Christina M. Currie
Christina M. Currie's Touch of Spice column appears Fridays in the Craig Daily Press. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
You don't waste a trip out of town by not doing any shopping - especially if you're a woman who believes your life isn't complete without a closet full of shoes.
(I'll give the local merchants a little plug here by saying I always stop there first, but occasionally a girl needs a cute pair of Mary Janes).
So, when I took my two girls (then about 5 and 7 years old) out of town for some major dental work, I had to hit the mall.
Who could blame me?
Was it so bad that I suggested that if the girls wanted their ears pierced, now was the time to do it?
And was it so bad that I let Katie do it, who agreed because she wanted it as bad as she did because of the residual effects from nitrous oxide?
We'll just say no. It makes me feel a lot better.
Besides, I really think the nitrous oxide helped. Katie's pretty sensitive to pain, and she didn't cry at all.
Nikki, unfortunately, was asleep in the car (also drug-induced) and could barely lift her head to say no.
That was two years ago. Once the effects of the nitrous wore off, 9-year-old Katie discovered that cleaning the holes and rotating the earrings were too painful, and we let the holes close.
She started regretting her decision again this weekend as we were passing through Grand Junction on our way back from a camping trip.
I don't know what brought it back to her mind, but she was working hard to convince me that this time she'd do better and this time, she'd take good care.
After she talked me into giving it another shot, she started talking her little sister into it.
She brandied phrases like, "It doesn't hurt except a little," and "It's easy, Nikki - really, it is."
And it worked. Seven-year-old Nikki, who doesn't fear pain as much to begin with, agreed. So, off we went. I filled out two permission forms, we chose our pretty earrings and the arrangements were made.
Nikki went first, her face a clear map of her emotions - shock as she realized it hurt more than she expected and shock, a different kind, as she realized that the pain disappeared almost as quickly as it came.
Unfortunately, Katie saw only the first wave of emotion.
So Katie, who'd had her ears pierced before and smoothly talked her younger sister into it, left without holes in her ears and overwhelmed by emotions. She didn't know how to overcome the fear and take the risk.
For the rest of the evening, she quizzed her sister about the experience: "Did it hurt? How much did it hurt? Show me how much it hurt. Pinch my ear. Did it hurt as much as my scooter wreck hurt? How much did it hurt?"
Nikki had no answers that overcame her sister's fear.
And neither did I.
Katie's mantra is "I just can't."
All I can tell her is that until she says she can, she won't.
And until she wants something more than she fears it, she won't ever take the chance.
Just like the rest of us.
We have to say "it's too easy," instead of "it's too hard." And we have to make that apply to everything.
Because when all is said and done, life is all about the chances we take even when we know it'll hurt.
And what we learn on the other side.