We’re all asked a lot of questions in daily life. These are some questions I’m asked over and over and over again, and their answers.

Did that hurt (piercings)?

This is the most common one I get regarding my tattoos and piercings.

I have my ears stretched to either a zero or double-zero gauge. I forget which. By the way, gauges are backwards like golf in that the smaller the hole or needle, the bigger the gauge number.


People think that, if you have big ol’ holes in your ears that they start out that way, like you’re pierced with a giant 1″ needle. They don’t start off that way. All piercings start small. Most pierced ears are done with an 18 gauge needle or smaller.

My earholes were once regular earring type earholes, like this…


I got my ears pierced at the mall when I was just a tween. It took a long time to stretch them up, bit by bit. Over the course of many years, I went through 18 gauge, 16, 12, 10, 8, 4 and 2 before I finally settled somewhere around zero. The larger you stretch it, the more it hurts, too, i.e., going from 18ga to 16 hurt way less than going from 2ga to 0. You can do it way faster, with greater pain, but I took my time. I have no intention of stretching them any bigger. And yes, it hurts to go from that to this, no matter how slowly you do it…


Did that hurt (tattoos)?

Yes, it did. I don’t care what anyone says, tattoos hurt. It is ink being driven deep into your skin with vibrating needles. That hurts. This is what a fresh tattoo looks like (this was taken the morning after five hours worth of tattooing):

2008-01-09 06.35.23

Do you see how red and inflamed that is? There is no red ink in that tattoo. The red you see there is made entirely of ouchy.

This is the same tattoo as of two minutes ago all nicely healed six years later:


Yeah, tattoos hurt. It hurts just looking at that first pic and remembering how much it hurt.

Where did you get that done?

People love my octopus tattoo. I do, too. It’s my favorite. A ton of people ask me where I got it. When I answer Detroit, you can see their faces deflate as if they were hoping I’d say, “Around the corner for $10!”

What’s that mean?

People ask what my tattoos mean a lot as if it isn’t a personal question. Well, guess what: it’s a personal question. It’s similar to walking up to a stranger and asking them for their favorite quote and why. Yeah, it’s not as personal as asking bra size, but it’s still invasive coming from a stranger.

Even though my tattoos may be visible to the public, that doesn’t mean I want to share what it means with every Tom, Dick & Harry who interrupts me during the business of my day. My t-shirts are visible to the public, too, but strangers rarely ask what they mean. I usually answer this one with: “It’s personal.”

Are those your real eyes?

I’m not kidding. People actually ask me if my eyes are real. I’m half-tempted to answer that no, they’re synthetic cyborg implants and I can see your underwear, but I usually just say, “yes.” I suppose people ask because they think I might be wearing those damn colored contact lenses.

Fake green eyes. (1800contacts.com)
Fake green eyes.

Not to brag, but my eyes are my best feature. They are an awesome shade of green, which is the most uncommon eye color to begin with.

What baffles me most is when people ask me that when I’m wearing glasses, as if I’d be vain enough to put in colored contacts while wearing glasses. Really? Would someone actually do that?

Is that your real hair?

Another one that sounds silly, and it really kind of is (No, it’s a wig.). I’m blonde. I’ve always been blonde. I am a natural blonde. This is me as a kid (I’m on the far left):


My hair without any hair color is blonde. It’s just not as blonde as it was when I was a kid anymore. Once I got into my late teens, like most other natural blondes, it started to get darker. I don’t like it darker; I like it blonde, so I dye it. My answer to this question is, “I’m a natural blonde, just not this blonde.”

What breed is your dog?

I have no idea what breeds make up my dog, but I’m asked this more often than all the other questions combined and she’s only been alive for not quite four years. She is listed as a German Shepherd mix on her animal shelter paperwork. I have heard guesses of a lot of different breeds including Plott hound, Catahoula leopard dog, pit bull, Labrador retriever, boxer, and the most perplexing recent guess of greyhound. Strangely, no one ever guesses German shepherd mix.

I usually just answer, “Mutt.” What do you think she is?

This gorgeous professional-looking picture was not taken by me (obviously, since I suck at the photog), but by some guy at the dog park whose name I don’t know, otherwise I’d give credit.

Where did you get your earrings?

I used to have gorgeous hand-carved wood ear jewelry. Then, my dog ate them. I replaced the wood with what I hoped would be more durable plexiglass. She broke those, too, so like the three little pigs upping the durability of my building materials, I bought some stainless steel ones that would be impossible to destroy. So far, they have been. An unintended consequence of dog necessity is that I get compliments on them all the time and people ask me where I got them.


I wish I could remember because they were handmade by someone and I’d like to give him/her credit. I’ve never seen any others like them. I usually just say, “Online somewhere.”

Where did you get your wallet?

I absolutely adore my wallet. It’s all sparkly and makes me happy. It looks like it would be rough, but it’s actually smooth like glass. I get complements on it all the time and people always ask me where I got it.


I don’t remember where I got my wallet either, so I usually just say, “Online somewhere.”

What questions are you asked all the time?