I think I was about 14 years old and pierced ears were the one must have for all the girls in our school. If you didn't get it done, you just didn't fit in.
I'm talking about an era when you went to the doctor's to have any piercings done and ears were the only thing that would have been considered normal. There was none of this lip, eyelid, tongue, nose or eyebrow rings or studs.
So, I had a friend who said that she'd do my ears for me. She had no anesthesia, of course, because she was just a kid. She told me there was nothing to it. She would get two ice cubes and would have me hold them against my ear lobe for a short period of time until the area was numb.
Then she had a sewing needle, stuck it through my ear lobe, pulling a thick thread along the way. Then she drew the earring post into the hole by tying the thread to the post and pulling it through.
It sounds terrible as I write this but at the time, the desire to have pierced ears overwhelmed any kind of pain that I felt. Actually, it was virtually pain free, healed well and I still have the same holes at the young old age of 63.