That Time I Got My Tongue Pierced

I've been on this big purging kick around the house and as I was cleaning out my jewelry box, I stumbled upon these:

So let me tell you about the time I got my tongue pierced. It's a doozy.

The summer after I graduated from high school, a lot my friends were getting tatted and pierced. I have absolutely nothing against tattoos, but I've never wanted one. I think they look pretty cool and love hearing about the meaning behind them, but they aren't for me. I had just put a second hole in my ears, along with a cartilage piercing, and decided my tongue was up next. I had a feeling my parents would flip if they knew I was doing it, so I chose to go during a week I was house-sitting.

I got off work on a Friday at 6:30, picked up my boyfriend from his job at Hollywood Video and his best friend from his job at Little Caesars. (This is where teens worked in the '90s, guys!) We grabbed a burger and drove thirty minutes away to the body piercing place a bunch of our friends recommended. I chose my barbell, gargled with Listerine for five minutes, and took a seat. The piercer inspected my tongue, placed his dot, clamped the forceps, pushed in the needle, then...

"Um. Uhhh, hold on," he said.

As he was shoving gauze in my mouth, he said the needle went in a little crooked and he would have to do it over, if I could handle it. I tried to speak, but blood gushed out of my mouth. I looked over at my boyfriend, but he was nowhere to be found. My friend was still with me and said my p*ssy of a boyfriend turned white and ran out of the building.

Once the bleeding was under control I decided to go through with it one more time. I mean, I was already there and it didn't hurt that bad, so why not? He was quick and it was centered. He didn't make me pay and gave me a free t-shirt to change into because of the blood all over mine. He also told me to come back after ten days to get another free barbell. (You have to get a long one at first to accommodate the swelling.) My friend and I went outside where my boyfriend was leaning against the wall. He apologized over and over for not being there for me, but we couldn't stop making fun of him the whole way home.

That night I hosted a party at the place I was house-sitting because my tongue had to make it's debut, right? The swelling was crazy, but it was nothing some Zima and popsicles couldn't handle. The next morning, my tongue had doubled in size and hurt like a bitch. That's when a party-goer told me I probably shouldn't have been drinking. Oops. I didn't talk to my parents for a few days because it was so hard to speak clearly. Even after that I had to get used to talking with metal in my mouth.

When I returned home a week later from my house-sitting gig, I showed my family. My brother and sister thought I was weird, but they always did because they had preppy and sporty friends and mine were skaters and potheads. My dad didn't say much (which actually said a lot) and my mom freaked out. She made me feel so bad I ran into the bathroom and took it out, only to get stubborn about it a half an hour later and put it back in. Ha! Later that night I was lying in bed, talking on the phone, and must not have screwed it on correctly, because I swallowed the top ball!

It was about time for my new, shorter barbell anyway, so I went back to the piercer to get it replaced. Once my tongue was completely healed I shopped at Hot Topic for different barbell sizes and colors. I kept clanking my teeth against it so thought rubber ones would work out well and bought purple and glow-in-the-dark balls, but my gum kept getting stuck to it.

For a while I wore a clear top ball at work, but my boss saw it and didn't seem to mind, so I went back to silver. After college, when it was time for me to get a real job, I took it out for an interview, but noticed the interviewer had her tongue pierced too, so I put it back in and wore it to work on my first day. I never swallowed another ball, but I did chip a few teeth and after five years, I was over it. I took it out for good when I was 23. My mom could not have been happier.

(It looks crooked in this picture, but it wasn't.)
(Do you like my Sublime 40oz to Freedom shirt? LOL!)


Jana @ Jana Says said...

I had contemplated doing this and never did. My ears were enough for me.

Also, I love all the 90s mentions in this post.

Karen Peterson said...

That is so funny! I had no idea you did that. I was always fascinated by them, but never enough to consider getting one myself.

Kelly @ turned UP to ELEVEN! said...

This is too funny. I got the tattoos - I wish I had thought about them more. I got my first at 18, 1995. My second was at age 21 and last was like 23? I got one recently, it's the only one with meaning and currently the only one I like. It too me waiting from age 23 until almost 40 to be wise.

I do still have my belly button done - no one knows it's there but my husband and the girls that took me, well and my ex boyfriend's I guess. Any time I mention it people are like... YOU HAVE ONE? And I think, yeah... I got it when it was a hyped up trend and I just never got rid of it. It's like my cartalidge ring, it's just there.

I haven't had a kid yet, I'm sure then I'll ditch it - but it's literally still the original ring - I've taken it out, and tried to do curved bar bells but they always bothered my skin (I blame cheap Hot Topic stuff)... so I always put the OG ring back in. Now it just stays there... I wash it, and make sure it's ok... no issues.

I never had the guts to do the tongue. Or the eye brow! I just stuck to ears (6 holes total) and my belly ring. And of course the "picked off the wall" tattoos.

NO RAGRETS! ;) haha

Mattie @ Northwest Native said...

HOLLYWOOD VIDEO! Omg, I loved that place back in the day. Haha! The idea of a tongue ring always freaked me out (for myself). Other people having piercings don't bother me one bit but trying to imagine how having a tongue piercing would feel makes me shudder! I just imagine I wouldn't like the feeling, I don't know! Ha!

Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

oh my goodness! i can't believe you bled that much. my tongue story is a lot more boring. i had a tattoo (or did i have 2 at that point?) and a belly ring, but for some reason i wanted my tongue pierced. i went and got it done, no issues at all. like you said, you have the long one for a little bit. i went back in a couple months or however long to get the shorter one, they put it in, no issues. right? easy as pie! the clamp they use to hold the tongue was worse than the needle.
but then.
my tongue freaked the shit out, like a week later. it was SO weird. it started swelling like crazy and i had a lump right near the barbell. it was crazy and scary. i went back and they put the long one back in, maybe my tongue was weird and needed that. nope. so they took it out completely and told me to let it heal. my tongue went down but the lump that was right near the hole never did. i went back and they told me it was a keloid or something which is apparently when it scares the wrong way. she had to cut it off with a razor blade (that sounds really bad, but it didn't hurt at all) and then it was fine. it healed fine. but she was like 'yeah... no tongue ring for you'. haha. i wish i had photos!

Kristen said...

Haha oh my God, that's the worst piercing story ever!

I have my tongue pierced (still!), but my experience was really uneventful. I actually didn't even know the guy had done it. I was expecting the worst pain of my life, but it was quick and (literally) painless. He said, "Okay, you're good to go!" and that was that. My boyfriend at the time went with me as well. Haha. I was eating spaghetti and meatballs a couple of days later. My tongue didn't even swell that much, so the longer barbell was actually more annoying than anything.

I was 19 when I got it done, and I'm 31 now. I've never had any issues with it (including at work) in those 12 years. (God, that makes me feel old! Haha.) Most people don't even know I have it, or, if they catch a glimpse of it while I'm talking or something they'll say something like, "Oh yeah ... I forgot your tongue was pierced!" I think most employers don't care as much about tattoos and piercings as they once did because so many people have them. (That's been my experience, at least. I'm sure it depends on your field.)

I don't have any tattoos, and I keep thinking about getting at least one ... But I'm so afraid I'll hate it in a few months and then be pissed that I have this thing on my body. Who knows if I'll go through with it. Maybe one day.

Misty, Handbags + Handguns said...

I did it and promptly took it out 3 days later. It didn't hurt getting it done, but the swelling was painful and annoying. I didn't have the patience to let it heal.

Erin of TexErin-in-SydneyLand said...

I feel the same way about piercings as you do tattoos. I have tattoos, and no piercings, but I don't mind those that choose piercings. I dated a guy with his tongue pierced and that was the 90s too :)