I currently have my ears gauged to a size 6 (note to non-freaks: ear gauging is when you gradually push bigger and bigger posts through your pierced ears to stretch the holes. A size 6 looks about like this).
A while back I decided I wanted to go a little bigger - I'm thinking a size 2 - so I ordered the necessarily stuff from my beloved Body Art Forms. I haven't gotten around to "stretching up" yet, though.
Yesterday I was on the subway and saw an old lady and got to thinking about what my gauges will look like when I'm her age. Just to be clear, this is not an "Oh my god, I can't be an old lady with gauged ears, I'll look so stupid!" thing. I've never understood that sentiment; it seems to come from the idea that old people never have tattoos or facial piercings or gauges, so clearly an old person who does will look out of place. The huge oversight here is that by the time my generation gets old, most of us will have those things (and the younger generation will invent something even more extreme like installing Plexiglas windows in their skulls).
No, my line of thought on the subway yesterday was this: if my earlobes sag with age like that lady's have, will the holes lose their elasticity and my eyelets will fall right out? And if so, will I have to put bigger jewelry in to take up the slack? I like the look of really big ear gauges on some people, but for me, personally, I want to stay relatively small.
So now I'm wondering whether I should delay my next stretch just in case my skin abruptly gives up all hope and collapses in a pile around my knees in the next year or two, forcing me to upgrade to jewelry the size of hubcaps. Sure, everything's holding up okay so far - I'm almost 40 and I still get carded at bars and liquor stores - but a teeny, superstitious voice in my head is whispering "how long do you think your luck is gonna hold out, lady?"
I bet the other grownups don't have these kinds of dilemmas - they probably got their ears pierced two decades ago and haven't thought about it since. Having a mental age of 14 and a physical age of 38* makes for some really weird life issues.
*Actually 37 and 11 months. I rounded up.