Monday, May 30, 2011

Re: Humor About Raising The Not So Wee Ones...Gauging My Reaction

Gauging My Reaction

Kids gauge their ears now. Do you know this term, “gauge” in this context? It refers to the process by which you gradually stretch a “regularly sized” pierced earhole into a larger one. (I’m nothing, if not informative.)

[By the way, don’t indiscriminately toss out some sort of descriptive reference like, “stretched ears,” or you’ll need to immediately deduct several points from your coolness rating. If you’re like me this occurrence would firmly place you in the negative numbers.]

I used to only use (or know) the word “gauge” in terms of its “back in the day” meaning, as in:

I gauged my parents’ reaction when I came skidding in past curfew, simultaneously providing them with the farcical excuse that my gas gauge wasn’t working which caused me to run out of petrol, ergo, the resultant lateness.

This seemingly extraneous apparatus – the earlobe – is thought to provide balance, so I’m wondering if getting your ears gauged means you’re seeking balance or that you have better than average balance?

If you look up the word “gauge,” style you’ll find that it’s either a verb or a noun, dependent upon what you’re looking to do with the word.

Gauge as a verb means, “to determine
the exact dimensions, capacity, quantity; to estimate, judge, or measure.” The noun version is, “a standard of measure or measurement.” See, there. Nothing about ears. Not even a reference to the auditory.

The funny thing is that I’ve displayed gauged ears for quite some time. This is of the INvoluntary sort; however, subsequent to my youthful pursuit of donning heavy chandelier-type earrings which just about equaled the weight of real chandeliers.

I didn’t realize I was sporting abnormally large piercings until an acquaintance helpfully mentioned to me that I had not so much earholes as slits and large slits at that.

Though she succeeded in undermining my ear confidence she also succeeded in accomplishing something else much more memorable – she rendered me speechless.

I simply made a squeaking sound. Now that I think of it, perhaps the utterance was not so much validly vocal as aptly auditory; the result of air flowing through my enlarged piercing as we listened to the sound of silence.

I mean, what is a person supposed to do with this physical feature? Are there ear burkas? Earlobe tucks? How about earhole lifts?

Her observation has reverberated throughout the ensuing ears…years which is likely why I look at people’s earlobes almost as much as I do their eyes.

Thus, I noticed this whole gauging of the ear trend early on. That and the fact that my own fully-lobed child decided to live large, piercing style. I call the look “going tribal,” only her tribe is not so much aboriginal as a confident, I-am-the-best-original. I admire that.

I certainly get that every generation has its own version of how they assert “rage the machine” tendencies and claim their freedom.

Babyboomers usually translated the concept of freedom into not doing things (think letting hair grow, not bathing, and eschewing undergarments), but today’s youth is much more take charge. Our rebellion meant we weren’t gonna let “the man” command us on every level, including hygiene. There weren’t too many of us who marked ourselves up either, tattoos being seen mainly on sailors, prisoners, or people who were related to a tattoo artist who needed practice.

It’s the norm for Generation Z, or the Net Generation, to exhibit markings and piercings of all kinds. In fact, I often joke with my kids that if they want to be exceedingly different – don’t do anything. They’ll be the only ones in their age group in possession of an unmarked body canvas by the time they’re thirty.

I do appreciate adornment though, but I assert that I shouldn’t be able to read the restaurant specials of the day through my daughter’s 9/16th window to the world piercing. She assures me it’ll grow back, “it” meaning the lobe, but I can’t stand to see any part of her gone, so I exact revenge with my marginally amusing commentary.

For example I’ve taken to yelling, “Hellllooooo!” into her gauged earholes and you can imagine the reaction I get – initially. Truth be told she usually ends up laughing.

Earlobes, in general, are fascinating, almost as diverse as a fingerprint. Who knew that decades later I would finally fit in with my formerly objectionable attribute, sliding right into style?

The only problem is now that I’m all gauged up and ready to roll I’m ENgaged in and focused on, “my temperature gauge has gone kablooey and my blood feels like lava flowing through my body” phase of my life.

Timing really is everything. Pass that towel, would you?

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