Dear Ann Cannon • My adult, professional daughter asked me what I thought of her getting a tattoo. Personally, I’m not a fan of tattoos, as she already knows, for various reasons. Any advice on the pros and cons of a tattoo?
— Ole Mama
Dear Ole Mama • OK, there are some areas in which I have a certain expertise. For instance, drop me in any city in America and I can tell you almost immediately which convenience store will have single cold cans of Dr Pepper and which ones will not. When it comes to tattoos, however, my knowledge is limited, which is why I posed your question to a friend who has an impressive tattoo of his own. His response surprised me, frankly. While he says his response may not be typical, he regrets having gotten one. So, there’s that. I’d be interested in hearing about other people’s experiences, however — pro and con.
Meanwhile — and I’m sure you already know this — there’s not a whole lot you can do or say to dissuade your daughter from getting a tattoo. She’s an adult now and gets to make that choice for herself.
Dear Ann Cannon • How do you tell your friends you don’t want to fill up all your days with calls, FaceTime, Marco Polo, etc.? That you just want a day in the week all on your own? Basically, how do you spend time all alone without people hounding you because they think you’re depressed when you’re not and you just need time to process what’s happening in the world?
Dear Overwhelmed • I think that during this time of enforced social isolation we’re all grateful for the ways in which technology has provided us to reach out and connect with others. But I agree. For some individuals, it’s all a little too much. So, what can you say? I don’t think you need to say anything or owe anyone an explanation about your feelings. Just designate a day for yourself when you turn everything off and be comfortable with that.
And, now a little something from our readers:
In response to the writer who refused an offer of meat from her persistent neighbor, one reader had this to say: “Um, we might be facing a meat shortage. The writer might want to rethink that generous offer…“
The following is a different take on the gentleman sheltering in place at home with a controlling wife: “Here is a thought for you and the friend who was concerned that “Dad” (hers?) is being emotionally controlled and abused by the spouse with whom he is stuck inside. Years and years ago when my kids were in junior high and high school, one morning before breakfast I was doing the mom thing of harassing my high school senior son about something or other when he looked at me and said, ‘You don’t know how negative you are, do you?’ That stopped me in my tracks and essentially changed my life. I hope I have changed permanently for the better. I do try.
“It occurs to me now that the abusing and controlling spouse doesn’t realize that what she thinks is taking care of the husband is really abusing him. She may be feeling so anxious to protect them both that she isn’t listening to herself. I would ask the observer if the abusing woman was like that before being quarantined. Either way, it wouldn’t hurt for someone to ask her if she knows how negative she is. It might even help.”
Thanks for reading, everyone. And thanks for responding.