For a while (seriously, maybe the last year; on and off for longer), I'd been wanting to get my nose pierced. Just your average nostril piercing, something different yet subtle enough for both my personality and my professional path in life (however it turns out).
We'd gone downtown to scope out a tattoo and piercing shop to do a little research and reconnaissance. So, while we were there, I thought: why not? No time like the present.
All my previous piercings, which only involve my ears, were done (and I cringe at this) by gun. The first set when I was baby; I don't remember it at all. The second set and single-third, when I was 15. This was my first time actually being pierced the proper way: with a needle.
And there is something strangely intimate about paying someone to shove a needle through your flesh, particularly the flesh of your nose. (I imagine it's an even stranger intimacy for something like nipples, labia or penis.) I'm one of those people who carefully cultivates a bubble of personal space; few people are allowed entrance (and some of them only out of medical necessity, see: yearly check ups), so for me there was a definite sense of having my personal bubble invaded.
But the strange intimacy was worth it. I now have a pretty little faux opal (fauxpal) stud in my nose. It's my marker for getting through my first year of graduate school.
And now, I am anxiously awaiting the end of the healing process so that I can experiment with different jewelry.