

By the way, I've also had piercings done with a gun and piercings done with a needle. I prefer the ones done with a needle and by hand - they seem to heal more quickly and be overall less traumatized.
posted by kalessin at 7:43 AM on October 18, 2006


From the story:

When paramedics arrived at the family’s apartment in 2005, the girl was emaciated and was wearing an adult diaper.

Just for THAT, she should go to jail.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:44 AM on October 18, 2006


While I agree that the health care system in this country is seriously flawed, ortho, I don't really see how that relates to this case. She wasn't denied care; she never sought it. If your child is dying (which a 40lbs weight-loss and incontinence would reasonably indicate), you seek medical attention, regardless of the cost. Failure to do so makes you a sucky parent. Criminally sucky.
posted by jrossi4r at 7:48 AM on October 18, 2006


String the bitch up! Hangin's too good fer her! [/sarcasm]

I agree she was negligent. But I don't see where locking her up for 5 years is solving anything. Sentence her to serious therapy and parental training. Surely, that would be cheaper than incarceration and, with any luck, she will become a better member of society afterwards. At least better than she will be after 5 years in the can.

And her kids? What happens to them in the 5 years? Foster homes? Yeah...that'll improve things, for sure.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:49 AM on October 18, 2006


This is kinda chatfiltery but yeah... I recently got a piercing in a rather "private" area (wink wink nudge nudge say no more) and it's healing fine. It's all about the sterility at the time of piercing and aftercare (and for the love of god never use a gun!).
Don't trust the bastards who tell you it won't hurt, though. Heh.
posted by Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson at 7:52 AM on October 18, 2006


Won't someone please think of all the people with brandings?
posted by blue_beetle at 7:56 AM on October 18, 2006


My what a chatty post.
posted by caddis at 7:57 AM on October 18, 2006


What are your piercing / tattoo experiences?

What caddis said.
posted by fixedgear at 8:00 AM on October 18, 2006


I always think why the hell would I want to do something everyone else is doing? It's so uncool.

So you don't read, write, use a computer, watch TV, eat, drink, sleep, breathe... live?

Seriously, that's a 17 year old indie kid reason to not do something.
posted by twistedonion at 8:00 AM on October 18, 2006


What's gotten into the water around here? Yech.

The real question is, could your cashier identify a portabello? What did your teenage daughter think of that? The questions of our times, truly.
posted by prostyle at 8:00 AM on October 18, 2006


Not being tattooed and pierced is the new being tattooed and pierced! When I'm in the dressing room of the Y and see that everybody and their grandmother has ink or piercings these days, I feel it's time to find something else.
posted by Wylie Kyoto at 8:02 AM on October 18, 2006


Only ever had my ear pierced, my mum did it for me. That way she knew it would be sterile and 'safe'

I grew out of it though and my ear is nicely healed up. I've always thought piercing is less severe than tattoos. They are for life. Being 80 with a big wrinkly Dead Kennedies tattoo just doesn't appeal.
posted by twistedonion at 8:02 AM on October 18, 2006


I completely agree with the prosecution in this case, but it raises an interesting question, jrossi4r. I went to the ER last month for head pressure during a gap in my insurance. They had me subtract some numbers and told me I would be okay to wait to see my GP. Turned out I had whiplash from a minor auto accident the previous month. But to my surprise I received not only a bill for $180 for the doctor (a bit unreasonable for less than 5 minutes of their time, in my opinion) but also a bill from the hospital for $1,141! I'm contesting this now and may take legal action or go to the press if they don't reduce the charge to a reasonable level. But this is not an isolated experience. And with this kind of system in place for the uninsured (and no way to know what you might be charged), exactly what is going to be the legal standard for when poor parents have to get their kids treated (and probably go bankrupt in the process)? What exactly is reasonable? It's not a didactic question. There are all kinds of things that 99% of the time or even 99.9% of the time aren't a problem at all, but 1% of the time are urgent and life-threatening. You absolutely SHOULD go to the emergency room for a lot of these things, but if you're going to be bankrupted by that 1% chance, is it legally required that you do it? Are smart poor parents going to be forced to continually bankrupt themselves by submitting to outrageous hospital charges in order to avoid possible prosecution? What a life!

Our medical system is ABSOLUTELY going to get lots of people and even lots of children killed. Whose legal responsibility is that? Shouldn't we be pointing the finger at the hospitals and/or the insurance companies who are responsible for this ridiculous system? Or is it fine with us if some people have to die or go into crippling debt to fund the insured? It's a really fucked up system right now and we're going to see a lot more death and misery if we don't do something about it.

Again, I'm happy to see this mother go to prison for a few years to think over her incredibly horrible choice, but the case raises some serious issues.
posted by muppetboy at 8:02 AM on October 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Asking for others' experiences is not to be chatty, but to give first hand information to others who might be considering tattoos or piercings.
posted by The Deej at 8:05 AM on October 18, 2006


Asking for others' experiences is not to be chatty, but to give first hand information to others who might be considering tattoos or piercings.

That is what askmefi is for though...
posted by twistedonion at 8:08 AM on October 18, 2006


Both my daughter's and my own tattoos are placed so that they should age gracefully, and be easily hidden if needed.
Good thinking. A friend of mine has one of the most spectacular pieces of tattoo art I've ever seen (and I used to work for Bizarre magazine so I've seen a lot): a cobra that begins high on his forehead, with its hood covering his scalp, before it reaches down the back of his neck, coils across his back and ends at the base of his spine. If he wears a shirt with a high collar and grows his hair more than a couple of centimetres, it's almost invisible.
posted by Hogshead at 8:10 AM on October 18, 2006


that sounds pretty sweet, hogshead. Body art has always seemed like a kind of nudity to me, where the trick is to know how to artfully reveal it. This rule applies less and less the more socially conventional the mod is, of course (e.g. ear piercings on girls...)
posted by Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson at 8:17 AM on October 18, 2006


I have a simple tattoo on the front of my shoulder. Unless I am shirtless in public (rare, except when swimming) or wear a tank top (never) then I am the only one who sees it. And that was the point. It was truly "for me" and serves as a reminder of some important things in my life. My daughter's is on the top of her foot. It shows when she wears sandals or is barefoot. Otherwise, no one sees it.

Hogshead, I just hope your friend doesn't go bald. :)
posted by The Deej at 8:18 AM on October 18, 2006


I have four old ear piercings that have long since closed up, all done with a piercing gun, with no noticeable ill effects. Also two tats which are kind of nice, although I would definitely recommend paying extra to have those done at premium tattoo parlors (usually they're appointment-only, and more expensive than walk-in shops).
posted by clevershark at 8:26 AM on October 18, 2006


tellurian writes "I was working as a chicken catcher at the time."

Do I want to know what a chicken catcher is?
posted by Mitheral at 8:35 AM on October 18, 2006


Body art has always seemed like a kind of nudity to me, where the trick is to know how to artfully reveal it.

Is there really such a thing as bad nudity?
posted by jonmc at 8:41 AM on October 18, 2006


Is there really such a thing as bad nudity?

George W and Tony Blair standing right in front of you completely starkers. that is bad nudity.
posted by twistedonion at 8:50 AM on October 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Putting aside the horror stories about bad piercings and tattoos: I had my ear pierced with a smiley-face button, and ice cube, and a lighter. No infection and it's still open years after not using an earring.

Recently got my tattoo from a professional, well-known studio and after he finished the artist neglected to give me any aftercare instructions at all. Luckily, I was well-informed due to the internet and no problems occurred.

So, a junk piercing can be fine, and a 'pro' tattoo can be done horribly.
posted by Kickstart70 at 8:51 AM on October 18, 2006


If the mother had insurance and access to healthcare, she was negligent. For her family's sake, she should be counseled and fined, not jailed, because putting her kids in foster care punishes them too.

But if she didn't have healthcare...

I tend to agree with muppetboy; if you're uninsured, and already have other kids, and your kid has a fever and loses weight...what do you do? We don't get much of the story...was the mother simply unable to tell how sick her daughter was? Was the mother working to support her family and not home to see her daughter more than a few hours of the day?

As muppetboy said, seeking treatment early in an illness if you have no insurance is an expensive gamble. I'm not saying she was right to put it off so long; I'm saying, maybe she was worried that she'd be handed a prescription and a bill for 2000.00 that she didn't have, and hoped her child's illness would clear up on its own.

She gambled wrong. But then, why do we have a system that mandates gambling in the first place?
posted by emjaybee at 8:54 AM on October 18, 2006


This woman is an idiot. If your child loses 35% of her bodyweight, and can no longer hold in her poopy, it's time to go to the doctor, stupid. It doesn't matter WHAT it would have cost, that's negligence. Of course, the mother couldn't have afforded to go *before* it became critical, so there's an interesting question there, where do you draw the line for the negligence charges? I guess as soon as it seems serious.

As for not getting piercings because of what they'll look like when you're 80? This really only applies to stretching piercings (ok, and maybe those people that get like 200 facial piercings). Your average eyebrow ring ain't going to look like much more than a freckle (presuming it's taken out) by the time you turn 80.

My own body mod experiences? I've got my tongue pierced, my navel pierced, my left earlobe pierced twice and an industrial in my right ear. This tatoo between my shoulderblades on my back. I had my nipple pierced for 4 years, but took it out this year after I tweaked it pretty hard while working out and my body started rejecting it. Other than from my own silliness (see nipple ring) I've never had any problems with any of my stuff.
posted by antifuse at 8:56 AM on October 18, 2006


I have my ears pierced and that's it. Considered a tattoo at one point but ended up agreeing with a few people above - EVERYONE has multiple tattoos and piercings these days, it seems. It feels more special not to have what everyone else has.
posted by agregoli at 9:15 AM on October 18, 2006


"People used to get [peircings] to piss off the squares. The squares are wearing them now!" -George Carlin
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:34 AM on October 18, 2006


This would be better suited for AskMeFi. Keep the chat and queries off the blue. Like nails on a chalkboard all of a sudden.
posted by docpops at 9:50 AM on October 18, 2006


"Prosecutors said Robinson watched for several weeks as her 13-year-old daughter dropped from 115 pounds to 75 pounds, became incontinent and grew so weak that she could not get off the couch."

Um, sure, the infection stemmed from the navel ring, but the mother's neglect should be the bigger issue here. What kind of parent does that? Does it really matter where the infection came from?

I'm just so sick of the "OMG UR GONNA DIE" thoughts surrounding piercings and tattoos (on the green and all over our society).

The people that have problems (infection, rejection, etc.) with body modifications are the ones that don't do their research, don't go to clean and reputable studios, and don't bother with that little thing called aftercare. They're also the ones who don't seek help when an infection or other problem starts. They wait until it's too late to do something about it.

As with many things, people's ignorance and stupidity is the ultimate problem.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 10:04 AM on October 18, 2006


Do I want to know what a chicken catcher is?
Screw that, I'm more afraid of finding out what a chicken pitcher is.
posted by scrump at 10:04 AM on October 18, 2006


Sentence her to serious therapy and parental training.

Fuck that. Have her tubes tied.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 10:11 AM on October 18, 2006


Do I want to know what a chicken catcher is?
posted by Mitheral

The work was always done at night (leaving you all day to play). Several members of the team got an empty chicken meal bag each and put their arms in them. They then advanced in a line down the dimly-lighted shed, rapidly slamming their arms back and forth within the bag, causing an unholy row. All of the chickens freaked out and ran to the other end of the shed. The rest of the chicken catching team then waded into the herd of panicked chickens at the end of the shed and felt underneath them for their legs. They then took one of the pairs of legs of each chicken between each of their fingers until they had a handful (4) in each hand and then carried the chickens upside down to the window of the shed where they handed them over to the person who puts them in the transport truck cages.
posted by tellurian at 10:15 AM on October 18, 2006


Both nipples done 1991, P.A. done 1993. I took care of the piercings according to the best information available at the time (it is both easier and more gentle now). They are 100% worth the hassle and extra care that's needed.

A 17 year old might not be as careful as I was to care for fresh piercings but that is no excuse to let someone waste away.

As for if I get to be eighty: if the nipple piercings are removed they will probably close up; not so with the PA. I'm doomed (doomed, I say) to have to watch two streams instead of one for the rest of my life.... the horror....
posted by jet_silver at 10:50 AM on October 18, 2006


I'm doomed (doomed, I say) to have to watch two streams instead of one for the rest of my life....

Can I call ya Moses?
posted by jonmc at 11:12 AM on October 18, 2006


Interesting that some of you are more interested in chatting about your tats and such, while a very relevant point is being made: Our medical system is so broken that people of lower income levels have no reasonable access to healthcare. Why isn't this a scandel? Why isn't this a political issue? Our system is injuring, if not killing, many children and adults - but we are happy to send this woman to prison instead of asking the hard questions. I'm not saying the woman wasn't negligent, but the entire health care system is so entirely broken that such situations will only become more and more common.
posted by elwoodwiles at 11:39 AM on October 18, 2006


elwoodwiles: Yes, we're aware of it, but that topic is irrelevant to this thread. She simply never sought care. She had other options. And if you have a child that's *that sick* the thought of medical bills should be secondary.
posted by drstein at 11:54 AM on October 18, 2006


Our medical system is so broken that people of lower income levels have no reasonable access to healthcare. Why isn't this a scandel? Why isn't this a political issue?

It is and it is. NPR is reporting that the Rebulican candidate for Mass. govenor is advocating universal health care.
posted by muddgirl at 11:59 AM on October 18, 2006


I disagree with the argument that since so many people have tattoos, it's more original not to have any. That might be true if everyone were getting the same copyrighted Looney Tunes characters and boring old flash put on them. These days, a lot of work is custom and the pieces are very personal and often one of a kind. I have a half sleeve tattoo, the focal point of which is my father's favorite flower. The artist drew the whole thing on my arm with Sharpie markers using a botany book as guidance on the flower and his imagination for the rest. It is very unique. I do not consider my tattoo to be lumped into the same category as someone with a little Pooh-bear that they found on the shop wall tattooed on their hip. I admit I’m a bit of a tattoo snob, but I also understand the desire to modify yourself, to have control over your most personal possession.

I also have quite a few piercing including tongue, nipples, belly button, hood, and inner labia – All healed beautifully. I would never recommend anyone get pierced by anyone except a professional piercer. It is not a guarantee that everything will turn out perfectly, but it is the most sterile environment.

I wish people took tattoos and piercing more seriously. These break the skin, must heal, need to be cleaned properly, and watched carefully for any problems. I have no problem with shops that insist someone be 18 to get pierced and 21 to be tattooed.

I feel bad for the mom in this story that she was conflicted about taking her daughter to the doctor, but an infected wound be it from a piercing or anything else is not something to be ignored. She was negligent. She could have called a doctor or a clinic and explained what was going on and been informed of the seriousness. Just waiting for something to get better is not good parenting. Being poor does not justify being irresponsible.
posted by dindin at 12:48 PM on October 18, 2006


And if you have a child that's *that sick* the thought of medical bills should be secondary.

That's extraordinarily easy to say.

It's not so easy to put into practice when missing work to take a child to sit in an ER for hours means losing your job, and losing your job means not only not being to pay for the ER visit but not being able to keep a roof over your heads or food in your kids' stomachs or clothes on their backs.

It's not so easy to put into practice when you know from your own experiences in the past or that of those around you that putting yourself at the mercy of "the system" should you ask for public assistance for the medical bills you might accrue will force you to open your entire life to scrutiny from people who very frequently mistake impoverished parenting for negligent or neglectful parenting.

it's not so easy to put into practice when you're working two jobs, rarely see your child, aren't able to be present in his/her waking hours because you're simply trying to make ends meet, and therefore can't make a reasonable assessment of how sick they are, whether they've had a drastic weight loss, etc.

In an ideal world, this sort of situation would never arise. In an ideal world, people wouldn't have to make a choice between medical care and basic subsistence. In an ideal world, parents would be able to spend time parenting rather than spending time earning a meager living. In an ideal world, social services would be delivered free of classist prejudices that destroy families which would be well and easily salvagable if they weren't expected to conform to a cookie cutter standard that is constructed by people wholly unwilling to recognize their own privilege and how they use it to impose expectations on others.

I don't need to say that this is far, far from an ideal world.
posted by Dreama at 12:49 PM on October 18, 2006


aren't able to be present in his/her waking hours because you're simply trying to make ends meet, and therefore can't make a reasonable assessment of how sick they are, whether they've had a drastic weight loss, etc.

She assessed her well enough to buy her DIAPERS, for god's sake. And somewhere during the time she was made privy to the fact that her daughter was crapping herself, she most certainly must have noticed that she weighed 75 pounds. If she couldn't sit with her in the ER, she could have dropped her off or called an ambulance or a social worker or even sent her to school with instructions to head straight for the nurse's office.

I'm not denying that the health care system sucks or that life can be extraordinarily hard for single mothers, but neither of those things absolves this woman of her duty to keep her kid alive. That's pretty much the primary responsibility of parenting.
posted by jrossi4r at 1:17 PM on October 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


I disagree with the argument that since so many people have tattoos, it's more original not to have any. That might be true if everyone were getting the same copyrighted Looney Tunes characters and boring old flash put on them. These days, a lot of work is custom and the pieces are very personal and often one of a kind.

Sorry dindin, but to my way of thinking, you're just following the herd that thinks they are being "different" by being different in the exactly the same way.

Tattoos and piercings are a fad just like any other fad - except that you are stuck with your leisure suit/mullet/member's only jacket when it's no longer cool to have one. But hey - to each her own.
posted by three blind mice at 2:26 PM on October 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


She assessed her well enough to buy her DIAPERS, for god's sake.

We assume. We don't actually know this. However, my point was not specific to this woman. We don't know the details of her life well enough to draw that kind of conclusion. I was speaking rather specifically to the proclamation that the thought of medical bills should be secondary. Not everyone has the privilege of being able to not put financial concerns first in every situation, or to make every decision based first and foremost on how the associated bills will get paid. Subsistence level living changes the lens through which the entire world is viewed.
posted by Dreama at 3:10 PM on October 18, 2006


Tattoos and piercings are a fad just like any other fad

...that's lasted for thousands of years and is present in most human cultures.
posted by mediareport at 3:11 PM on October 18, 2006


Sorry dindin, but to my way of thinking, you're just following the herd that thinks they are being "different" by being different in the exactly the same way.

or just doing something cause you like it. I'd say there's a fair amount of both.
posted by jonmc at 3:58 PM on October 18, 2006


I got two tattoos and both ears double pierced in one evening. A friend of a friend knew these guys that were trying to start up their own salon. The friend's friend invited a bunch of people over to her house, which is placed solidly within the 'hood.

I decided to get my ears pierced (by a very large, dred-locked voodoo lady) because it was 5 bucks a punch. I felt it was a very thrifty decision, so I didn't hesitate.

I was the only white face in a houseful of ghetto folks, so when my turn to get my tattoos, every single party participant watched me, the white straight girl, to see how I would react to the pain.

The first tattoo is a crescent moon on my forehead, right next to my hairline. I had always wanted one, which is why I was happy to put up with the whisperings ("who the fuck is she? I bet that bitch can't handle it"). I then had a triquetra put on my back, between the shoulder blades.

I did not flinch or make any noise during the piercings and the tats.

By the end of the night everyone loved me, including the gold-grilled tattoo artist that tried to kill me with his buzzing needle.


Also...thank you, prostyle, for bring up the mushroom thread. Cathy would have laughed her ass off to see that come up again.
posted by Jade5454 at 5:18 PM on October 18, 2006


Welllllll.... starting from the top and working my way down, I've got a double industrial in my right ear and both lobes gauged to double 0's. My eyebrow, tounge, labrae, and Madison come next. Both nipples, a PA, and my Frenum. 12 piercings total, 0 infected, all done from the same shop by the same guy. No tats. I prefer piercings because, if the day comes that I ever tire of them, I can remove them without a problem.
Oh, and I never did any of them because I wanted to be cool or rebellious or different. I did them because I like getting pierced. It's exciting for me. *shrugs*
posted by Bageena at 1:49 PM on October 19, 2006


I did not flinch or make any noise during the piercings and the tats.

Where in the post did it say "Please share your experiences about how badass you are with your piercings and / or tattoos"? Because I must have missed that part.

Also: the plural of anecdote is not data. So what - some piercings go fine. Did we really need to hear about all of you who felt the need to tell us about yours? This post is about someone whose piercing got infected. It can happen even in the most sterile environment with all the precautions taken. At issue is what happened afterwards, and the mother's handling of the situation, not your need to tell us all about how cool you are with your piercings and tattoos.

You know what? I don't care all that much about people who want to get piercings and / or tattoos. What I find odious, however, is their apparent need to brag about them. It's tiresome, frankly, and it certainly doesn't help the claim (by some) that they didn't do it for the attention.
posted by beth at 6:08 PM on October 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


How can it be that nobody has yet linked to Nasty, Nasty Clients?
posted by dansdata at 7:25 AM on October 20, 2006


Dreama Let's balance our options. Lose a job or lose a child, the decision is just so difficult. Well, better go with the job.

Basically, no matter how dificult her financial situation there is no way the mother's behavior can be excused.
posted by caddis at 7:37 AM on October 20, 2006


What are your piercing / tattoo experiences?

Did I read it wrong? Was I not supposed to share my piercing experience? I wasn't trying to brag. Bragging about having holes punched through my body seems a little stupid.
posted by Bageena at 9:31 AM on October 21, 2006


Perhaps my ending the post with the "share your experience" line put me close to chatfilter. I was specifically interested in whether anyone else has had similar bad experiences or not, so I left the question in. I figured if anyone didn't like it they could ignore that part, or flag the post.

ANY post about something like tattoos, piercings, religion, relationships, fandom, etc. will elicit personal stories and experiences. As I see it, none of the personal experiences or observations were derailing. It's probably more derailing to complain about those that do share these experiences.

Flag the comments and move on, and Jess or Matt will make the call.

In the end, what we have here are 2 stories about tragic consequences of piercings gone wrong, a negelctful parent, and a link to some things to consider to make your experience as safe as possible. Posted by someone who is in no way anti-piercing or anti-tattoo.

Thanks for all your responses!
posted by The Deej at 9:59 AM on October 21, 2006


I wasn't trying to brag. Bragging about having holes punched through my body seems a little stupid.

I think this is the part where somebody might get the impression that it sounded like you were bragging/calling yourself a badass:

I did not flinch or make any noise during the piercings and the tats.

By the end of the night everyone loved me, including the gold-grilled tattoo artist that tried to kill me with his buzzing needle.

posted by antifuse at 3:32 AM on October 23, 2006


Totally understandable... had I been the one to write that. HAHA! I believe you're confusing something Jade said with me. Don't make me shoot piercings from my earlobes at your FACE! I'LL DO IT MAN! I'M TOTALLY NUTS!
posted by Bageena at 11:36 AM on October 23, 2006


When I got my tattoo, I screamed and cried like a little girl, hot tears dripping from my chin and it was hot and it hurt and stuff and I tasted metal.
posted by The Deej at 4:37 PM on October 23, 2006


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