In 2002, a deaf friend came for a visit and stayed with me in Vancouver. During that time, the roll of film that I had dropped off at the drugstore a few days earlier had been printed and was ready for pick-up. (The excitement of seeing your photo prints has been taken from us since the popularization of digital cameras.) I wasted no time and dragged my guest to the drugstore. We sat on the curb out front to look through the photos, but before I opened the envelope, I warned her that the images were not for the faint of heart.
She’s one my best friends. Surely she’d approach this with an open mind, I thought.
When I was 19, the mother of my then-boyfriend pointed to my ears and went, “Ewwww.” She was not referring to my deafness; she was saying to my face that she thought my stretched earlobes were ugly. In hindsight, I should have had the guts to inform her that her bowl haircut was gross but not as appalling as her manners. Her manners, by the way, got her sacked from her job at a Christian bookstore as well as from Mrs. Fields’ Cookies.
That’s right: she was too rude for Jesus and baked goods.
I was 19 in 2002, and this was right around the time stretched piercings started going mainstream. It was still during a time when stretched ears were reason enough to be denied a job. It was not that having a hole in your earlobe that was the problem, but the size of the hole. How big is too big? If one jumps from 14 gauge to 12, would that person be rendered unemployable?