My feed

to access all these features


To not have my ears pierced?

48 replies

TressaRobes · 07/12/2019 19:01

DH and I took MIL out for a meal last night, I do like her and in 10+ years we've always got on well. We'll see her on Boxing Day (as usual for us) but she bought Christmas gifts to the meal and insisted we open them - she gave me pair of earrings.

I don't have pierced ears. So I don't dripfeed, I did have them pierced when I was about 10, but had such a severe (presumed allergic to the metal) reaction they had to be removed in A&E. Funnily enough, it put me off and I haven't tried again! And I've managed quite a happy life without wearing earrings.

I (pathetically) just said thank you, lovely, wonderful, great, and tried to brush it off but DH piled on in with "But Tressa hasn't got pierced ears, Mum".

MIL then told me how strange and odd it was that I hadn't got pierced ears, and if I had them pierced ASAP I could be wearing her not very lovely earrings by Boxing Day.

Now I feel worried that she'll be offended if I'm not wearing them on Boxing Day, but I really don't want to have my ears pierced!

What can I do?!

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

speakout · 07/12/2019 19:58

I find it hard IRL to stand up for myself

Why? What fears do you have?

DisplayPurposesOnly · 07/12/2019 20:05

This is hardly standing up for yourself - it's barely kneeling!

Come on, grab hold of a grip and gracefully decline her lovely earrings, it was nice of her but as you can't wear them she should keep them for herself. If she suggests you get your ears pierced then you can explain that you've tried before etc etc.

If she's a nice person, she will be perfectly content with that.

Time40 · 07/12/2019 20:05

People just don't notice non-pierced ears. Over my lifetime, I've had about six pairs of pierced-ear earrings given as a present. One person even did it twice.

Don't have piercings just to please someone, OP!

Hepsibar · 07/12/2019 20:06

They are your ears. You do what you want and DONT be pressured into piercing unless you want to and then in your own time not now.

I wouldnt give them back or say anything, just keep them and dispose of them in good time. It's always very risky buying people jewellery as tastes are v individual. Still if they are nice you can always recycle to a friend who is unlikely to meet.

TressaRobes · 07/12/2019 20:14

Why? What fears do you have?

I'm trying to pin it down; fear of being disliked/misunderstood/hurting someone's feelings.

I didn't have the best childhood (but then who did?!) and I was brought up to think pleasing others comes before yourself. I find it difficult to gauge perspective.

Thank you so much for the replies, I'm definitely not going to get my ears pierced. I'll offer to give the earrings back, and tell my MIL that a professional recommended I not get them done, as per a PP's fab suggestion.

OP posts:
Fifthtimelucky · 08/12/2019 07:42

I was going to suggest the same thing as @Hornets (couldn't get the link to work though). The converters are £5.50 from Claire's or £1 more from Amazon.

If you otherwise get on with your mother in law, you could wear her earrings on Boxing Day to please her. They're not your style, but you can wear them once to please her and then if necessary 'lose' them at a charity shop.

speakout · 08/12/2019 08:02

If you otherwise get on with your mother in law, you could wear her earrings on Boxing Day to please her.

Why should women be such people pleasers? The OP has said she doesn't like the earrings, she would have to buy converters.
I don't wear things I dislike to please others.

earlydoors42 · 08/12/2019 08:15

My MIL bought me earrings too, having never noticed that I hadn't had my ears pierced (no medical reason, I just never had them pierced). She also knitted a bride and groom for our wedding and put earrings on the bride, despite knowing by then that I wouldn't be wearing earrings!

Viviene · 08/12/2019 08:25

I had my ears (re) pierced as an adult.
Even if you pierced them today, you wouldn't be able to wear the earrings on the Xmas day. Healing time is six to eight weeks. I had mine done in a tattoo studio and that was the advise.

DoTheNextRightThing · 08/12/2019 08:36

Just tell her you have a metal allergy and can't wear earrings.

Dontdisturbmenow · 08/12/2019 08:42

I was in a similar situation, my ears not pierced for over 40 years until a colleague of mine bought me the most lovely set as a thank you for something I didn't with them. They were not earning a lot of money and it meant so much to them. The look of disappointment on her face when I said 'oh they are gorgeous, but I don't have my ears pierced' was enough for me to add 'but maybe that's the occasion to do it'!

So I did, and it was ok. It's been almost 10 years and I still rarely wear any but somehow the holes are still there so I can do so on special occasions.

My DD had hers done at the same time than I did but they got infected too quite badly despite doing everything she was supposed to do. 10 years later, she decided to have them done again and she had no problem at all that time.

However, if you definitely know you don't want to have them done, then you'll have to tell her and explain, there's no other way around and she should understand.

Lillyhatesjaz · 08/12/2019 09:00

I have never had my ears pierced because I have a jewellery phobia. Nothing would persuade me to have them done. You need to stand up for yourself why not ask her if the shop will change them for clip on ones or something else. Unless she has done this deliberately.

GingleJangleScarecrow · 08/12/2019 09:07

Yes, get them pierced immediately, and then when she gives you a voucher for a spider tattoo over your face get that done too.

Honestly - you would have some holes made in your body to wear something that you don't even like so as not to upset your MIL?


MarshaBradyo · 08/12/2019 09:08

Of course you don’t. I haven’t got mine pierced someone giving me earrings isn’t going to change that after decades of never wanting to.

Chemenger · 08/12/2019 09:14

I’ve had multiple pairs of earrings from my MIL and I don’t have pierced ears. She seems to think I’m the unreasonable one. I did have my ears pierced and loved earrings until I developed a nickel allergy which was so bad at one stage that I couldn’t wear jeans because of the rivers. I can’t wear clip on earrings either because of the metal. I react to necklaces as well at times. I was allergic to my Fitbit as well. I just laugh and give the earrings away now.

Chemenger · 08/12/2019 09:15

Rivets not rivers!

Fifthtimelucky · 08/12/2019 09:51

@speakout I don't think it's unreasonable to wear something you don't particularly like once, while you are at the house of the person who gave it to you. The OP likes her MIL, and it would be a nice gesture to wear the earrings once. The MIL will think the OP likes them as she responded to the present by saying 'lovely, great etc'.

When I had my children, a number of people gave me clothes for them that I didn't like. I dressed them in the clothes once, took a photo, sent it to the person concerned, and then gave them away.

speakout · 08/12/2019 10:25


The earrings are for pierced ears though- not something the OP can wear without adaptation ( and that can't be done with all earrings) or having her ears pierced.
If the gift giver can't be arsed if they are giving a suitable gift then they forfeit the right to see the article being used.

If you gave a bald person a comb you wouln't expect them to buy a wig just to please the gift giver.

ddl1 · 08/12/2019 10:32

I don't have pierced ears! And am far too much of a coward about pain to get them pierced. I am probably in a minority, especially in my age group, but no one has ever suggested that I ought to have them pierced! In any case, it is no one's business but your own. And if you do get them pierced to please your MIL, she will just find something else to criticize. It sounds as though she's the sort of person who either wants to control others, or takes anything that someone does differently from herself as a criticism of how she does it. You can't really win with such people, except by avoiding discussion of your choices with them. Just say, if pressed, that this is your own personal choice. If there is further pressure say that it's not up for discussion, and change the subject.

ddl1 · 08/12/2019 10:35

'I don't think it's unreasonable to wear something you don't particularly like once, while you are at the house of the person who gave it to you. The OP likes her MIL, and it would be a nice gesture to wear the earrings once.'

If it were just about (say) a necklace that you don't particularly like, I might agree with you. But this isn't just about wearing something the OP doesn't like. It's about actually changing her body to please the MIL, and doing so in a way that she already knows would cause her pain. That is too much to expect.

ddl1 · 08/12/2019 10:41

PS I agree with the PP's brilliant suggestion that a professional has advised against it; this may be more convincing than just my 'a personal preference'. And probably a professional would advise against it, given the earlier bad reaction.

MAFIL · 08/12/2019 15:37

I disagree. I think "I don't want to" is as equally valid a reason for not having your body modified as any other. Nobody should have to come up with "convincing" reasons for not doing things they dislike, don't agree with or whatever. The problem with coming up with excuses is that the message it sends to the other person is "I would have done it if not for....." You are suggesting that you would have had your body modified to make them happy if you could have done, which leaves the door open for them to make equally unreasonable requests in the future. And the longer you don't stand up for yourself the harder it is to ever do so.
My DH does this kind of thing for his family all the time. They, particularly one of his siblings, makes ridiculous demands on him frequently. He doesn't want to participate, he moans like hell about it to me, stomps around angrily at home then cancels our own plans and kids' activities to go and do his sibling's bidding. If he had just been honest from the outset about not being interested and having other priorities then I am sure many of the subsequent demands would not have bern made. But now the expectation is that he always shows up.
OP, you don't need professional validation for not having your ears pierced. It is possible to politely decline to do something whilst maintaining your own autonomy. You know that having your ears pierced is not in yoir best interests and your own experience, knowledge and wishes are a more than good enough reasons not to do it.

speakout · 08/12/2019 15:48


I couldn't agree more.
No is a complete sentence.
The OPdoes not have to give justification or reason. All the stuff about allergies, HCP giving advice is superfluous and undermines the OPs position. She doesn't need to justify, give reasons or excuses.
A polite no is enough.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.