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Dear Abby: The letter you recently printed regarding children in beauty parlors stirred a fond memory of a conversation I had several years ago with my hairdresser, who owned a busy beauty shop. She was at wit's end over three unsupervised preschoolers who were trashing the place while their mother sat calmly under a hair dryer, engrossed in a magazine.

On my next appointment, I gave my hairdresser a poem I had composed. She liked it so much, she had it framed, and now it hangs on the wall in her shop. She claims it worked a miracle:S.O.S. (SAVE OUR SANITY)

Oh, sing a song of Motherhood,

Of children dear and sweet . . .

The pleasures that they bring to us

Can make our lives complete.

But there are times we must admit,

When they can be a trial . . .

Like when we have to concentrate

To do your hair in style.

For in this busy "Beauty Mill"

Our schedule makes us hurry,

And to have them underfoot

Is really quite a worry!

So we implore you, Mother dear,

Save us from their attack,

Or we'll have to trade our uniforms

for jackets . . . tied in back!

Thank you, Abby, for years of interesting and educational reading. You have my permission to share the poem if you wish.

- Gini Blauvelt, Hamilton, Ohio

Dear Gini: You were generous to share your poem. I'm sure it will grace the walls of many salons whose owners would rather curl up and dye than offend a thoughtless client.

Dear Abby: Please write something about the practice of telephoning one's hostess (or host) the morning following a party to reiterate your thanks.

I have a friend who never fails to do this. I think this is a needless interruption at a time when the party-giver is probably trying to get his or her house back in order.

What is correct?

- Houston Hostess

Dear Hostess: "Correct" is writing a note of thanks - promptly. Telephoning is much easier, but it may be an intrusion. A note is never an intrusion.

Dear Abby: Many people write to you to complain about having sent a gift that was never acknowledged. It is not always a case of bad manners.

Recently, my parents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with an open-house party. A good number of gifts were separated from the cards before the gifts were opened.

My parents would have been delighted to send everyone proper thank-you notes, if they had known whom to thank - and for what!

I read some time ago, in a helpful hint column, that it is a good idea to write a description of the gift on the back of the card accompanying the gift.

This is done by some people - but not enough. It is very difficult to write a thank-you note for a gift if you don't have a clue what the gift was.

- Frustrated in Kansas

Dear Frustrated: Thank you for a valuable addition to this column. I plan to use that suggestion myself.

An excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more attractive person is "How to Be Popular." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054. (Postage is included.)

1993 Universal Press Syndicate