Today, I’m 37 years old. In case you were wondering, that’s 444 months. 1930.6 weeks. 13,514 days. 324,336 hours. Et cetera.
To commemorate this histrionic occasion, I’ve shaved my goatee. (Long-time fans of mine will know that this is not an uncommon occurrence.)
But more importantly, it marks the end of an era. The Earring has been retired.
It was August 1990 when I got my left ear pierced. In the most manly way possible, I strode confidently into Dazzles in the Roosevelt Mall and had it done. And two decades later, I have removed it for a variety of reasons.
Reason #1: I am not now, nor have ever been, a pirate.
Reason #2: It’s really hard to find earrings for men, and they don’t sell solo ones.
Reason #3: I’m 37. That’s three years from “Old Guy with Earring Trying To Be Cool.”
Reason #4: This is the most important reason, because it’s health-related. My beautiful daughters are getting really grabby and stronger by the day. Norah has already taken a strong hold of my left earlobe on several occasions. And I don’t want her to suddenly pull off a bloody earlobe.
Frankly, I never ever felt badass enough to pull off an earring. But then again, I’ve survived Crohn’s disease and pyoderma gangrenosum. I’ve lived for the better part of a decade with giant open wounds on my leg. And I’m a married man with twin daughters (who were really sick at birth and were in two different NICUs for three weeks).
An earring doesn’t define me or make me tough. It doesn’t even let passers-by on the street know if I’m tough or not. Besides, when I’m pushing my double-long stroller through the mall with my wife, that’s badass enough for me.
Goodbye, Mr. Earring. See you at my midlife crisis in about eight years.