Ring Around My Nosey—An Adult Mid-Life Crisis!

It started out innocently enough.

As innocent as a child playing Ring Around the Rosey!

I was thinking back to when I was in my early twenties—before I left home and went out on my own.  I wanted to pierce my nose.

Me in my early twenties pondering getting a nose ring–I even thought about it on the subway!

There were two things stopping me.   My mother and father.  And my dad was a police officer.

The fact is, I’ve never been in trouble with the law—unless you count my dad.

Now understand; I wasn’t a wild child.  In fact, I was uncommonly obedient.  My mother’s wooden spoons kept me in line!

My mother didn’t want to ruin her manicured hands so she used these to keep us in line. And she used a lot of these!

OK…. maybe I did a few things that were wild like sneaking out of the house and drinking Boones Farm with friends at 15 years old—a few years before legal drinking age.

That’s right!  I loved to have a good time without being too wild! Tee hee!

And having a pierced nose was my theoretic way of rebelling.

All I’ve ever wanted was a nose ring.  I think they look great!

That rebellion was placed on the back burner.

And as a mother to young children, I had no time to think about piercing my nose. I was lucky if I had the time to insert earrings into my small pierced hole in each ear.

But as I got older—perhaps it’s a bit of a mid-life crisis of sorts.  My mind wandered back to that elusive nose piercing.

It’s true. Even in my mature age, my delusions had me yearning to be the cool girl—or old broad! I’ll take either.

See–even Willy Wonka knows a good thing when he sees it!

I wanted to be like Debra Rapoport and Sarah Jane Adams.  They are two cool mature ladies.

Debra Rapoport and Sarah Jane Adams of The Advanced Style movement.  They are the two cool girls of the proaging set! I wanna be cool like them–in my own way!

But the thing is—my style is more on the classic to almost conservative-with-an-edge sort.

We all know my style is more basic–but fun!!!

Even in my choice of wigs, I won’t stray far. Burgundy and blonde tresses are a stretch for me!  Purple, pink and other bright colors just aren’t for me.

My chocolate cherry wig.  A big stretch for me and it was a gift from my husband!

Tattoos aren’t my thing either.  My skin is too flabby.

The nose ring, in my humble opinion is a very pragmatic choice of female mid-life crisis!

The thing is—Bonaparte hates nose rings.  We’ve discussed this topic many times and it’s the same old song:

“Non!”  “Ou wheehl nut ‘av yuhr noz pierzt!”  “Wha’ ahr ou?”  “Eh tin-aghar?” “Jamais! Jamais! Jamais!!”

In other words—“No.  You will not have your nose pierced.  What are you?  A teenager?  Never! Never! Never!

He gets just sooooooooo worked up at the mere mention of my getting my nose pierced!

And with a sigh, and a huff, and an eyeroll, I just walk away.  And realize that adulting isn’t all it’s cracked up to be when you want to have fun!


Sometimes adulting isn’t all it’s cracked up to be–especially when you live with a very adult adult!  I oftentimes find myself in this very situation!

My daughter, Oona, pierced her nose when she was a college co-ed.  She claims that I cried and I can assure you I cried out of envy.  Two weeks later she had a sorority formal and took the stud out of her nose.  Permanently.

Spoiler Alert!!  This is an actual text conversation between Oona and me.  It’s a spoiler for the rest of the post but please…read on! This was texted to me after an Instagam post I made.

And as you know, there’s always a solution to any problem.  I’m a regular Mary Poppins when it comes to that!

I channeled my original Mary Poppins! I had to give mysef a hand!

My solution was to buy a fake nose ring!  I mean, I have fake hair, fake nails and sport fake-tanned legs throughout the year.  Why not buy a fake nose ring?

And one night, as I sat at my laptop perusing Amazon. I found what I was looking for!  It was beautiful.  A tiny fake gold nose ring.

I’m more of a gold and silver girl but here’s a sampling of what one can purchase from Amazon!

I had it all figured out. I could insert the little ring in my nose as soon as Bonaparte left for work.  Then the moment my car drove into the driveway in the evening, I could take the ring out and slip it in my wallet.  And Bonaparte would never find out.

Things didn’t go quite as planned though.  The day after my nose ring arrived, I slipped it into my nose.  Everyone at work loved it.  My Instagram post got plenty of raves!   I was feelin’ the cool!

Yes. I did!  I wore that fake nose ring and felt so great…especially since it was such a contrast to the way I was dressed…

Preppy pink corduroy pants, paisly print fats from J. Crew a navy top with pearls.  A bobbed wig and a nose ring!  I live for this contrast!

But the nose ring was so lightweight that I forgot I had it on my nose. And when I arrived home from work, I took off my coat, headed upstairs and Bonaparte, the loving Frenchman greeted me!  And then he asked me to come closer to him.

Oops!  I did it again!

Me, being me, thought he was so excited to see me that he wanted to kiss me.  Except he didn’t.  And let me tell you, for an old Frenchman, he has the eyesight of a ten-year old!

“Wha eez zaht een ou nose?”

And that was the beginning of the end.  I turned around quickly to run upstairs but I felt to warm hands on my shoulders.  Those hands turned me around to face him.  And the look of shock on his face was enough to make me realize he thought I pierced my nose!  I was so happy that he thought it was real.  It meant the fake nose ring looked real!

Only in my case it’s my husband!  

Like a proud child showing a parent a paper that was graded with an A+, I pointed to my nose ring and gleefully announced it was fake!

What happened next shocked me.  He confiscated my ring!  And in my efforts to explain that he could not, must not, throw my nose ring away, he simply ran upstairs and hid it!

He took my nose ring out of my nose!!!!   And hid it!!!

So much for my mid-life crisis.  I’m not allowed to have one!

Bonaparte thinks I’m too old for a pierced nose.  I don’t.  But we came to an agreement.

Our life is the French version of  “I Love Lucy”–but it’s more fun with Bonaparte!

I’ll wear the nose ring when I’m out and about by myself or when I’m not with him.

Yeah.  I can wear this when I get my nails done and run to the gas station and Starbucks! That’s about it!

And for now, that’s fine with me because I pretty-much wear and do what I want.  And if the nose ring bothers my husband that much, I won’t wear it in front of him.  It’s called compromise.

I finally achieved my level of coolness–but it’s only for a certain amount of time!

Besides…. I have a few more hidden in my private hiding spot!

That’s right Bonaparte!  Join le club because I’ll eventually get my way!

Have you gone through any mid-life crisis in your pro-age?  Have you rebelled as a mature adult?  Let’s hear it ladies!  Let’s hear it!

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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42 Responses to Ring Around My Nosey—An Adult Mid-Life Crisis!

  1. I love this post! I got my nose pierced when I was 15 (how I was able to convince my mom, I’ll never know!) but only had it for a couple years. At the time my peers thought it was “wild” now, almost 15 years later, everyone who thought it was wild is now getting theirs done!

  2. Teresa says:

    At our house we use the phrase “not on the approved list” as in the Swisher Sweet cigar I smoked after damn near drowning on a rafting trip! Holy smokes he was mad! LOL I am not a smoker but that little cigar with a shot of tequila was a real treat that night on the riverbank! But I am sometimes reminded of things that “are not on the approved list”!

    • Catherine says:

      LOL! Teresa! I think that Tequila shot with a little cigar is a hoot!! Aren’t we all reminded of things that are not on the approval list? And aren’t they fun?? ! XOXOXO

  3. Deb says:

    OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I laughed and laughed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You’re a born story teller and a real BADASS! I’m so jealous! Your recounting of The Nose Ring and the Frenchman made my day.

    My oldest daughter got her nose pierced about 10 years ago, and I am secretly jealous. She’s 33 now and still sports her little ring and the occasional stud.
    Now…….I’ve got to check out Amazon…….

    • Catherine says:

      LOL! Deb–my oldest son got his ear pierced when he was in seventh grade. Then baseball season started and he took it out for good. My middle guy is the tattoo guy–no piercings but some cool tats! Get thee to AMAZON NOW!!!!!!! XOXOXOXO

  4. Catherine, I love when you tell your stories. I have never had the desire to have my nose pierced, but it certainly looks good on you! – Amy

  5. Debe says:

    Oooo the wooden spoon coming from the Italian side of garden…I think my mother had a contract with a little Italian man. He lives in Italy and carves these and sent her a case a year. I swear these were in spots all over the house. She never ran out!

    And the fake spray in color of violet my spouse had a look on his face like someone punched hin in the stomach. It is temporary I said it washes out. He only shook his head as he walked away.

  6. Momcat says:

    Your Frenchman hates the nose ring, mine hated my mid cartilage ear piercing! A girlfriend and I split the cost because we each got one ear pierced and I made the mistake of showing him…he was SO upset about it I had to go back and have it removed ( because they used those bullets that needed to be removed with a special tool) The salon lady looked at me and said ” Honey you just got married and if you’re gonna let him tell you how to run your body you better run, now” I thought about that and went home and told him off. We are still together after 43 years but he has never again told me how to ‘run my body’. Compromise is what keeps couples together over time. Some things are deal breakers like nose rings and mid cartilage piercings. In your case you go fake when you are on your own, I have a small ‘cuff’ I occasionally sport on my ear. We are happy, les hommes are happy. Now a tattoo…divorce. A belly piercing? Forgettabout it…I couldn’t see it anyway, hiding in the belly blob…but if I was in my twenties again might be a different story!

  7. Cathe says:

    Your story reminds me of the time I wanted to get a tattoo. I thought my husband would embrace it because it’s was so sexy. Oh boy was I wrong! He went on for hours about how disgusting they are. I was completely thrown by his reaction. I think that was about 18 years ago and on occasion he reminds me of my “madness”. Someday I’m gonna get that tattoo dam it. Good luck with your nose ring 😈

  8. I have a subliminal suggestion, start watching lots of Bollywood movies, the Frenchman will start noticing the beautiful women of all ages wearing nose rings and perhaps he may change his opinion. It’s worth a shot!

  9. Nancy says:

    Hahaha,oh my God woman you make me laugh so early in the morning! I can hear Bonaparte saying it! But….I also wanted one but not a ring just …the other thing, don t know how to say it. I like it a lot and think that a fake one is a perfect solution! Hope to see you on my Fancy Friday linkup party!

  10. Anna says:

    Fantastic post – why not have piercings or tattoos at any age! I would like a small tattoo but my husband would not like it Im sure. I will definitely get one sometime though . 🙂

  11. Penny says:

    OMG Catherine – this was so funny. I laughed and laughed and so needed that as was being very very serious on My Other Blog talking about you know what….. I just love your stories. Fantabulous post xxxxxxx

  12. Fiona says:

    Hilarious Cathe! Can just imaginé your French man putting his foot down….they are SO conservative. Glad you came to a compromise, you rebel you! 😉

  13. Carole says:

    Brilliant – you go gal!!! x

  14. What a rebel you are ! lol. I am so unadventurous that I have never ventured as far as getting pierced ears. Scared at the thought.

  15. Pingback: Ring Around My Nosey—An Adult Mid-Life Crisis! | Atypical 60 – International Badass Activists

  16. junedesilva says:

    I can’t tell you how much I love this post! I actually have three holes in each ear. The first done when I was 15, the last when I was in my thirties. I have been toying with the idea of having a very small and tasteful tattoo to celebrate being 65 but I think a fake nose ring would be brilliant. Can’t wait to see reaction of OH and sons !!!

  17. Lisa M Guthrie says:

    At about 50, post-divorce, I finally got my nose pierced! I felt the way you did, it would help me look on the outside the way I felt on the inside, hip and youthful. I did love it. However, there was one problem which I couldn’t overcome. One too many times, when I took off my progressive lens glasses, the frames caught on and pulled out my nose ring! I went back to the guy who put in my nose ring once and I put it back in myself twice, that was enough for me. At 61, I think I will order one of the fake ones you talked about. Maybe a nose ring will distract people from my turkey neck.

    • Catherine says:

      Hahahahah! Lisa I love your thought process. The turkey neck! I’m saving up for a neck lift and by the time I will be able to afford it, my entire body will look like a turkey neck!! Definitely get those fake nose rings–they are a perfect solution!!! XOXOXOXO

  18. TURNER says:

    Wow your son looks just like your dad!

  19. Juliet says:

    Hilarious, you know you can get very (VERY) convincing temporary/fake tattoos…. just sayin’ in case Bonaparte doesn’t like them. I just got a second piercing in each ear lobe today (I know – wild), I doubt gravel-guy would notice, in fact I know he wont. Seriously a fake tattoo would get Bonaparte so worked up you could have any number of nose rings, but as I said to my kids – piercings I don’t mind if you get them done properly and look after them, they can come out and who would notice… Still a little bit of rebellion keeps us young at heart and I rather like the idea of a very elegant and classy lady with a nose ring. Ok,nose ring done (even if it doesnt involve a piercing), what next madam??!

  20. I imagine your life is very much a modern day version of I Love Lucy! You are just hysterical and I am glad you found a good compromise with the nose ring!

  21. Saude says:

    Awesome post!

  22. 🤣 I’d’ve had the same reaction as your Frenchman! Good on you both finding a compromise. Priceless 🤗.

    When Hubbykins (straight laced LI Irish) & I were newlyweds he expressed his distress over my hair dying escapades.

    Sleeping with a used kitty litty box under his nose was most unpleasant. So… hair’s been natural since 1986/7. Good thing he’s never said Boo! about my white hair 😉.

  23. George says:

    Good story. After she retired, my wife regularly wears a septum ring. Now she has a number of different styles and they look great on her. Now with so much fake piercing jewellery around she got some nipple rings as well. She got some tattooing years ago and I hope she re kindled the urge to get more. I really like the new trendy individual look. She looks really cool mid aged woman

  24. George says:

    Am begging my wife to re pierce her nose at 60. A nostril or septum, doesn’t matter. I did suggest wearing a septum ring though. A plain gold band as a wedding ring

  25. I’m 55, single and have been thinking about piercing my nose for a long time. Tomorrow my daughter–who already has her nose pierced–is going to get her a cartilage ear piercing. I think I will tag along and get my nose pierced. I recently met someone and things are going great. Hope my new guy loves it! Better now than when some significant other can tell me “no.” That’s my take away from your article. Thanks!

  26. Mark MacCallum says:

    You are one dope lady! LADY !! I would totally hang with you ! And BTW you have the face for that nose ring ! Go for it ….

  27. Panta Rheia says:

    Am I the only one here shocked at how you (and so many women in the comments) seem to allow your partners to tell you what not to do with your own bodies?

    He physically took away and confiscated your ring??? Seriously? That’s crossing a serious boundary, girl.

    If you want your damn nose pierced, go do it. If you want a tattoo, go get it done. Then go home and own it, you don’t have to justify how you want to look like, or make excuses or give explanations. Holy crap – your bodies are YOURS and yours ONLY and nobody can EVER tell you what to do and what not to do with them! You only have this one life, live it the way you want – not the way your partners tell you to!

    Me? I am 41, mother of 2. I started to get tattoos at age 39 (I have 3 now) and 2 weeks ago I got my nose pierced on a whim. Not once did I stop to ask my partner about his opinions in regards to my decisions about my body, and not once did he bat an eyelash when I came home with a new decoration on my own skin. He’s supportive in whatever I want to do. Whether or not my decisions align with HIS sense of beauty or aesthetics simply isn’t up for discussion. Just like it wouldn’t be the other way around, if he wanted to modify HIS body in a certain way. Because of mutual respect and appreciation. Your life, your body.

    I hope you get your REAL nose piercing done eventually. They are awesome.

    • Catherine says:

      Panda. Thanks for commenting. I just saw this. And you know what? We have choices. We have battles. You have NO idea what my backstory is. Nor I of yours although you have given me a bit of a glimpse. I will tell you my husband came into my life at my lowest point. He was well-aware of my baggage and aware that I lost my home. He is the only adult of anyone other than three friends who believed in me and helped me. And when I write that he “took it out of my nose” , he didn’t really. Its called embelishment for entertainment purposes. I chose my battles carefully. Perhaps you should as well. Namaste and best of everything to you. Vote Blue in November if you want to change things. XOOXOXOXO

  28. Lisa R Consolo says:

    Love the fake. You can take it or leave it depending on the group you are with. Sometimes the over 50 crowd can be stogey and look down on others for deviating from the social norms. You are super pretty also ( the pic from your 20s- wow) so rock that nose ring girl!

  29. Alison says:

    Love nose rings on women on every age. I do prefer studs on more mature ladies though. I just changed my ring out for a simple gold dome stud (almost 40 here) and I love it! It’s subtle and looks classy (also lays flat against the nose). My husband doesn’t like nose rings. My body my choice. He doesn’t even notice it anymore. I say, do you! Life is too short and there’s more to be concerned about than your wife having a nose ring.

  30. Sarah says:

    I don’t count that as rebellious, since you didn’t go through with it and that’s what you want. I’m 61 and I’m planning to get my nose pierced. 18 piercings in my ears and the nose is next. Just remember you’re not really rebellious until you give zero fuchks. That’s the stage I’ve reached. It’s your nose it’s your body, okay so your compromised works for you guys, but don’t pretend you’re being rebellious. You’re just playing dress up. If you really get it pierced that’s when you’ll be being rebellious. And atypical. And it looks so cute on you!

  31. Teabag says:

    Its the ladies right of choice to wear a nose stud. The fact that you as a partner you don’t relate to nose studs as a subject is irrelevant. The lady feels she can’t wear a nose stud in front of her partner that’s a shame. It’s the lady’s right of choice to follow piercings. She chooses to follow piercings because she thinks it looks nice as a subject. If you as her partner don’t like piercings as a subject, why did you choose a pierced lady. Piercings that’s like a standing some people choose to follow.

  32. teabag says:

    You look fab middle aged lady.

  33. Valkyrie says:

    I am very late to the party…reading this and contemplating getting a piercing (Good Lord, I’m 64). Love your style and hope you are well! Happy New Year!

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