Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Piercing My Soul (and filling it with iron)

Consistency has never been my forte and this blog is just another perfect example: no post for three weeks and then 2 posts in 3 days. What do you do?
Anyway, my good wife has opened a discussion on her blog concerning the piercing of our infant daughter’s ears at the tender age of 3 months or so. (It’s 3 months because that’s as early as any reputable place will do it.) In less than 24 hours the buzz has exploded and she has 8 comments the last I saw.
Not to digress or switch tracks, but that’s more than I’ve ever had on any post of mine. Interesting.
It’s true. Paula and I are at opposite ends of the spectrum on this. I don’t come from a ‘culture’ of piercing; Rachell got her ears pierced sometime in high school and my mom around the same time – when Rachell was in high school. And Paula’s polling of the students at MHS trying to build an argument for the cause didn’t leave me brimming with confidence. The overwhelming majority of those polled aren’t going to graduate, much less contribute anything to society except 25-to-Life.
Without attacking the supporters of early infant mutilation…er, ear piercing…I’d like to lay out my position. It’s important to note I held all these views long before I married the wonderful woman in my life known as Paula. Also, doesn’t my wife look incredible at 6 months? What a babe.

First, I want my child (XX or XY) to be as innocent and untouched by the world as long as possible. Maybe it’s na├»ve. Maybe it's old-fashioned. So be it. But all too soon I’m going to wonder why my little girl is asking about things that’ll make me blush and I'll be passing her on to her mother. Let me keep her pure and unscathed until she's embarrassed to hug me in public. Next, I can’t help shake the feeling that earrings early are like the gateway drug of jewelry to looking like a hooker. I know it’s unreasonable because my wife isn’t a hooker, nor is her sister and probably five or six other girls out there who had their ears pierced early on; but it’s just there in the back of my mind. I mean, Isaiah 3:16-24.
Also, shouldn’t she have a choice whether or not she wants to have a pair of holes punched in her ears? USA!! AGENCY!! USA!! AGENCY!! Who are we to make this decision for her?
Furthermore, I’ve seen several comments on Paula’s post about it being such a great idea as something to distinguish the sex of the baby. Come on. So for 2 of her 70+ year life, some fools who can’t register pink/purple=GIRL are going to mess up the sex of the kid. Big deal. It’s not like their putting holes in her ears.
Concurrently, I don’t buy the ‘culture’ thing. Not because I don’t love my wife or her heritage, but because I’ve always been opposed to the assertion of people doing things because it’s ‘culture’. For clarification, I’m not against culture; I’m against making important decisions with that as the underlying logic. If I was Polynesian and tattooing our first born son was part of the culture, should I do it?
(Speaking purely philosophically, should culture really be the underlying reason we do something? Forget ear piercing. I’m talking about anything. If that’s the case, such practices should be reexamined because it’s not a sound premise for action.)
Finally, I’m just stubborn and old-fashioned.

Regardless of these sarcastic (but amazingly true) comments, our daughter will have her ears pierced before she can control her own bowel movements. Why? If I feel so strongly about this, how can yield? Admittedly, it’s not like Paula wants to tattoo-her face with the word ‘Culture’ in pink across her face. And I am a wonderful husband.
But it's much simpler.
Quid pro Quo.
Our daughter isn’t going to be given a middle name. Some scared, anonymous commenter alluded to this in a comment on Paula’s post. “Who cares about piercing her ears just give the girl a freaking middle name!!!” this person said.
I immediately dismissed this person’s comment as a moron because they used three exclamation points. Evidently they have a double-digit IQ. (My administration has always been clear on the excessive usage of this punctuation mark. If you are one of my friends, Anonymous, you should have put your name. Then I’d only have called you a moron in my mind.)
Like I said, she’s not going to be given a middle name; she’s going to inherit one. She’s going to have a middle name for about virtually all of her adult life – and that middle name is going to be ROBERTS.
This has nothing to do with culture.
It has everything to do with family. There aren’t very many women in the Roberts family – my mom and sister, to be exact – and in my opinion Rachell has first dibs on my mom’s name or a grandmother’s name as she is the only girl in the family. I don’t want my daughter to drop our family name when she gets married because it is a name that has been honored and protected and defended by her progenitors; her children and her grandchildren should know of their ancestors and this is a way to preserve that.
Hence, the exchange is early piercing for prolonging Roberts through the generations. Because I love my posterity, I'm stepping back from this. That is a price I am willing to pay. In the words of Papa Burgundy, "When in Rome..."


Anonymous said...

Do you feel the same about circumcision for boys? It is definitely a custom/tradition.

Mr. Roberts said...

Circumcision started as a covenant Abraham made with God, so there's precedent for it.
Also, boys have a hard enough time with that equipment so hygienically speaking I'm personally for it.
BTW, props for the proper spelling of 'definitely'.

Mr. Curtis said...

I have always known you were a wise and fair man Mr. Roberts. You are again on the right end on a very heated debate. After reading your last post, I discussed the matter with my wife, who happens to be of Hispanic descent. She acknowledged the practice, but I would argue that it is a custom. I see it as more a poor fashion choice; much like older women tend to wear pants too high or Mormon men wearing socks with sandals. Personally I think it just looks wrong.

Even if, in some crazy world, this was a custom, you don't need to follow it. I'm from Oklahoma, where it is custom to not bath your children and let them chew tobacco. I happen to be the proud father of two future hall-of-famers, and we will not be following those customs in the Curtis home!

Logan, rest easy knowing your have presented your argument well. Your wisdom has lead you to the right decision.

If you are ever in Vegas, give me a call.

The Ames Family said...

Logan, I have to say you put up quite an impressive argument. I can see where Paula is coming from, but frankly I agree with you (sorry Paula). I think getting your ears pierced should be a decision made by the person who's getting the holes in their head. Sure it might help the "cuteness" factor and most likely will help distinguish the gender issue, but like you said, its only two years of their life that they don't remember anyway! Excuse my use of the exclamation mark, I just thought it was fitting. (but that wasn't my comment about the middle name-i swear)

I would actually love to hear you and Zach hash out this issue, I think it would be very entertaining.

Momma Miriam said...

A heartfelt "Amen" to each and every one of your reasons for not piercing baby's ears.

The alleged #5 said...

If forced to choose, I side with LoRo. Here are my reasons:

1) It looks like it hurts. Babies cry enough as it is.
2) I think it would prove for a great mother/daughter bonding moment…a rite of passage kind of thing.
3) If Meadowcreek, Central or any school is the standard of proof...I am afraid.

4) You are a dude...and I gotta back ya. It's part of the code.

5) I am confident that Paula will do just fine in "girling" her up. I mean, hello, have you met Paula and her circle of friends...the kid's first word will either be Jimmy Choo or Manolo.

P.S. I am all about the Roberts as a middle name, but I feel the name Bernice would be an awesome tribute to Natalie, not to mention it would bring it back into the fam. Viva Bernice!

zach and keri said...

Logan, it is not often and it is very rare that I ever break ranks with my bro's. But with a grave heart I offer my dissention on the great debacle, which has become of the mutilative practice of ear piercing. Should Keri and I have a girl (we find out in June as to the gender of the growth) I plan on piercing her ears as early as possible and adorning her ears with some serious “CZ” bling. Not because I have any scriptural or other relevant reasons for the practice other than if it is a boy he gets snipped and if it is a girl she gets pierced, and besides I think it is freaking cute (a word which I despise). Sorry Logan, that’s how I roll, lets us move on in our differences and hope we can bridge this chasm that separates us. ~Cacker.