DEAR ABBY, I have eleven tattoos all over my body. I have eleven tattoos all over my body. I was raised with strict rules. My mom said I could not get piercings or tattoos (other than on my ears) while living under her roof. My first tattoo was at the age of 22 when I went to college. Due to a family vacation on the beach, I had no choice but to tell her. She was upset. I’ve had tattoos all my life. She always voiced negative opinions whenever she noticed a tat.
We live in different states now, so the subject of my tattoos hasn’t come up lately. A year ago, she was here to visit and didn’t say one word about my ink. I’m planning to have more work done this summer and I’m afraid that when she visits, she’ll be critical of me again, even though I’m 32, have an above-minimum-wage job, and my husband and I own our own home. What can I tell her or do to stop her from making negative comments?
— TATTED IN INDIANA
DEAR TATTED What you say to your mother is, “You know I love you, Mom. You gave me a beautiful body. I’m sorry you are disappointed with what I have done with it, but in the future please keep your negative comments to yourself because they are hurtful.”
DEAR ABBY, I’m engaged to marry the love of my life. We’ve known each other since we were school-age (we are now 50). Both of us will be getting married for the second time. He does not know that I have access and can see he checks up on his ex-wife about once a month. The couple has been separated for three years. It bothers me, but I’m hesitant to say anything because I would have to reveal how I know. I know that he is in love and loves me. What should I be doing?
— PERTURBED IN TEXAS
DEAR PERTURBED I can see why you’re upset. Successful relationships — marriages in particular — are built on trust and honest communication, both of which appear to be absent in this love story. If you “absolutely know” your fiance loves you, why have you been monitoring his online activities? I think it’s time for full disclosure. You can tell him the reason you snooped on him, and he can explain why he wants to know what his ex-girlfriend is up to. It could be simple curiosity, but if it’s more than that, you are entitled to know.
DEAR ABBY, We like to pay for our checks at restaurants in cash. So our server won’t mistake our intention, we place the money inside the folder with the ends of the cash exposed. More often than not, when the server picks up the folder she or he will say: “Do you need change?” We think asking this question is tacky, and we would prefer something like: “I’ll be right back with your change.” My Scottish heritage wants to say: “Every penny!” but good manners prevent that. In some instances, we do leave a tip added on to the bill and don’t want change — in which case we say: “No thank you, the change is yours.” What is your response when the server says: “Do you need any change?”
— ASSUMING IN ARIZONA
DEAR ASSUMING My response would be to smile and say, “Yes, please,” if I didn’t want my server to keep it, which is rare.
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