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I have a complicated relationship with jewelry. For the most part, I have no idea how to accessorize an outfit. Figuring out which necklace or bracelet that works with which outfit is a mystery to me. I don’t wear much jewelry as a rule, mostly because I don’t own that much nice jewelry, but also because even if I did, I’d have no clue how to piece it together.

I’m a 30-something adult, who does not have pierced ears. Well, that’s not exactly true. They were pierced not once, but twice. I was in the sixth grade when my parents finally allowed me to get my ears pierced. Not really knowing much else about it, I was excited to be like the girls at school. We went to the mall to have it done at the Piercing Pagoda, which would do it for free.

I followed the piercing instructions to the letter, but still ended up having an infection. Chalking it up to sensitivity to the metal in the piercing stud, we switched out all kinds of various earring materials in the hopes that something, anything would work better, but to no avail. Instead, I got frustrated, pulled the damn things out and let the holes grow shut.

But I still wanted pierced ears. A few months later, we tried again, but the piercing on one ear wouldn’t re-open on its own. I had to go back and get re-pierced. The second time around, we ran into the same problem, only this time, one of the piercings was off from the original scar and now I had two semi-closed holes in one ear. So, to this day, I still have the holes, but can’t wear the earrings. And in one ear, I have two scars to remind me that doing something the same way over and over again does not yield different results.