DEAR HARRIETTE: My nephew, who is about to graduate from college, has always been somewhat of a lady’s man. He has good manners, but he has had a lot of girlfriends over the years. His last girlfriend got his name put on a necklace that she used to wear all the time. I noticed that he has a new girlfriend now, and I saw her wearing what appeared to be the same necklace. I’m sorry, but I think this is in poor taste. It’s almost like he’s branding these young ladies. I asked him about it, and he shrugged it off. It bothers me. Should I say something else to him about it, or maybe say something to my brother -- his father -- and try to get him to talk sense into his son? -- No Branding Here, Dallas
DEAR NO BRANDING HERE: You have no authority in this situation. Since you have already inquired and learned that your nephew likes the idea that his new girlfriend is wearing this name necklace, there’s likely not much more that you can say. You could give a “for the record” comment to your nephew that you are concerned that he is not being as respectful as you think is appropriate by doing this. But know that he may not listen.
Look around and you will see people who tattoo their boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s names on their bodies. Many do this even before thinking about marriage.
You can speak to your brother. Tell him what your concerns are, and ask him how he feels about his son’s behavior, particularly around this name necklace. If your brother also is concerned about it, he may want to talk to his son a bit more. Ultimately, though, your nephew is becoming an adult and will have to make his own decisions.