So today was the day I followed through with my appointment made on Saturday. I pierced my lip. Many friends told me to do it; many told me not to. In the end I decided that if I really didn't like it then I could simply take it out. This blog is dedicated to the procedure used to get my lip piercing.
First I walked into the tattoo and piercing parlor (Slave to the Needle of Seattle). The butterflies in my stomach were not simply fluttering around; they were trying to escape through my throat. They also may have turned into small dogs whilst they meandered through my innards. I then proceeded to the well-inked and tattooed cashier at the front desk. I told her about my appointment and she made a copy of my ID and handed me some paperwork to sign. After reading a page and a half of we-aren't-responsible-if-you-don't-take-care-of-yourself and we-can't-refund-holes-in-your-face paragraphs, I signed my name. I also signed under the part saying I am not prone to fainting, bleeding, and other medical mishaps. I was then directed to the jewelry room to select the piece for my lip. This was when I realized how badly I needed to urinate and asked where the bathroom was. I passed two sleeping men getting tattoos on my way to the startlingly clean facilities. I have been told that the cleaner the restroom of a parlor is, the better quality the parlor is so naturally my stomach let go of some of its twists caused by my unrelenting nerves. I walked pass the two dozing characters again and into the jewelry room to select my piece. This only took about three minutes but I was given fifteen so I looked at some gauges. I was then introduced (more formally) to my piercer, Josh, who examined my lip and asked which side I wanted pierced. He then led me into a small room that looked unmistakably like a doctor’s examining room (complete with examining table!) except with tattoo art in the stead of anatomy posters. Josh allowed two other people to come along so my sisters came in leaving Joe (a friend of ours) outside. I was then informed of the procedures to be taken for care of my piercing including soaking it in non-iodized salt water (or alcohol-free mouth wash), not playing with it, keeping the ring in for six weeks minimum, drinking lots of water, and keeping my mouth away from alcohol and other people's bodily fluids. When the explanations were over and my mouth was rinsed out with some (not alcohol-free, surprisingly) mouth wash, he rubbed some topical numbing gel onto my outer lip and drew a dot on my lip with a toothpick dipped in tattoo ink. After my confirmation that the spot was in the correct area he asked me to lie down on the table. He drew a needle and lip ring out of a machine that I assume is a type of sterilizer, dried my inner lip with a cotton ball, and told me to breathe deeply in, then deeply out. The second time I breathed in I felt a sharp pain on my outer lip, similar to that of someone pinching it with their fingernails; fingernails made of steel. I then felt the same sensation on my inner lip and knew the needle had gone through. The pain lasted about three seconds as he fidgeted with what I knew to be the lip ring and before I was ready for it he said "That's it." And so it was. Every butterfly left in my stomach was extinguished and I was already feeling like myself again. I followed Josh out to the main lobby again and was handed back the paper work. I signed the line under the paragraph stating that I witnessed multiple glove changes, sterilizing of equipment, and other health-related happenings. I had witnessed everything on the list and therefore signed my name. After signing it again (I had signed in the wrong place the first time) he told me the total amount that was due for his service. This hurt more than the piercing. I paid what I owed and thanked him for his excellent job of stabbing me in the face.