DEAR ABBY: My hair falls nearly to my waist, and I go to great lengths to maintain it and keep it free of split ends.
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" who imply you are being selfish or hypocritical for not donating your lovely locks. 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."