Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Last Rites for Dying Wife Were Comfort to Her Family

DEAR ABBY: A year ago, my friend "Stephanie" decided to stop cutting hair as her second job. She had done mine, my husband's and our son's hair for years. We switched to a stylist she referred us to and have been satisfied with the service.

We just found out Stephanie is going to start cutting hair again, and my husband and I want to switch back to seeing her. The sticky part is, we already have appointments with the new person, and Stephanie's going to be working at the same salon where she referred us. Is it rude to call and ask to switch our stylist knowing that we will be seeing both of them in the same place? -- TENTATIVE IN THE MIDWEST

DEAR TENTATIVE: No, it is not rude. Tell your new stylist that you have decided to go back to Stephanie in light of your long relationship. Make the switch as cordial as possible. Explain that it has nothing to do with the quality of the stylists' work. When you visit the salon, be friendly to both stylists. That way, if Stephanie decides to quit cutting hair again or even takes a vacation, you will have someone to fall back on.