Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The pressing questions of our age, 4 and 5

1) Does anyone actually wear clip-on earrings? Why do they constitute such a large share of the vintage earring market?

2) The only purpose of online final sale is to force you into bad consumer decisions you will immediately regret, like $11 shiny pink pants that don't quite fit, and did I mention are shiny and pink? From which, the pressing question - try to make them work by shrinking them in the dryer (thereby possibly resulting in doll pants), or stick them on ebay?


Flavia said...

I think it used to be uncommon for "nice" women to have their ears pierced, rather like tattoos or more exotic piercings. I got my ears pierced before my mom got hers pierced (probably sometime in the late 1980s, when she was approaching 40).

I find actual clip-ons unbearable, though I own far too many (kept trying, kept failing), but screw-backs aren't at all bad.

Miss Self-Important said...

But if having an actual ear piercing was low-class, then how was earring-wearing not? Wouldn't that be like maintaining the current attitude towards real tattoos while mainstreaming temporary tattoos?

I guess that explains why there are so many vintage clip-ons in existence, and their painfulness explains why they're all for sale.

Flavia said...

Okay, Googled it, and it seems mostly to be about technology. Screwbacks & clips were invented around 1900-10, and subsequently pierced ears became really unusual. Pierced ears started to become trendy in the early 1960s, but it wasn't really the dominant way to wear earrings until the piercing "gun" was invented (and girls weren't just doing it to each other with sterilized needles).

Apparently, in the early 60s, pierced earring sales were so remarkable that there are actual newspaper articles about pierced earrings suddenly accounting for almost twenty percent! of sales at Joe Smith Jewelry, or wherever.

Miss Self-Important said...

Huh, who'd have thought? That does make sense, since most of the clip-on earrings I've come across are from the 1960s. I commend the 60 years' worth of women who went about their lives with swollen, aching earlobes. (Though I've never tried the screw-on kind.)

Andrew Stevens said...

My mother never had her ears pierced and was very skeptical of allowing it for my sister. (And, indeed, my sister had some problems with infections as I recall, justifying my mother's skepticism.) My own ear was pierced by a girlfriend with a sterilized needle; never had any problems with infections. (Also never wear an earring any more.)

I believe my mother was wearing earrings (obviously clip-ons) in her wedding picture, but I can't remember her ever wearing them really. I suspect this was true for most of the 60 years' worth of women: earrings were for special occasions, not everyday wear.

Anonymous said...

My wife (second wife) wears only clip on and was VERY unhappy when her stepdaughters got their ears pierced, My ex-wife had no issues with piercing. There is fifteen years between my first wife and my second-the second wife having been born in the early forties. Age, methodist culture and location might have something to do with it.

Miss Self-Important said...

This is all a bit surprising to me, since ear piercing (even infant ear piercing) was the norm for all the girls I knew, and when my mother forbade it for me, I had to wait until I was already in college and out of her reach to get it done. I assumed her opposition was just immigrant backwardness and Americans had been doing this since forever. Guess not.

But don't your wife's ears HURT?

The Ancient said...

What Andrew said. Neither my mother nor my grandmothers would ever have pierced their ears. That would have been entirely non-WASP.*

(My wife, for example, only had her ears pierced a few years ago; she was over sixty, and her excuse was that she was now so old she needed a place to show off her diamonds and distract people's eyes from everything else....)
*I dimly remember asking about pierced ears when I was a child and hearing a vague allusion to gypsies and Italians. It was just a different world.

Andrew Stevens said...

Nine days and nobody wants to touch question 2? I'm for Ebay.

Miss Self-Important said...

In the absence of authoritative guidance from the internet, I choose my own choices, and the pants are already listed on ebay.