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Dear Abby: My 20-year-old niece, “Andrea,” came to visit her grandmother wearing a nose stud. Andrea is quiet, is polite to her grandparents and aunt and is in her third year of college. Her grandmother is livid at her daughter for “allowing” the girl to do this. (It appears Andrea may be trying to rebel at this age.) Her grandmother is footing the bill for her college.

Who can help the grandmother to get her granddaughter to stop this behavior, and how? Andrea has never done anything like this before, and this is not like her. Her friends don’t look or act like Goths or punks. This is so out of character. She earns good grades, and she is usually a quiet girl who never speaks to anyone other than her mom or brothers. Please advise. — Taken Aback In New York

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Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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