DEAR HARRIETTE: I feel like I’m in that Eddie Murphy movie "Coming to America"! My teenage daughter brought home a boy for the family to meet. He was nice enough. Like many young men today, he had a fancy hairstyle -- for a man, anyway. When he sat down in the living room to talk to the family and then hang out with my daughter, he left a grease stain from his hair on the sofa. I kid you not. I don’t want to embarrass him by saying anything, but if she brings him back, something has to give. Somebody is going to have to tell him not to lean against the furniture or the walls -- and why. Uncomfortable, I know, but do you have a better idea? -- Greasy Sofa, New Orleans
DEAR GREASY SOFA: Had you used humor in the moment, you may have been able to dispel some of the discomfort that is to come. The goal is to let the young man know that his hair is destroying your furniture without hurting his feelings too much.
OK, the humorous moment has passed, so now you should just tell your daughter. At first, she, too, will be embarrassed, but she will let him know in a more private way than you can. Later, if they stay together, you can rib him over his do!
(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 Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)