My friend Jen, who has two children close in age to mine, and I were enjoying a coffee date in December when the conversation turned to new things we could do together. (Learn more about my project to try 47 new things in a year here.)

Jen and I ran the Dirty Girl Mud Run together in August, and she has agreed to do a polar plunge with me next month. On her own, she has gone skydiving, dove off a cliff into a river and tried a lot of other things that make her much more adventurous than I am.

She asked, “Have you ever been arrested?”

“What? No!” I replied.

“Me neither,” she said with disappointment in her voice. I don’t recall the exact wording, but she continued on to say something like, “I wonder what minor offense we can do to get arrested? We should get mug shots.” Umm, did I mention she has a wild streak?

Thankfully, the conversation moved on…to tattoos and piercings. I have one tattoo and a few ear piercings. She has more of each and was looking to increase that number. Did I want to join her?

My first thought was piercing my eyebrow, because I like that look. But I worried I’d catch the ring on everything. With a little encouragement from Jen, I decide on piercing my nose.

Several weeks later, Jen and I headed to Starship Tattoo in Milwaukee, where Steve was the trained and certified body piercer on staff.

For me, the process was easy. Steve discussed the procedure and proper after-care, wore gloves, used antiseptic to clean the area and used sealed packaged tools and jewelry–all good practices for a person who’s putting holes in your body. Inserting the teeny-tiny gemstone stud into my nose was a piece of cake. It took seconds and was nearly painless.

julie pierce

Jen got an orbital—a ring threaded through two holes in her ear. It took a bit longer, and from her reaction, it hurt a helluva lot. But she was happy with the outcome, which I think looks really cool.

jen with orbital

The most fun part of this experience? Buying “non-piercing” rings while we were there. The package, with an old Halloween Express $3.99 price tag still on it, read: “Be Cool * Have Fun * Impress Your Friends”.

fake rings

Gosh, who doesn’t want to do that? How could I resist?

When I returned home, I posted this photo on Facebook with the caption: “Yikes! What did Jen talk me into?”


But my Facebook friends were too savvy to fall for that.

My children were not. So a little later, when the boys came home from school, this is how I greeted them.

for boys

The 5-year-old asked, “What are those? Why are you wearing them? You look weird.”

Following a few steps behind, the 8-year-old took one look and said, “Wow. I like it!” He was disappointed when I took them off and showed him they weren’t real. He wanted to try one on until he realized, “Oh, Mom! You had one of these in your nose. Yuk!”

Before Doug came home from work, I put a ring back on my lower lip. When he walked in the door, I continued making dinner as I greeted him and asked him about his day. He glared at me and didn’t say a word. I said, “Well, Jen and I might have gotten a little carried away.”

He replied, “Yeah, carried away…” as he shot me a dark look. He was not happy. When I took the lip ring off, his mood brightened considerably and he said, “I was wondering if it was fake.” Hmm… The glare he first gave me told me otherwise. He doesn’t get the appeal of piercing my nose, but he has accepted it.


It’s been a few days, and I forget I have the piercing most of the time. And should I decide I don’t like it in the first few months, I can remove the stud and the hole should close up quickly. But if I decide I do like it, that might mean more piercings in the future. I know Jen is ready for more. But I don’t think my husband is.

What fun, silly or adventurous things have you done recently?


et cetera