But first, an apology: Apparently Blogger had to do some "maintenance" on their site, which included removing all posts and comments from last Thursday. They reinstated the posts but not the comments, so to all the Loyal Readers who posted comments on the previous post, I apologize that they have become the Lone Socks of cyberspace, swimming around aimlessly and bumping into spam emails and passwords.
And now, onto our regularly scheduled blog post.
In honor of Ariella finishing reading the Torah, we promised her we'd get her ears pierced before Pesach. And so, the Sunday before the Sunday before Pesach, I took her out of kaytanah early and we marched over to the jewelry store. They made the little dots on her ears, asked me to make sure they were even, and then stuck her with the earring gun. No tears, no flinching - I was very proud. It was even sort of anti-climactic. Where was the confetti? And the balloons and marching band? But so it goes.
Immediately upon arriving home, I noticed something: The holes were not even. Gulp. The left ear was fine, but on the right ear, the hole was a little off-center. But I could not admit this, even to myself. We just did this monumental rite-of-passage, and I did not, would not, believe that I had screwed it up. So I engaged in some fancy mental gymnastics to convince myself that it was just an optical illusion.
1. She has a freckle on that ear and the freckle's placement makes the hole look like it's off center, when really it's not.
2. It's just the way the earring is sitting. Really it's fine.
3. I'm just looking at it from the wrong angle. It's totally fine!
I could not voice this fear to anyone, least of all Donny. My hope is that he would say, "What are you talking about, it's totally fine!" and then I would breathe a sigh of relief and wag a finger at myself for being so paranoid. But I knew better. The man who has to have the bills in his wallet organized and facing the right way would definitely notice an off-center hole. My motto became: Don't tell Donny. That will make it real. And once it's real, it needs to be fixed. So don't tell Donny.
I couldn't ask my mother, either, because she goes into fits of panic if the tablecloth isn't even, so an off-center earring hole probably made her batty. I should be thankful she kept it together during Pesach and didn't run out of our apartment screaming. But I also knew she wouldn't say anything, not being a boat-rocker. And remember, as long as I did not voice this thought, I could continue to convince myself it was all in my head.
But then, I imagined a 15-year-old Ariella yelling at me, you screwed up my ears, and now I have to get the ear re-pierced, and it's all your fault, Mom, and why didn't you fix it when I was younger, and I hate you, and I'm moving out and taking all the Bamba.
So I took a deep breath, and said, "Donny, I have to say something. I am very scared to make this real, but I'm going to say it. It's about Ariella's ears."
"The holes aren't even."
AHHHHH!!! NOT the answer I was hoping for, though the answer I was expecting.
"You noticed it too??" I wailed.
Just as I suspected, Donny had a motto as well: Don't tell Gila. If she didn't notice, this will just make her upset. So don't tell Gila.
So we had both been letting this thought bounce around in our heads for a month, each too scared to voice it to the other person. But now it was out, and, of course, it had to be fixed, naturally by me.
I was worried Ariella was not going to be so into this idea, because even though the piercing didn't really hurt her, getting a new hole would mean having to wait another 3 weeks before wearing new earrings. What if she refused? Should I force her? Should I have 8-year-old Ariella be mad at me, or wait for the wrath of 15-year-old Ariella?
I spoke to her in the morning about it. She took the news well, especially since it meant I would pick her up early from tzaharon. We went to the store, the woman agreed it was off-center and gave us a discount on the new pair. (Of course, they were out of the kind she had picked originally, so instead of just paying for one earring and using the old one in her left ear, I had to buy a whole new pair.) Plus, she got a pair of dangly drop earrings for her birthday, as promised. The lady promised the old hole would close up quickly, and that she only has to wait two weeks before changing earrings.
On the whole, Ariella made out very well on this deal. And I got to breathe normally again. Plus, when Ariella's 15 and begs for another hole, I can tell her we already let her get three.
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