Dear Abby:

"Mr. Eugene" has been my hairdresser for nearly 20 years. We have seen each other through divorces, deaths, recovery from alcoholism (me), and life struggles in general. Mr. Eugene used to be a great hairdresser. The problem began when he installed a little television set at his station. He keeps it on all the time and watches it almost constantly. He watches it while cutting my hair, pausing every so often to pay closer attention to what's on TV.

The quality of my haircuts has started to decline, and along with it, our client/hairdresser relationship. I'm about ready to change hairdressers because I can't find the nerve to reach over and turn the darn thing off or tell him how annoying it is, and how much better a hairdresser he is when he pays full attention to what he's doing.

Please print this so Mr. Eugene will read it and give his clients the attention we deserve.

Spineless in Lexington, Ky.

Mr. Eugene is only a hairdresser. He is not a mind reader. Since you haven't voiced an objection to his cutting and styling your hair with one eye on the boob- tube, how can he be expected to know you have a problem with it?

Try this: Rather than criticize him, tell him that you would prefer that he leave the TV set off while working on you, because you miss the quality time you used to spend together. You might be surprised to find that he takes it as a compliment.

Dear Abby:

I became engaged last Christmas. I have been planning my wedding with the help of my mother and my fiance's mother. I love them both, and they are helping to pay for my big day.

My problem is that every time I disagree with them, they call me "Bridezilla." I don't think I'm too demanding or hard to please. I just have ideas, tastes and expectations that may be different from my two mothers'.

This horrible stereotype is ruining the planning. I become devastated when they refer to me in that way, and end up giving in so I don't seem to be unreasonable.

Please help me. I am ending up with a wedding that isn't what I want. What should I do?

Not Bridezilla in L.A.

It is wrong of your mother and your fiance's mother to call you names. However, since they are helping to fund the wedding, you can't blame them for wanting a meaningful voice in the planning. If you feel your dream wedding has been hijacked, then you should politely draw the line and finance it yourself.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, Calif. 90069.

(c)2004, Universal Press Syndicate