DEAR ABBY: For most of my life, I have parted my hair on the right. I am now being told that men should part their hair on the left. Is there a correct side for men?

"" HARRY W., MORRO BAY, CALIF.

DEAR HARRY: I relayed your question to my hair design consultant, Bob Cox. According to Bob, people naturally have a cowlick (or "whorl") on one side of their scalp from which the hair growth pattern emerges. (Some people have two, although one is usually stronger than the other.) This is what determines which way the hair will naturally fall when it is parted.

Bob went on to relate the story of a client who had recently been referred to him. The gentleman had been going to his former barber for 15 years, and for 15 years his hair had never been easy to manage. Over the last couple of years, the problem had become so bad that his wife had to help him part his hair in the morning.

Bob took one look and realized the former barber had been parting the man's hair on the wrong side, which had been causing it to stick up. The problem was resolved with one appointment. If other men out there are having the same problem, this letter may be helpful.

DEAR ABBY: I recently presented a research proposal. I did the best I could and was verbally attacked by my boss. She is often tactless and can at times be cruel.

I tried to defend my research, but perhaps I did it too emphatically and went overboard, because my team member turned off my microphone and apologized to the boss.

I understand some of the criticisms, but what bothered me was that other proposals were more flawed than ours, but were not attacked in a similar fashion. One thing led to another, and I broke down in tears at the table. Luckily, the boss did not see it, but other team members did.

Is showing emotion in public wrong? I tried to hold it in but couldn't. I was insulted and felt terrible for my team. Was crying unprofessional? Should I have run to the powder room to sob &

or would that have made it worse?

"" TEARY-EYED IN MALAYSIA

DEAR TEARY-EYED: To show emotion in public is human, as long as one does not have a complete meltdown. You lost control twice, the first time when your team member felt it necessary to turn off your microphone and offer apologies to your boss; the second, when you began crying. Excusing yourself and going to the restroom would have been more appropriate and professional than what you did at the meeting. Learn from it.

DEAR ABBY: I am deeply patriotic and support our troops wholeheartedly. Because I am people-oriented, I try to go out of my way at my job (I am a hotel front desk clerk) to say nice things to people or do something for them. I often see government IDs on individuals (usually military) and I would like to say thanks &

but I don't know how. I don't know who's been overseas or not, and was wondering if you had any suggestions. I would just like to be able to say thanks without being intrusive and remain professional about it.

"" ELIZABETH IN ORLANDO

DEAR ELIZABETH: All you need to say is, "Thank you very much for your service to our country." The statement is direct, not at all intrusive and will be appreciated.

Dear Abby is written by , also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.