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Annie's mailbox: Parents peeved at piercing

Dear Annie: I am a 20-year-old college student and still live at home. For a number of years, I've wanted to get my nose pierced, but my parents have put their foot down. I have a job and would pay for it myself, but my folks have threatened to kick me out of the house if I go through with it.

I offered to compromise and get my ear pierced instead, but they refuse to consider it. They say it's for health reasons. I told my parents ear-piercing is perfectly safe if a sterile needle is used and the licensed practitioner wears sterile gloves, but they won't listen to me. They have forbidden me to get it done.

I really want to do this. Should I go ahead anyway and risk the consequences, or bow my head like a good little girl to my controlling parents? —Want to Bow Out

Dear Bow Out: Let's leave the hostility out of it. Reputable practitioners take all the necessary precautions to prevent complications or infections. Your parents' intransigence indicates they may have other reasons for prohibiting you from piercing anything. You might ask an adult friend or relative to discuss it with them and see if that helps. Of course, if they refuse to budge from their position, that's their privilege. You are an adult. If you decide to pierce your ear, or any other body part, you may do so, provided you pay for it yourself and understand that you may be looking for another place to live.

Dear Annie: This is in response to "Hawaii Tour Guide," the military wife who is stationed in Hawaii, and whose relatives visit too often.

I think one reason relatives impose so frequently is because many civilians believe military members are well-off financially. The only way for her family to know that it's a hardship is to spell it out for them. However, one does not have to be well-off to enjoy all that the islands have to offer. There are many free and low-cost things to do. Become a yearly member of the zoo, museums, botanical gardens, etc. And sending them off in the car on their own is not only a break for you, but an adventure for them, especially since they can't get too lost.

My husband has been in the Navy for 22 years, and we not only have made the best of it, but we have raised two wonderful young adults in the process. Mahalo. —Happy Hawaiian Wife

Dear Happy: Thanks for the advice. We heard from several readers who wanted to help out. Read on:

From Hawaii:When we decided to move here, we had family members say things like: "Now we can go to Hawaii and have a place to stay." We would reply, "Wonderful! Let us know when you are coming, and we'll find you a hotel and rental car at a good rate." I then ask their price range and offer to look for something nice. I've stuck to that, and it works for us.

Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. © Creators Syndicate Inc.