ROOTIN’ & TOOTIN’: I Don’t Like My Partner’s New Piercing, What Do I Do?

Rootin' & Tootin': Real advice from a pretend cowboy.


I’m a big insecure baby and my partner has recently got their first facial piercing. I hate how it looks and feels on them but I really don’t want to say anything about it to them. What can I do to get over this feeling?

Howdy partner, thank you kindly for your correspondence.

What you’re lookin at right there is a predicament, no two ways about it.

In my time I have become much weathered by a life lived long and hard; all these years have etched themselves into my face and heart like rainwater carves a gully from a hillside. I’m old enough now that some of what I seen and done in my younger days is a mystery even to me, and yet the plain truth is that the feeling you describe of being like a large newborn is not a stranger to me, even as I stand closer’n ever to a dirt hole with my name carved above it.

A feller called Henshaw I used to run with (until he was so rudely perforated by a crooked lawman outside Kansas City) used to always say there’s some things in life that there just ain’t enough to time to know the whole of, and I figure relationships is one of those things. When it comes to the troubles to be had between two people, we can oftentimes all feel like big insecure babies.

But, by the grace of the Lord, we are not big babies, and we have the ability to reckon wisely and act according to that reckoning. Truth is you don’t get much say over what another person does with or to their body, so long as they ain’t using it to harm you in some way. If havin some kind of a piercing makes your partner feel good in themselves, it seems like a rudeness to begrudge them that.

That’s not to say that the solution to your problem here is to keep your thoughts to yourself and your mouth shut until Judgment. It’s my belief that most problems encountered can be solved by talkin if it happens that both parties is coming in to conversate from the right directions. It’s certainly not your right to tell your partner how they should mind their appearance, but it ain’t no great sin to tell your partner that you’re feelin some kind of a way about a thing — if and only if you make it so it’s clear that you’re not tryin to dictate their behaviour.

Havin these sorts of hard conversations is much like robbin a bank: things is always going to go better for you if put in a bit of consideration before you go in guns a-blazin. Figure out what it is specifically that’s givin you grief: Is it a physical comfort? A kind of aesethetical objection? Ask yourself what your preferred outcome is — is there any sort of compromise you would settle for? Most importantly, ask yourself how you would feel if asked the same thing by a partner, because, just like you, they are a person.

The fact of the matter is that this problem is by and large yours, not your partner’s, but what makes a partnership so darn beautiful is the fact that you get to deal with each other’s problems together.

Sincerely yours,