DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a heavy packer. It’s pretty bad. I always want to have choices for the activities I’m going to be participating in, so I end up packing two or three outfits per event. Then there are the shoes -- for dress, different colors, for working out, slippers, and a few extras. Plus the makeup and beauty supplies.
I take a long time figuring out what I’m bringing, but I always end up with too much, and then it costs me to ship my bags. It’s a mess. This last trip I went on, I spent more than $100 on my luggage just to get it there and back. I can’t afford to hire somebody to come pack me. What else can I do to cut down on the expenses? -- Overpacker, Portland, Oregon
DEAR OVERPACKER: Making a written list of your activities for your next trip, with spaces for outfits, may help you. Pick out clothing for each activity, and write the description in the space. Choose only one outfit per activity and put it in your bag. Check the list as you pack it so you are clear what’s in the bag. Next, add one or two outfits just because you are accustomed to having a bit extra. Select shoes that can be worn with multiple outfits. Make sure you have heels, flats and athletic shoes. Pack travel-size toiletries.
If you still end up with a heavy load, consider shipping your luggage to your destination. Using the USPS or another shipper may be more affordable than the $25 or more that it can cost per bag on an airplane.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I went to a party with a group of new friends last night, and mostly we had a good time, but one of the guys got really drunk and started acting sloppy. He had seemed so nice before, but after he had been drinking for a few hours, everything went south. He had been talking to me early on, and I thought he might be a potential date. After seeing that he could get sloppy drunk, I was totally turned off.
Does this mean I should write him off, or does he deserve another chance? Everybody who was at the party was drinking and partying and having a good time. He is the only one I noticed who took it too far. -- Second Chance, Detroit
DEAR SECOND CHANCE: When people drink, they run the risk of drinking too much. What you witnessed with this man is not unusual, even though it is disappointing. You must decide whether you think he is interesting enough to get to know better.
If you feel as though there was a special connection between you earlier in the day, perhaps it is worth talking to him again. Let him know the way he behaved after getting drunk was disturbing to you. Watch how he reacts to your comment. Of course, you can forgive him for that one night. You can also decide together to explore whether a friendship is worth cultivating.