It was time. There is a specific time in our family’s mind and it was time. Our oldest was ready to have her ears pierced and wanted them pierced.

It’s not a specific date or age, but a time when we knew she was on the road to womanhood and could care for her piercings on her own. And it was time.

Leading up to the moment we were already prepared with research and the experiences of ourselves and our friends. We had decided we would go to a piercing (and often tattoo) shop where the tools were all autoclaved and the procedure would be a piercing, not a ripping and tearing of flesh (aka piercing gun). We only needed to decide where.

Our BFFs had a wonderful experience at a shop in Durham. Another trusted friend had family who had a nice shop in Asheboro. We went with what we believed to be a more known atmosphere. I called the shop in Asheboro, Cardinal Rose Tattoo Gallery about a week in advance and spoke with the owner. He was nice, informative, answered all of my answers like I wanted. So he “put [us] on the books” for 1245p the following week.

As the anticipation began to build we left an open for Kelly Mae to cancel at any moment. But she was ready and intent. So I headed to Cardinal Rose with Kelly Mae, Rebekah Anne, and their two BFFs. Well…

The shop is very nice. VERY nice. The taxidermy in the shop is beautiful. The atmosphere of the shop is beautiful. And we waited.

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And we waited. We waited for 45 minutes for the piercer, Jimmy X. When he walks in, casually, with four Dominos boxes, we knew. We spoke with him briefly and he was a bit arrogant. I think he knew he’d made a mistake. My Husband and I stepped outside to “conference” and we didn’t need words. We walked in and said thank you but no thank you and walked away. I think Kelly Mae was a bit relieved because all that waiting had made her anxious.

So, if ever I were to write a review about the Cardinal Rose Tattoo Gallery , it would be a poor one. Not of the shop itself. But of its management and Jimmy X. No personal skills. NONE.

No less, we made the most of it with lunch and a trip to a local mall. WOOHOO!

20121214-084803.jpg And yes, Claire’s. Gross as that store is, it is a tween dream.

Sadly but fortunately our morning plans for Thursday had changed and before we left the restaurant in Asheboro, I had spoken with Alexia. She is divine. Alexia pierced our BFFs’ ears when she was at DogStar Tattoo. Fortunately, a DogStar employee believed she had moved to Ascension Tattoo and that is where she answered the phone when I called. She was a dream to speak with on the phone. We made an appointment for the next morning before our art appreciation class in Chapel Hill.

Ascension Tattoo is a shop at the top of a flight of stairs near the Franklin Hotel which holds sweet memories and the Carolina Brewery with the best nachos I’ve ever had. And I don’t care for nachos. My older girls, with our BFFs in tow again, ascended the stairs and entered a soft, gentle, quiet, peaceful small office space. We met Alexia and Meghan and we will not go elsewhere unless the shop changes drastically or Alexia goes elsewhere.

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And we left after the sweetest message from Alexia. I am paraphrasing…

We have a relationship now. I am your piercer and have taken responsibility for your piercings. If you need me, you can contact me. Our relationship will not end unless you decide to find another piercer. And that’s OK. For now, we have a relationship.

BIG SIGH. LOVE LOVE LOVE that!

Try getting that at Claire’s or Piercing Pagoda. Or Cardinal Rose…

So, again, if I were to ever give a review of a piercing/tattoo shop, I’d say go to Ascension Tattoo in Chapel Hill. And ask for Alexia. She is a doll. And we are looking forward to seeing her again in two months when she will change out Kelly Mae’s earrings for the first time for her. Unless we need her sooner. Because we have a relationship with Alexia. SIGH

Now… That was a lot for this Momma in 48 hours. So we crossed the street and I had a beer. Or two. At Carolina Brewery. Without the nachos.

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