Not even a ring, actually. It was a tiny ("tasteful", according to my mother) diamond stud. And the woman (get this) wasn't weird at all. She was actually "Very nice. And interesting and lovely to talk to."
CAN YOU IMAGINE?
This was in the 90s, when my brain still had a white picket fence around it, and I was genuinely impressed that my parents could embrace someone so rogue! So wildly different from themselves! It is very possible that I was wearing penny loafers when I was having these thoughts.
Within a year or two, I was all, "Mom, Dad, you handled that stranger's nose ring so well, guess what? I'M GOING TO MARRY THIS GUY. He's a musician and he works in a deli!"
Okay. So. Where was I going with this?
Right, right, right ... nose rings, I remember.
Except that I don't remember. I don't remember a precise moment when I made the mental leap from "Gross, why would anyone want an earring in their nose?" to "Obsessively googling 'Nose studs or hoops, WHICH IZ MORE AWESOME?'" It happened over the course of years, until one day I walked into an East Nashville tattoo and piercing parlor and ... promptly ceased to exist.
It was amazing. Broad daylight, and I was the only customer in the store. I stood at the counter, watching the two attendants, who were standing not three feet away. I leaned in. I smiled and flapped my arms a little, but there was simply not enough metal in my face for them to detect me. So I finally walked out. Because, nose ring, yes. Confrontation with people who have barbels in their eyelids? No thank you.
Sometimes it's just not your time.
And then sometimes you're at a friend's house on a Saturday night, and you've finished a wonderful dinner, and that fall weather is just starting to kick in, and you think, you know what would go great with these margaritas? A diamond stud in my nose. IT'S MY TIME.
And your friend, bless her, grabs her keys off the hook and says, "I'll drive."