Recently my mother said to me, "Oprah had her ears pierced on her show and you would have thought she was having major surgery!"
Oh how I love my Mom. You should all be so lucky. Sincerely.
When I first had my ears pierced, it wasn't nearly as public as that. I was fifteen years old or thereabouts, well shy of the 51 years Oprah lived prior to her first pierce. My grandmother, my mother and I went to the mall and got pierced together, one ear at a time. Generational bonding. We were all quite brave. My grandmother went first and did not flinch. My mom didn't flinch either. I, however, did. Just a little. We giggled. A lot.
Eleven years later, I decided to add another hole to my left ear. My friend Jeannie and I split a pair of diamond stud earrings and each had a new hole pierced to accomodate our half.
Jeannie was a friend-friend, not a lover-friend. The distinction is notable because she once told me I was the only lesbian friend she had with whom she had never slept.
That gave me cause for pause. Jeannie was my main source of lesbian friends back then. Did that mean she had slept with every woman I'd met through her? Well what else could it mean? Fascinating. Fascinating in an eyebrow-lifting-just-learning-about-life-as-a-lesbian way. Made me thankful I hadn't slept with her, despite the mutual attraction. That woman had abs I envy to this day. Smokin' body all the way around.
I don't wear three earrings anymore. Several years back I started having allergic reactions to even my good jewelry. It was enough of an irritant for me to turn my back on such an easy and versatile fashion accessory and learn to do without.
So now Oprah is discovering the joy of pierced ears. Personally, I'd be much more interested in an episode where she was having her nipples pierced. That would be must-see-TV.