Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

“Only Trashy Girls Get their Ears Pierced”

“Only trashy girls get their ears pierced!” my Dad roared as the nightly battle at the dinner table commenced. Every night, I presented facts and evidence supporting my need for pierced ears, only to engage his fierce and fiery disapproval.

“No daughter of MINE will ever have pierced ears!” rang in my ears, but I wasn’t giving up. The battle raged on.

Meanwhile, my next youngest sister went out and got her ears pierced, and showed up at dinner with bright, shiny gold earrings. I was dumbfounded. Flabbargasted – and aghast. What would my Father do?

I expected rage. He looked at her is shock. I think he went a little pale. He was angry, but . . . so mild! She really looked cute in those new gold earrings.

“You’re grounded for a week.” he told her coldly. The rest of the meal passed in silence, my sister grinning and preening quietly.

I went out the next day and had my ears pierced, too, so we could “serve our time” on restriction together. The next week, my Mom and youngest sister went downtown and had their ears pierced too. They didn’t get grounded.

Now he lies in a hospital bed, weak, old, and subdued, sliding between hallucinations and lucidity. What I wouldn’t give to see his fiery spirit back again.

September 30, 2006 - Posted by | ExPat Life, Family Issues, Relationships, Uncategorized


  1. is this true??

    if so im really sorry..but life’s not perfect.

    Comment by Eddy | September 30, 2006 | Reply

  2. I know the pain you feel.

    My dad went through a very prolonged sickness that consumed the last years of his life. He lost all his faculties and sometimes I had to fight to remember the kind, gentle, intelligent fellow he had been when I was growing up. Even now, I find it difficult to remember him as he once was.

    Comment by amaltheus | September 30, 2006 | Reply

  3. I hope he gets well soon sweetie 🙂

    Dads & their rules, only takes a little rebellion & a new fronteir is conquered 🙂

    Comment by Delicately Realistic | October 1, 2006 | Reply

  4. Eddy – yes. It is true. My sisters are with my Mom; they will call me when I need to go. It will probably be soon.

    Amalthus – thank you for your kind words. My Dad has always done things his own way – and as he suffers, he is having the most magnificent hallucinations, he sees beautiful things. In the midst of horror, a huge blessing.

    DR – you and my sisters know that! I was always the legalist, thinking I could make him understand! My sisters always knew that to get their way, go through the heart, not the mind. The sister who got her ears pierced was never afraid of my Dad, and always did as she pleased, and Dad would . . .laugh!

    Comment by intlxpatr | October 1, 2006 | Reply

  5. (more an email than a comment!)

    salaam ya khalti from the Beirut/New York niece,

    I love this story. the bold sister took my sister to have her ears pierced when she was 4, while my father and I were on our first Y-Indian Princesses’ overnight trip. I wouldn’t have wanted to get my ears pierced … too much time in public for shy 6 year old me … but seeing my sister’s ears I knew I had to have mine done. I wear the same earrings day in and day out for months on end but still, I love having pierced ears.

    To me the saddest thing is how much Grandpa still wants to live – he clearly prefers even this truncated existence to dying. I wish we could heal him.



    Comment by Petite a | October 3, 2006 | Reply

  6. See you soon, Petite a. And come back to Kuwait soon, too.

    Comment by intlxpatr | October 3, 2006 | Reply

  7. Hi.
    We are coming to kuwait next month for a ten month contract. I have enjoyed reading your blog to see what life is really like.Thanks for the insights!


    Comment by Robert | August 1, 2007 | Reply

  8. Welcome, Robert, hope you enjoy your time in Kuwait. It looks like your 10 month tour will exclude two of the hottest months of the year! Glad you’re enjoying the blog.

    Comment by intlxpatr | August 1, 2007 | Reply

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