Her long hair attracts friends' unkind cuts

Posted: April 03, 2013

DEAR ABBY: My hair falls nearly to my waist. Many of my friends, both male and female, have grown out their hair over the years and donated it to cancer charities. While I think it's a beautiful act of selflessness, I have never felt the calling to donate my hair.

I have recently been criticized for wanting to keep my long hair for myself and have been called selfish and a hypocrite. Abby, cancer runs in my family. I donate money and volunteer for my local Relay for Life every year. When I explain this to my "attackers" - some of them good friends - they look the other way and say I'm "horrible" because I won't cut my hair and give it to those in need.

I cut my hair very short 10 years ago and regretted it. Now I'm feeling pressured to do it again. How do I get my message across to these people without sounding defensive or snobby?

- Rapunzel in Michigan

DEAR RAPUNZEL: I think I detect a twinge of jealousy in the "good friends." It would be neither defensive nor snobby to smile and reply: "We all must decide for ourselves how we will support the charities that are important to us. I have chosen to donate in other ways."

DEAR ABBY: Are hugs the new handshake? I understand it if you are close friends, but frequently it's a business acquaintance.

The two most recent examples were when I went to meet with my mother's minister to arrange her funeral. I had never met the man, but he wanted to hug upon meeting me. Yesterday, I saw a new eye doctor for the first time. As I was leaving, I put out my hand to shake his. He said, "Oh, I like to hug!" When I stepped back and told him, "I'm not a huggy person," he seemed offended. Any suggestions?

- Standoffish Sue

DEAR SUE: The minister may have thought that having just lost your mother, you could have used the hug. Many people welcome that kind of comfort. Personally, I agree that the eye doctor's behavior was presumptuous. If you continue to patronize him, my recommendation is to stand out of reach.

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