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by Abigail Van Buren

Daughter's Low Cut Jeans Get a Rise From Her Mom

DEAR ABBY: I have a 22-year-old daughter who insists on wearing low-rise jeans. I have seen half her rear end at least five times, and I'm embarrassed for her. I have had to tell her every time. When I do, she acts mad at me for saying something. Last October, she squatted down to look in a box at a yard sale, and the poor elderly gentleman who was trying to assist her had quite a view. It was awful! I wish I had a camera so I could take a picture and blow it up to an 8-by-10 so she could see what everyone else is seeing. Believe me, this is no laughing matter.

This couldn't be the style -- to show off so much skin -- is it? Please, Abby, print this. Maybe my daughter will see your response. She says she doesn't care. How can that be? Where did I do wrong in rearing this one? -- BUMMED-OUT MOTHER, BRIGHTWOOD, VA.

DEAR MOTHER: You didn't go wrong; your daughter is a willing slave to fashion. It seems every generation has its own erogenous zone on display. Remember the lyric, "In olden days, a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking. Now Heaven knows, anything goes!" In the '60s it was the thigh. In the '90s it was exposed navels adorned with gold rings. Today the fashion industry appears to have turned us into a nation of "crack addicts." The trend will end only when God grants us the gift to see ourselves as others see us -- in other words, "hindsight."

DEAR ABBY: I have just had an upsetting experience. I walked into my local public library this morning to find a man angrily confronting one of the librarians. I don't eavesdrop, but there was no way to miss what he was saying because he was shouting.

Apparently, when it was his turn to be helped, he was on his cell phone and refused to hang up. She informed him that she would help the next person in line, and then help him when he had finished his conversation. Part of his problem, according to him, was that he was so involved with his cell phone call that he hadn't heard what the librarian said!

I don't feel that was the librarian's fault. I don't see why she and the other people in line should have been expected to wait for him to finish his call, and I certainly don't understand why he felt entitled to intimidate this woman. His anger upset me, and I wasn't even involved, so I can only imagine how she must have felt. She was visibly shaking after he left.

Isn't it time for some rules of conduct for cell phone use? -- COURTESY, PLEASE, IN SPRINGFIELD, MO.

DEAR C.P.: It should not be necessary to have written rules of conduct for cell phone users. Common sense and basic good manners should apply. The librarian was within her rights to take the next person in line if the one in front of her was preoccupied. And if the man was belligerent and intimidating, she was also within her rights to have a security guard escort him out.

DEAR ABBY: I have been dating this great-looking girl, "Marcy," for some time now. I'm completely attracted to her, except for one small thing. She has really bad shoulder acne.

We have discussed the issue, but we can't seem to determine the cause. Any suggestions? -- FRETTIN' IN FRESNO

DEAR FRETTIN': Absolutely. Marcy can resolve her problem by consulting a doctor who specializes in skin problems -- a dermatologist. Please encourage her to consult one.

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-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600