Suffering for fashion

I have a strange shopping compulsion. I am often propelled to purchase things for the life I think I should be living rather than the life I actually am living. This explains the stilettos I cannot walk in, the significant amount of sequins in my wardrobe, and my fascination with studded fashion. The children call it my armour. “Are you going to wear your armour shoes today to go with your (Alexander Wang Rocco) armour bag?”, they have asked on occasion. The answer is no incidentally. I think the rose gold flat studs on the bag coupled with the silver spikes on the shoes is overkill. But, separately mind you, the studs and spikes make me feel rebellious. They make me feel a little less suburban housewife, even though there are no two ways about it – that is exactly what I am.

Sometimes all four children are calling me and I think to myself “What the hell is going on? Aren’t I 22 and just finished uni?”

I have spoken before of trying heavy black eyeliner to feel a bit less “mummy” after a bad night. This is not a great idea because when you are a “mummy” and you’re tired and distracted, you rub your eyes a lot, forgetting your rock-chick liner of the morning. In the same vein, I listen to triple j. (But not when the kids are in the car because swearing. I also don’t listen to most commercial stations because stupidity). Mostly it’s because I like 70% of their music and the announcers are not complete idiots. But it’s also partially for the black eye-liner effect.

It is with this framework in mind that I recently bought these earrings.


Which for believers in symmetry (or matchy-matchy) may look strange. One is a stud. The other looks like this on (ear):


I was feeling a little rebellious yesterday (a morning at home playing with a 13 month old and loading dishes into the dishwasher can have that effect on me) and so I decided it was time to crack open the earrings.

Baby N was napping. Everyone else was out. The pressing housework was done. So I went into the bathroom to put them on. I thought I might need the assistance of the mirror for the ear cuff placement.

I was wrong.

I needed much more than a mirror to get these bloody earrings on.

For a start I needed thinner ears.

I put the single spike in one hole. No problem. I put the second spike with the chain in the other ear. No problem. I raised the cuff towards the top of my ear and tried to slide it on. Nothing. I tried again. Nothing. I used one hand to rearrange my ear into a more presentable shape and tried again. No game. The space that the ear cuff presented was simply too small for my ear. In seconds I had developed a new complex – clearly I have fat cartilage. A new low for global women’s body image issues.

Now I am on a mission. No earring calls me fat and gets away with it. I am not giving up. Not only have I spent money on these earrings…..but my ears need the rock n roll lifestyle that the earrings promise . I gently try and prise the cuff open. It moves a millimetre or two. I try again, but the opening is missing my ear. I try and move it closer but the mirror is starting to confuse me and my hand moves even further behind my ear and gets tangled in my hair.

Baby N wakes up and starts whinging through the monitor. I may or may not swear.

I wrestle my (fat) ear cartilage into a flat position and put the cuff on. Success. My ear is now tomato red from all the manhandling. Baby N’s
whinging has increased in volume and frequency. There is a reason that I should not be wearing these earrings and it’s not that I am too old and conservative, though both of these is true. I do not have TIME for earrings that take 15 minutes to put on.

I admire my (glowing, edgy) ear in the mirror and let go of my hair. You now cannot see my ears. Clearly this has been worth all the effort. Still stubbornly triumphant, I leave the bathroom to tend to Baby N, with the growing sensation of a vice gripping the cartilage of my ear. Comfortable.

Later that night, we have people over. I have a close friend who moved to the US in December and she’s back, with her family, to visit. I open the door and we give each other a tremendous,
squeezy hug. As we pull back, she is rubbing her cheek and wincing. I have stabbed her in the face with one of my spikes. Sorry chicken.

My studded J Crew jumper is too heavy to wear. My newish Ginger and Smart skirt cannot be worn around Baby N as he pulled off significant chunks of the raffia the first time I wore it. This is problematic as 99.99% of the time, I am with Baby N.

As I said, I have an issue with actually dressing for my life.

These earrings are not family friendly. They are not friend-friendly.

But I still love them.

XOXO Shopping Girl


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