It’s been well over a week since I last provided some advice to plainskins™ from a modified perspective, and I really thought I’d give it a break for a bit to let it all soak in. After all, it’s the holiday season and there is only so much harsh reality a person can absorb: especially with so much dogma in the air.
Breakfast with the family over Thanksgiving weekend in a crowded restaurant with tightly packed tables made me change my mind.
I live in Dallas, Texas. There are a certain amount of stares that I have gotten used to over the years: especially in certain parts of town. Don’t get me wrong, Dallas is actually more tolerant of the modified than many other places I’ve been in the world, but there is still a fair share of ogling. The phenomenon in question today, however, is the state of the modified’s hearing.
I am the first to admit that I don’t hear the best. Years and years in front of concert speakers with no ear protection coupled with my selective ADD has made me rather oblivious. Other people I know have had their ears so modified that it is a wonder that their pinna can direct enough sound into their auditory canals. Like a wise doctor once told me, “Those piercings are nothing more than obstructions awaiting infection and rejection.” (no shits, this was actually told to me by a real M.D.).
However, the patented plainskin™ gawk, especially in a restaurant or bar, has a 60% chance of the plainskins™ erupting into a discussion with their party. More often than not, the discussion tends towards the “I’d never get a tattoo,” or “How do you think she got her ears stretched so big,” or (my favorite) “he’ll never get a real job looking like that.” Opinions are like assholes, most need to be cleaned up before public presentation. To that regard, I don’t fault these people for what they think: it’s beyond the realm of their experience, and, tacitly “scary” by human nature.
What I can’t stand is that most of these conversations happen right bloody next to me. The big kicker is that while these people talk at normal or above typical volume levels, they still think that their furtive glances are what is going to give them away.
Unlike other situations with plainskins™, however, I think a proactive approach is appropriate in this case. I suggest coming up with some generic card that says “Body Modification Ambassador,” or something similar, and a link to BME on it. I would then suggest politely stating that you couldn’t help but overhear their discussion and would be happy to answer any and all questions: however candid they might be.
I see two potential outcomes from such a confrontation: gratitude or indignation. In either case, the parties involved will learn something. If all goes well, they’ll learn that many of the modified are rather pleasant and more than willing to talk about just about anything. If it goes poorly, perhaps they’ll learn to keep the damn volume down. After all, I just want to eat my sammich in peace.