DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband impulse-purchased a hot tub this weekend. Obviously, this was not the smartest decision he's ever made. To add to this mess, we can't return the hot tub (it was on sale), and we don't have anybody to sell it to. I think we should just cut our losses and scrap the tub, while my husband thinks we may as well hook it up. The water bill will be through the roof! What should we do with this huge aboveground hot tub? -- Boiling Hot, Atlanta
DEAR BOILING HOT: Before you chuck the tub, do the research to find out how much it actually will cost to utilize it. Call your water company to determine the average cost of using a hot tub. They will know, as others in your neighborhood or nearby likely use one. Figure out all costs, along with the reality of why your husband wanted it in the first place. A properly tended hot tub could serve as a romantic spark in your marriage if you treat it as such.
Pour some cold water on your face -- literally if need be -- and sit down to talk to your husband. Learn his motivation and make an effort to like his new toy. It may become something very special that you enjoy together.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)