I abandoned political correctness the day my daughter came home with her tongue pierced. She was fifteen.
Political Correctness is the tyranny of opinion-less whimps over the rest of society. Whereas a person who judges people by their race or religion or gender deserves to be ostracized by society, a person who judges people by their behavior is acting as an thinking human. To deny someone the right to a personal opinion is unconstitutional. To force one point of view on everyone is tyranny. Therefore, political correctness is tyranny. Having established my position on political correctness, I will render my opinion on tongue piercing. I offer it as my opinion, based on observation and life experience. I do not expect or demand that other parents share my opinion. There now. I feel better.
About tongue piercing. When my fifteen-year-old child snuck out to a tattoo parlor with a forged my name on a permission form, we didn’t notice it at first. One evening she didn’t eat dinner and when asked why, she slurred her words. She finally stuck her tongue out to show why she wasn’t eating. Her tongue was swollen and pierced. I unloaded my motherly opinion on her. It went something like this:
“Nothing shouts ‘I am trailer trash’ like a tongue piercing. You can chip the inside enamel of your teeth. Forgetting the potential of infection, or the chance that you’ll choke on the metal ball when it comes loose, or the fact that you had to break a commandment to get this disgusting thing—what possessed you to do this?”
“Ni wannned id.”
“I am sorry. I cannot understand you. Did you say you wanted to look like trailer trash?” Or imitate a fool she met at school?
“All I can say is you better sleep with your eyes open, because I know how to use a needle-nose pliers.”
“Oh, I would. You need to stop disobeying us. You think you can do whatever you want and trade it for being grounded for a while. That’s just the start of problems. You break our rules and you break our trust. You lie and then we have to question everything you say.”
“I am old enough to make dethithions for mythef.”
“Exactly. That’s why we expect you to make better decisions.”
Hubby arrived home. Jessica slurred through her side of the story. I gave him my opinion of it. He calmly nodded along until he’d heard enough.
“When did you get this done?” he asked in his clinical doctor-to-patient tone. As an orthopedic surgeon he had seen the results of many dangerously stupid behaviors before. He once treated a two hunters who played Russian Roulette to shoot off their own big toes. Both shots missed.
“Do dathz ago.”
“Congratulations. You probably have an infection.”
Jessica’s eyes welled as she squared her jaw, bracing for her father’s decision.
“Here’s your choice, Jessica. For every day that you keep that thing in your mouth we will delay buying you a car for a month. If that piece of metal is so important to you, then keep it as long as you want. I’m disappointed that you did this without speaking to us. You must have known that we would say ‘no’ but you don’t want to hear our reasons why. We are not your enemy. We are the best friends you’ll ever have. We would give you a kidney. We would walk through fire for you. I believe we deserve a little more respect than you’ve been giving us.”
The next morning we found the metal ball and clamp on the breakfast table. We were so naïve to be upset about a piercing. The hole in her tongue and the infection healed. And just for the record, I hold the same opinion of my daughter getting a tongue piercing as I do about tattoos. The problem today is that my daughter is grown and living independently. I am biting my tongue to keep my opinion to myself according to this wisdom “Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity. Proverbs 21:23 (NIV)” But, baby girl, if you read this–it’s my opinion that when you do the same thing as everyone else, that is not a sign of individuality. Just sayin’.