Old Enough to Booze, Old Enough to Cooze

Dear Dategirl, My 16-year-old daughter returned home from a visit with her father (we're divorced) with crystals pierced into her belly button. I ordered her to take it out because it's crass and tacky. She says she doesn't have to because her dad's girlfriend took her to get the piercing. I tried calling him, but he's not picking up his phone—undoubtedly because he knows he's going to get an earful. He is always fucking with me, trying to garner favor with her by giving our daughter free rein whenever they're together. Inevitably I end up looking like the bad guy. How can I make him stop? And how can I convince her—short of ripping it out myself—to take this nasty thing out of her navel? —Mad Mom My mother nearly had an aneurysm when I came home with a pierced nose. She told me how ugly it looked, demanded I remove it, screamed, cried, and then screamed some more. A very similar reaction to the one she had when I sauntered home with most of my head shaved. There was nothing my mom could say or do to make me change either of those things. I didn't care if my family and neighbors thought I looked like a mental case; for once, I liked the way I looked. You see, teenagers are supposed to scandalize their parents. In the grand scheme of things (teen pregnancy, shooting dope, or joining a Bachmann-for-president youth group), a little ring in her belly isn't such a big deal. Take comfort in the fact that high-waisted pants are big this autumn, and once that belly ring gets caught in her fly a few times, she'll probably remove it on her own. What you do need to worry about is your co-parenting relationship with your ex. Take a day or two to cool down and call a meeting. I have no idea about the circumstances of your divorce, but it sounds pretty acrimonious. But the fact is it doesn't matter if he's the King of Suck, you need to put your anger aside for your daughter's sake. And he needs to stop being such a giant pussy and put some boundaries on her behavior. (Though I still think the belly ring is no biggie.) Dear Dategirl, My boyfriend has a lot more experience than I. I'm 19 and he's 16 years older, so it's not weird that he's had more sex, but I still feel like I'm not sexy enough. He never makes me feel weird, and says it's sweet when I tell him things like I've never had anal sex. How can I get over this? —Young and Kind of Dumb OK, maybe I do have some maternal instinct lurking about my barren womb, because all I keep thinking is that a man in his mid-30s has no business dating a teenager. Of course he's had more sex than you—he also has more gray hairs, more droopy bits, and more nerve dating someone technically young enough to be his daughter. As for worries about your sexual resume, I'm 99 percent certain that your relative inexperience is one of the things that attracted him. This way he gets to be Svengali, molding you into the perfect girlfriend and graciously "teaching" you (snort) how to give up the browneye. Just to quiet the geezer contingent—of which I'm a proud member—I get that love can conquer huge age differences, but only when both players are of legal drinking age. Old enough to booze, old enough to cooze. Or something like that. dategirl@seattleweekly.com

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