DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend is divorced. His ex's name is tattooed on his arm. Although I don't like it, I realize that it was long ago and before I came into the picture.
As we have grown closer over the last two years, I'm often tempted to ask him to have it removed or covered up. I think it's tacky, and I don't like it at all. I know I can't demand he remove it, but would a gentle request do? Or should I wait until I have more of a formal status in his life? -- LOOKING AWAY IN THE SOUTH
DEAR LOOKING AWAY: Tattoo removal isn't as easy as waving a magic wand and presto! -- it's gone. The process can take several sessions, can be quite painful, and it must be done by a professional. If this is so important to you that you would put him through that, then ask him nicely. When you do it is up to you. You could jokingly ask him to have a circle with a diagonal line through it added to his ex's name.