Thoughts on Nose Rings

January 13, 2023
This is a quick brush pen and ink wash sketch I did of Bob Jones. The orange pen marks are corrections I scribbled in afterwards, pointing out areas of value or accuracy I’d need to fix. I thought I would get around to making a finished sketch of Jones before I posted this blog post. But I didn’t, and I’m letting it go. (He is much cuter than this sketch; and I mentioned he’s a very talented artist!)

Dick claims that we talk more than most married couples. I don’t know about that, but I do know that our conversations are far-ranging.

This past fall my lung situation was pretty bad. I didn’t have a lot of energy for multiple bouts of the downsizing packing, unpacking, sorting—as well as work and cooking. So I went for “comfort food” in my TV viewing and started to rewatch ALL the seasons of “Ink Master.”

I don’t have my viewing notes at my typing location; I can’t tell you which seasons are on Netflix and which are on Amazon Prime etc. Everything in the TV universe might be available somewhere, but the finding of it is the big disengage. All I can say is I know if you are eager you’ll find the show with those clues. (And the Ink Master Angels, and Redemption etc. are all fun too.)

Typically Dick and I would work on the downsizing tasks and then watch two episodes. Usually eating a “pop.” (Which is a Strawberry Outshine Popsicle, trust me they are yummy.)

During our nightly viewing Dick had a lot of questions about tattooing.

It’s odd but I knew the answers … most of them. (You may remember from a now archived post that you’d have to be a long-term reader to have seen, that I once wanted to be a tattoo artist [I even picked out my professional name], but I simply can’t be tattooed because I form keloids and I am allergic to just about everything, including injected inks. The show makes a big deal about tattoo artists needing to be tattooed. Since I’ve never liked one style of artwork for more that about 8 months it seems to me I would be doubly damned to have to carry around art I no longer cared about, or which didn’t reflect my current personality, as well as have all that art scarred over!)

Anyway… Dick and I would watch and he’d ask me to stop the show and ask me a question. We even got to talking one night about what I would like in a tattoo machine and why, and he thought for a moment and said, “Yep it’s doable.” And then we came up with a name for the machine…but I digress. Let’s just say one of the fun things about living with an engineer is that you can use your interest in process to break something down and explain it to the engineer and then he can tell you how feasible/easy/expensive it is to do that thing. And then you can decide whether it fits in the category of essential life goals or not…

Example: Dick has made it abundantly clear to me that it is not economically feasible to dome over the parts of River Road  where I cycle, thus making it possible for me to cycle, and others, I might add, can ride, walk, run, fake ski, etc., in all seasons without ice. I forget the total costs, excluding permissions from nearby residents, but it would have been difficult even for Bezos to afford. But it was an actual nuts and bolts and science talk! Sometimes I wish I did not believe in science. Or have a killjoy realist of an engineer for a husband—though I know if I wanted to tattoo he would make that wonderful tattoo machine for me so I guess things balance out. 

On this night we were watching an episode with the fantastically talented Bob Jones. This was his second time on the show. The previous season ended abruptly, before the live finale extravaganza that ended previous seasons, because of Covid lockdown. In 2022 the producers brought back the three finalists for the new season. In addition they brought back four previous winners and some other great “nearly winners” from other seasons. This resulted in an amazing season and artist DJ Tambe, who is another of my favorite tattoo artists, did a portrait of a grandmother on a “canvas” (what they call the clients/skins on the show) that I am still thinking and smiling about. Let’s just say that the season’s art was exceptional all around.

OK, so back to Bob Jones (who remember is incredibly talented and during the course of the season did a dog portrait of his corgi that was to die for; so gorgeous you wanted to run to the phone and make a tattoo appointment! Keloids be damned), as Dick and I were watching we had the following conversation.

Dick: It looks like Bob has a booger in his nose.

Roz (surprised because Dick typically doesn’t notice things like that, and if he does he never comments on them): No he doesn’t; that’s a ball-end on a nose ring.

Dick: I was sure it was a booger.

Roz: Nope, it’s a ball-end on a nose-ring, but I really don’t know why he has that nose ring because…

…and I launched into what we now refer to as “Roz’s Six Reasons Why She’ll Never Have a Nose Ring Rant: The PG Version with Expletives Deleted”

  1. It looks like you have a booger in your nose ALL the time.
  2. It’s hard to blow your nose or sneeze—and I am always sneezing. In fact the mere idea of having a nose ring makes me sneeze.
  3. Piercings never heal on me. It’s unique perhaps to me (?), but when I was 10 and had my ears pierced they never, ever healed. They even got infected on our trip to Australia, probably from swimming in some slightly less than necessarily chlorinated motel pool on the drive out west to leave the country, so there I was in the Redwood Forest with a earlobe as large as a ripe Black plum, all red and burning and no one seemed at all concerned about taking me to the doctor! And that was the same day that I was made to eat Spinach pasta—and spinach, next to Kale (which had not yet been “discovered” so no one was eating it, or if they were they weren’t telling anyone about it), and Lutefisk, is my least favorite food, or what I refer to as “my kryptonite.” Then a year later neither ear had healed and the headmistress of my school demanded that I stop wearing earrings because she was tired of the “her ear hasn’t healed yet” excuse which was in violation of the school uniform code. Now imagine all that happening to your nose! I would be miserable. I use my nose more than anyone I know, more than most professional chefs, or wine tasters, or perfumers. 
  4. If you have allergies, and I do, a nose ring will always itch. It would drive me crazy to have an always itchy nose ring. I can feel the waves of anxiety mounting just thinking about it.
  5. I live in Minnesota where it gets below zero in the winter…frostbite, it’s a thing; metal conducts cold. It’s something that is discussed when you search with your dogs; or you just walk your dogs in a Minnesota winter! Or you simply step outside in the winter in Minnesota! Believe me it gets discussed, just as “what temperature does it have to drop to before your eyelashes freeze shut?” another actual, real thing that happens here in Minnesota, gets discussed.And the most important reason I’ll never have a nose ring:
  6. If I get into a street fight I do not want a handle for an opponent to grab! I’m feisty, but having someone pull the nose ring off my face would stop me in my tracks! Though the resultant scarring from a ripped out nose ring (keloids!) would add to that pirate vibe I seem to be going for these days!

Yep, that’s what is like at our house, day in and day out. Deep philosophical discussions about everything.

And every so often I make brownies!

    • Beverlee
    • January 13, 2023

    Roz! I feel as if I have just dropped by for a visit with you and Dick, and now I’m all cheered up. Thank you.

    1. Reply

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this and were cheered! Thanks for stopping by, even though you couldn’t enjoy any brownies virtually.

    • Tina Koyama
    • January 13, 2023

    I had a similar reaction to getting my ears pierced as a teenager! Burning, swollen, oozy, red, never healing. I had to let them close up because it turned out I was allergic to nickel, which is in almost all earring posts. I wish I could be a fly on your wall someday when you and Dick are talking!

    1. Reply

      Tina, thanks for writing and letting me know you had this experience and that it was a nickel allergy. I know at the time they gave me posts made with surgical steel, but I looked that up and even ss can contain nickel—and it was the 1960s so who knows what metal was really used. By the time we got to Australia and I had to start school I had earrings which were yellow gold (so no nickel) but they didn’t help either. I think my body was just “over” the whole idea. Frankly I didn’t want to get my ears pierced in the first place, because even at 10 I didn’t want to present any “handles” to opponents in any potential street fights. Always thinking ahead!

      I hope someday you can stop in when you’re visiting other relatives in MN and spend time with Dick and me. I’ll make brownies!

    • Donna McMenamin
    • January 14, 2023

    Another thing we have in common, ugh and Dick is right on….why does a woman do that to herself….so unattractive IMHO!

    1. Reply

      I’m glad I don’t have to worry about you getting a nose ring! I’m not a fan of nose rings in general. Bob is quite a cute young man; I think people in the tattoo business often have piercings. There’s a whole multifaceted subculture. All fun things to look at, but they all seem inconvenient to me.

    • Holly Waldrop
    • January 16, 2023

    Wait – YOU form keloids?? That’s fascinating! Well, obviously not so much for you. My first research job mumblety-nine years ago was research on collagen in keloids. We had several cell lines taken from folks who had them removed during surgery (a real Catch-22). Nearly all of our samples were from African American people, who are much more prone to them than other groups.

    I do find it amusing that your “handle” argument against nose paraphernalia is the same one my Mom used against earrings for many years. “Your money or your ear!” she would cackle! So glad to know it’s not just my family.

    Happy New Year to you and Dick! So glad you enjoy each other like you do!

    1. Reply

      Holly I’m the queen of keloids! People can just look at me and I’ll get a keloid! (I don’t think anyone in my family has similar results.) My body, for whatever reason, simply doesn’t like to be messed with. Hope you too have a great year! Thanks for stopping by.

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