DEAR ABBY: I am an almost-14-year-old boy in Iowa. My father thinks my hair is too long and says I should get a summer cut -- short like his, of course. The reason, according to my mom, is adults have said how bad my hair looks. I believe if they're going to be so rude as to say that to my mom, I should keep it long to keep them mad.
I get the feeling that my dad is afraid, as a physician, that it's hurting his reputation.
Abby, I'm a good kid. I get straight A's. I'm involved in many constructive activities, and my hair is just a little over my ears, almost touching my T-shirt collar in the back, and my bangs are brushed to the side. Who's right here? -- IRRITATED IN IOWA
DEAR IRRITATED: You appear to be intelligent and a high achiever. Please don't let a power struggle over the length of your hair ruin your summer. A compromise may be in order. Take a long, hard look in the mirror. If a number of people have said your hair looks "bad," perhaps it could be shaped -- a little -- into something less shaggy and more flattering. If you're afraid your dad's barber might scalp you, consider consulting your mother's hairdresser. Where I live, it's common to see males in beauty salons because their girlfriends, wives or mothers have sent them there.
DEAR ABBY: Every year, on my in-laws' birthdays, I prepare a beautiful dinner, bake or purchase a decorated cake and buy them a nice gift. My parents do the same for my husband.
When my birthday comes, my in-laws acknowledge it with only a card. My husband has talked to them about it (they are well off financially and could afford to take us out for dinner if his mom doesn't want to cook), but they feel that a card is adequate. They say, "People shouldn't do things for others because they expect something back."
Am I wrong to expect some kind of reciprocation? Frankly, I'm hurt. -- SLIGHTED IN MISSOURI
DEAR SLIGHTED: Your feelings are justified. Although I agree that people should not do things for others because they expect something back, by putting forth no effort on your birthday, they are sending the message that they haven't accepted you as a daughter. Perhaps when their next birthdays roll around, their son should be the one to prepare the dinner, make sure there's a birthday cake and purchase their gift. If he remembers, that is.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have a great marriage. We're crazy about each other. There's just one thing we can't seem to agree on: He wants to travel to faraway places and I don't. I even suggested that if it means that much to him, he could go with one of his friends or a family member. He insists that he doesn't want to go without me.
This issue isn't hurting our marriage, but it sure isn't helping it, either. Any suggestions? -- HOMEBODY IN NORFOLK, VA.
DEAR HOMEBODY: Everyone should have your problems -- a husband with an appetite for world travel, the pocketbook to back it up, and the desire to share the excitement of the adventure with his own true love. If I were you, I'd quit complaining and start packing.
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