DEAR ABBY: Our 18-year-old daughter is a freshman in college. One morning we received a call from her roommate's mother, who is a friend of ours, letting us know that her daughter visited a tattoo parlor near the college and had gotten a tattoo on her back.
Worried and shocked, we called our daughter and discovered that she had gone too, and also had one! We discussed it with her and explained that in our country, people with tattoos are usually individuals who have been or still are in prison, and that tattoos are not reflective of our cultural background.
We love our daughter and respect most of her decisions. She has been a role model for her younger sister and brother.
Our daughter agreed to go to a dermatologist and have the tattoo removed, but we are concerned that being away at school and having so much freedom, she may make other decisions that are against our principles. Your opinion, please. -- WORRIED PARENTS IN WASHINGTON
DEAR WORRIED PARENTS: Although I would never consider having a tattoo, many popular American music stars, actors and sports figures now do. However, in your daughter's case, getting a tattoo was done on an impulse, which is probably why she so quickly agreed to have it removed at your request. As a young adult, she will -- and should -- make decisions on her own. Although you, as her parents, may not agree with all of them, they are hers to make.
As for the tattoo fad, I predict that as middle age and the force of gravity converge, laser surgeons will do a booming business.
DEAR ABBY: This is in response to "Royally Speaking," who stated that Henry VII and Henry VIII were not related to Kings Henry I through VI. This is not so!
All monarchs of England can trace their ancestry directly back to Egbert, who is considered the first king of all England and reigned from 802 to 839. Of course, not all monarchs have the same lineage.
Another interesting fact about the numbering of these monarchs before 1066 is that they were given names to tell them apart. Thus, there was Alfred the Great, Edward the Elder, Edgar the Peaceful, Ethelred the Unready and Edward the Confessor, to name a few.
William the Conqueror, in 1066, started the numbering process by being William I. He didn't like the title "The Conqueror" because he maintained he did not "conquer," but only took what was rightfully his. Since he was illegitimate, he was also known as William the Bastard. I'm sure he did not like that title either. -- ROBERT G.D. WILLIAMS, NEW ORLEANS
DEAR ROBERT THE HISTORIAN (OR ROBERT THE WISE): Several readers (including one who claimed to be a direct descendant of Oliver Cromwell, the Lord Protector of England) wrote to tell me that "Royally Speaking" had his facts wrong. Thank you for straightening out the lineage of England's eight kings named Henry.
CONFIDENTIAL TO "APPRECIATIVE IN ALBANY": The best way to repay the kindness of others is to follow John Wesley's Rule:
Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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