DEAR HARRIETTE: When I was 4 years old, my mother took me to get my ears pierced. After my first ear was pierced, I began screaming and crying. I ran away and never got my second ear pierced. This was over 20 years ago. I have gotten around my single piercing by wearing one clip-on and one regular earring. No one has realized, at least to my knowledge, that I do not have both ears pierced. I realized that there is nothing stopping me from getting my other ear pierced except extreme fear. So many people in this world have their ears pierced, and it is not an expensive endeavor. I find half of me to be so silly for being scared, but the other half is paralyzed as I get close to piercing places. I want to go and have both of my ears pierced, but I can't seem to garner enough courage to get it done. Should I bring friends so they make me do it? -- Two Piercings, Atlanta
DEAR TWO PIERCINGS: Why do you want the other piercing so badly? Instead of agonizing over that second piercing, embrace your uniqueness. You can wear just one earring and have that be your signature. Or you can continue with the pierced and clip-on routine. Most important is that you accept yourself for who you are, including your fear of piercing. Since this fear is not about something that is a requirement for your life, you don't have to conquer it -- at least not right now.