Many moons ago I was working in a big city shop and I was piercing in addition to tattooing. One Friday night a nice young lady came in and asked for a nose piercing. I put a pretty little diamond stud in for her and she was quite happy. The next night, she came back in and I recognized her immediately. She was with a woman who looked just like her, only slightly stooped and older. I assumed this was her mother and I was correct. I greeted her and asked how she was doing. She had a big smile on her face, but something seemed off about it, something about her eyes was not quite right. The older woman said to me, "Is there somewhere we can talk in private?"
All of my alarm bells went off and I told my visitors to come back to my room. Mom asked me as soon as we crossed the threshold, "You did this piercing?"
"Yes I did, what's up?"
Mom pointed at the stud in her daughter's nose and said, "Why did you do this to her?"
I looked back at the daughter, who was looking at me with that plastered-on pageant smile, pleading with her eyes for me to just play along.
"Well, your daughter is twenty-one years old," I replied. I still remembered carding her the night before, and I had made a wisecrack to her that she was going to buy us all beers after the piercing. "She's old enough and she had the money to pay for it and she asked me to do this to her. That's why I did it"
Mom smiled, a pleasant, terse smile, and clasped her hands together. "I do not approve of this," she said.
"Well, that's between the two of you, ma'am," I replied, "If you don't approve of her getting a piercing, I think you need to take that up with her."
I looked at the daughter again, and I could tell she was dying inside, but she wasn't going to say a word. I scowled at her, and I could feel the vibration of her internal anguish increasing. Mom, however, wasn't willing to back down just yet.
"But I don't want this," she continued, her words quivering with tension and frustration.
"Well, you know what? She's an adult and she paid me to do it, and that's the end of that. I don't know what it is you want from me, but you oughta be glad I didn't tattoo her, if this is such a big deal. I think you should go now."
Mom sighed in resignation, and turned away. The daughter gave me that look with her eyes, that mortified, apologetic look, and turned to follow her mother out the door, never letting that painted-on smile slip. I stood in the doorway, watching them leave the shop and I wondered what kind of ass-chewing that girl was in for since I didn't volunteer to take the fall. Parents, take note: Your adult children are going to do all sorts of things that are going to piss you off and there isn't squat you can do about it. Going around trying to pick fights with purveyors of legitimate services is a waste of time. You have neither a legal leg to stand on, nor are you going to get any kind of apology or refund. Take it up with your kids if they disobey your rules. Maybe your rules are for the child your kid was, not the adult your kid is.