DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: Call me stupid, but when I was a teenager I had a red cherry tattooed on my upper right thigh with an arrow pointing up on a diagonal. I'm now 26 and don't find this funny, just sleazy. It's an embarrassment, though I do like nice tattoos. To cover it, I wear longer shorts than other people, and a long T-shirt over my bikini. Summer is coming, and I'm thinking of lasering it off, but I hate the idea of the procedure. My boyfriend says to leave it on then, because it doesn't bother him. I will marry this great guy one day, but then our little children will see this godawful thing on their mommy. What can I do? -- So Mad at Myself, Westwood
Dear Mad: Since lasering scares you silly, and you like well-designed tattoos, have one designed to incorporate this unfortunate little checkpoint on the way to heaven -- a larger picture one where the cherry is only one part of a flower with some red tones. If you just want it gone, then extensive research on local people who do laser work, such as dermatologists, is your next move. Meanwhile you can cover the offending fruit with the heavy pancake makeup made for port-wine stains and other birthmarks.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: OK, I did something violent. I kicked my boyfriend in the ass. We live on a farm on the edge of the city and he was getting on my nerves. Well, just as I was about ready to scream, he leaned over to pick something up and hesitated, and I kicked him right square in the butt. He grabbed me and shook me and yelled and pushed me down on the wet ground. Then he cried and apologized 10 times and said, "Look what you made me do. I said I'd never lay a hand on a woman!' I almost laughed at the big drama. For him, its a big trauma. I thought I deserved it. What should we do? -- He's Freaking Out, Elmwood
Dear Out: You need to a make a formal pact. You agree you'll only use your hands (and feet) for loving touch, not for hurting and that any frustration will be expressed verbally or in a letter. Make this pact a mutual one seriously written out, and signed "with love and respect" in both your names. Vows of any kind run deep, and it sounds like be broke his own code as a man, so heal this with a mutual agreement, if you can.