DEAR ABBY: My sister and I have no interest in body piercing (except our ears), but we have seen it on friends and are not impressed. However, our 44-year-old mom got her nipples pierced and has started wearing jewelry there!
Our parents are divorced and she's not in a relationship right now, so it's not to impress a man. She says she did it to feel good about herself, which makes no sense to us. She takes off her top to show her female friends when they come over, and we can see them literally roll their eyes, but she doesn't seem to notice.
She has now started showing off her piercings to OUR friends. I'm talking about girlfriends, but even so, we find this beyond embarrassing. They're polite to her face but laugh behind her back, and word about it has spread, which we find humiliating. I suppose we should be thankful that at least she hasn't pierced her most personal place to show off to our friends like we've seen some girls do.
We think some kind of midlife crisis or hormonal imbalance is causing her to act this way, but we wish she'd find a better outlet. If she wants to make a fool of herself in front of her friends, that's one thing. But we don't think she has the right to embarrass us in front of our friends! What can we do? -- EMBARRASSED IN THE WEST
DEAR EMBARRASSED: I agree that what your mother has been doing is inappropriate. That she has done it among her friends is one thing, but for her to disrobe to show your friends her nipple piercings is wrong. She may do this because she wants to prove to them (or herself) that she's still young and "with-it." If that's the case, it's pathetic.
If you haven't told her that when she flashes your friends it's embarrassing and you want her to stop, you should. If she realizes she's making herself a laughingstock, she may stop. However, if she doesn't, then you and your sister will have to accept that you can't change her, and realize that what she's doing is no reflection on the two of you.