Member Musings: Carole J. Greene

Member Musings features the reflections and thoughts of an NPC member.


Carole J. Greene

I told this story 18 years ago, shortly after I had my ears pierced.

Ear-piercing is no big deal, you say. Babes in arms already have gold studs adorning their tiny lobes. Then you point to teenagers who, not content with piercing every available millimeter of their ears, turn to stabbing various things through their eyebrows, noses, lips, tongues, navels, and… Well, let’s not go there.

For me, however, a mature, semi-sane woman leaning hard on 60, it was a big deal. Oh, it wasn’t the pain, you understand. After bringing three sons into this world via natural childbirth before anyone ever heard of Lamaze classes, I certainly had no fear of the momentary discomfort from having a minuscule golden spike stabbed through a little bit of flesh. Nope, it was the principle that mattered to me.

I refused to poke another hole in my head, I repeatedly told my then-husband, until I had some significant gem to sport. Say, a one-carat diamond for each ear! Although he endlessly admired the beautiful earrings worn by other women (his admiration-of-other-women ranks high on the list of reasons he is an ex-husband), he must have preferred that my earlobes remain nude, because no such significant gems ever appeared.

Maybe my principled stand on the earring issue acted as a test of his true feelings for me: if you love me enough to invest in diamond studs, I’ll love you enough to pierce my ears. I won’t go into a psychological analysis of our marriage, especially as it related to gifts given or ungiven. Suffice it to say that my earlobes remained unpunched until a decade past our divorce.

But life has a way of changing, and with it, principles. Likewise, husbands.

In October of 1998, my new husband and I visited Hawaii to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. Although we had assured each other that the trip itself was gift enough, my husband felt I should have a special adornment reminiscent of this vacation. On the Kona coast of the Big Island of Hawaii, we meandered along a pedestrian mall one fragrant evening, and into a shop that sold nothing but black pearls. A few moments later, I proudly wore a magnificent pendant, the perfection of its spherical shape matched only by its lustrous black-green colors. Dear Hubby’s eyes gleamed with love as his gaze darted from the pearl at my throat to the wonder in my eyes.

As I turned to walk out the door, still bowled over by the generous spirit of this man, he stopped me. “Earrings,” he said, eyeing my pristine lobes. “You must have matching earrings.”

Carole J. Greene – November, 1998

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