SHEENA BARNETT: ‘GWTW’ inspires ear piercing

“Dancing earrings always attracted a man and gave a girl such a spirited air.”
– “Gone With the Wind”

Three Sundays ago, I perched myself in a small chair in Claire’s Boutique in The Mall at Barnes Crossing.
Brandi, a manager there, asked me, “Did you just wake up today and decide to get your ears pierced?”
“Pretty much,” I replied.
I admitted to her I was a little embarrassed. Here I was, a 27-year-old woman who’d never pierced her ears. Getting your ears pierced seems like something you do when you’re about to go into middle school, not when you’re about to hit – egads – 30.
She assured me it was no big deal and then – POP! POP! – my ears were pierced and I was on my way home, complete with a bag that read, “Just got my ears pierced!”
In some ways, it was a decision 27 years in the making, but in other ways, it was a spur-of-the-moment thing. I’ve found out, though, that I’m certainly not the only one who’s waited a long time to get those two little holes in her ears.
For some reason, I’m on a huge “Gone With the Wind” kick right now. I love the movie. My best friend, Debbie, and I go see it at the Orpheum each year, and this year, more than in years past, the movie really made an impact on me.
A few months ago, I found a great hardback copy of Margaret Mitchell’s book, an edition published in ’64, in Greatest Hits in Tupelo. I’ve been slowly making my way through the book, loving every page. One night, I read the line I quote above.
Scarlett’s about to visit Rhett in jail to ask him for the money to pay the taxes on Tara, and she must look her best. She’s decked out in a dress made from her mother’s drapes – the war left her broke, you see, but Rhett must not know – and she puts in the last of her nice accessories, her diamond earrings.
She tells herself to remember to toss her head to make the earrings click. I wondered, then, why had I never pierced my ears? I mentioned the idea to my mom a few days later, and I said I felt a little silly, being 27 and earringless.
My mama said she didn’t have her ears pierced until she was in her 20s. She’d kept really long hair for years, but one day she decided to cut her hair short. She chopped off her hair and pierced her ears all in the same day.
After my ears were pierced, I showed off my ears to my grandma and aunt. My grandma said she didn’t have her ears pierced until she was in her 40s, and my aunt had had her two eldest children before her ears were pierced.
Maybe I’m not so weird – or too old for it – after all. I accidentally timed it perfectly, too. I must wear my cute but simple white gold studs for the first six weeks. That means I can wear new earrings right at Christmas. My, how convenient.
Brandi at Claire’s says I should wait six months to wear dangly – or, as Scarlett says, dancing – earrings. That’s awful close to my birthday. My, how convenient.
I think I could get used to this “spirited air” thing.

Sheena Barnett covers entertainment for the Daily Journal. Contact her at (662) 678-1580 or


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