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by Abigail Van Buren

Don't Wait for an Invitation to Help Someone in Need

DEAR ABBY: We have a daughter who is a senior in college. She was very popular in high school. She was homecoming queen, a cheerleader and an "A" student.

In her second year of college, she started dating guys with long hair. None of them were druggies, but they were all long-hair types. We would have called them "hippies" in my day. Her latest boyfriend has a tattoo on his arm. Well, last week our daughter came home with an ugly tattoo of an eye on her ankle!

Abby, we are decent people, but I feel as though our daughter has betrayed us and all our teachings and beliefs. I know that tattoos are fashionable right now, but I am sure the day will come when she will be sorry and embarrassed about that tattoo on her ankle. I am humiliated and would like to know how much parents are supposed to take. -- UNHAPPY DOWN SOUTH

DEAR UNHAPPY: You are taking this too personally; keep in mind that the ankle with the tattoo is your daughter's, not yours. Your daughter sounds like a bright, responsible young woman. Don't worry about her tattoo. Should she ever feel sorry and embarrassed, the tattoo can be covered with a cosmetic. Two of the best -- Covermark or Dermablend -- can be found in most department stores and some pharmacies.