I am a fairly impulsive person so it is surprising that it has taken me 34 years to get round to doing this. I first considered it when I was 16 and in love for the first time. My then boyfriend's ex-girlfriend was a bit of a role model - she was about 3 years older than me and had her own motorbike and I thought she was the last word in cool. Nearly as cool as Chrissie Hynde, who was my ultimate role model, and much nearer at hand for observation and emulation purposes. I spent many hours in my bf's family kitchen, smoking like a chimney and drinking industrial quantities of white wine, and chatting to his mother who was the first person I had ever met who had a book habit like mine. She was rich enough that she bought most of her books in hardback and the house was stuffed with book cases. At the time my bf was building a motorbike in the cellar (which was actually just a room off the kitchen passage and not subterranean at all) and once the bike moved out she converted the room into a library. I never regretted splitting up with him, but I have often mourned the fact that I never got to inherit her book collection. And one night she announced in outraged tones that she had seen my predecessor "and she had a BEAD in her nose." And sure enough, when I next saw her, as well as the motorbike and the dyed streak in her hair she did indeed have a bead in her nose. I would have rushed out and had it done at once if I had any idea where to go. In our town everyone had their ears pierced by an elderly watch repairer, who just did lobes with gold sleepers. For some reason I felt it would be uncool to ask the ex's ex where she had it done, because I would have seemed impressed, which was the height of uncool. And so my nose remained un pierced.
I did think about it, on and off, for the next few years but not enough to actually go and get it done. But then I woke up one morning last week and decided the time had come. I have been in Edinburgh with Charlotte this week and I persuaded her that she would like her nose pierced too, to celebrate having told her work she will be leaving to become a midwife. She was working in Musselburgh so I travelled over to meet her, because she had spotted a new tattoo and piercing place there but when we went in to ask if they offered nose piercing for the nervous it turned out they didn't have their piercing equipment yet. By this time it was getting late, but Charlotte remembered a tattoo place on Leith Walk which she had heard recommended so we hotfooted it there. They were actually about to close up for the night and initially said we were too late, but they obviously couldn't resist our little disappointed faces and agreed to pierce us. I insisted on going first and was assured by the piercer and her assistant that it didn't really hurt - just stings a bit - over so quickly you will hardly notice the pain. I lay down and kept my eyes tight shut until it was over, giving myself a pep talk. "You can do this. You've had four children, and a tattoo, and root canal work. You'll be fine." It did hurt actually. It felt exactly like you would expect someone pushing a needle through your nostril to feel and it made my eyes water. A lot. But it was very quick and before I knew it, there was Charlotte in the chair having hers done too. She said it didn't hurt much. I am wondering if noses get tougher as they age.
And here it is. I love it. I think I will probably change to a ring one day, but for now I am happy with my little gemstone. Today it hardly hurts at all, just feels a bit stiff if I wrinkle my nose. Alas, I do not feel any cooler than I did yesterday.