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  • It was the end of the 2nd week of my freshman year in college. At this point in my life, I was commuting to UMD for the fall semester, living at home until the spring semester started. My mother and I were waiting in the Sports Authority parking lot for my brother to get off of work, listening to whatever was on the radio. My ears were red and swollen, throbbing from the pain after getting both of them pierced, earlier that day. My mother hadn’t noticed my ears were pierced after riding in the car for 20 minutes.

    From the moment I was about to step in the car, my heart had begun racing. I was feeling anxiety, mostly butterflies in my stomach. I thought, what is if she hates them? What if she gets angry?

    As I entered the car, my mother was placing her purse in the back seat. “Hurry up and get in! I left the chicken in the oven and I don’t want the house to burn down.” I cautiously sat in the passenger seat and buckled the seat belt quickly before she had a chance to see my ears. Hesitantly, I sat still for the 20 minute car ride to Sports Authority.

    My mother continued to sit impatiently, so she started fishing for her pack of cigarettes in her elbow rest. After finding and lighting the cigarette, she rolled the driver side window down and turned to me and said, “Can you go inside and tell your brother to hurry up?! He should’ve been out here by now.”

    As I slowly turned my head to answer her, I heard a sharp gasp. “Did you get your ears pierced?” Her eyebrows arched and face started to scrunch. After her gasp she was silent. My mind raced, she’s going to freak out on me in this parking lot. I don’t even think it’s that serious. Maybe I should run before she can get a word out.

    Before I knew it, I was already closing the car door, walking inside Sports Authority. I walked inside to find my brother at the register, ringing up a customer. “Mom said she’s about to leave you behind if you take any longer. She has food in the oven and is getting impatient. Also she might be pissed because I got my ears pierced and she gasped as I was turning my head.”
    My brother scanned my ears, sarcastically shaking his head as he started walking to the back of the store. He shouted, “I’ll be out in five minutes.”

    I left the store and started walking back to the car. As I open the car door, my mother turned to me and didn’t say a word. I told her my brother will be out soon. She responded, “They don’t look bad at all, they actually look nice. How long have you had your ears pierced?”

    Surprised by her statement, I told her, “I got them pierced today.” I pause, and added “A couple hours ago actually. They still kind of hurt.”

    My mother bursts into laughter. At that moment, I realized I wasn’t in any trouble. I asked her why she was laughing. She responded, “I can’t believe I didn’t notice you had your ears pierced.”
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