DEAR HARRIETTE: My good friend is talking about organizing a vacation in the spring, and she asked my boyfriend and me if we would like to participate. The way she does this is to find a few couples or individuals who want to go in on a house and then rent it together. This makes it more affordable and easier to get a nicer house. I like the idea, but my boyfriend isn’t so into it. He doesn’t think he will like sharing a house with six or eight people. He says it feels like college, and we are grown now. I see his point, but I think it could be fun. Plus, we have been talking about taking a vacation but hesitant because of the cost. I want to convince him to try this out at least once to see if we like it. How can I get him to reconsider? -- Group Vacay, Memphis, Tennessee
DEAR GROUP VACAY: Think about this trip opportunity and who will be part of the house. Do you get along with everyone? Does your boyfriend? If the actual people aren’t the issue, broach the idea again. Point out that you both like the other potential housemates, and you think everyone will get along. Ask your boyfriend to consider this trip as a trial to see if you enjoy being part of a group when you are on vacation. If he agrees, be sure to schedule some activities without the group so that you two can create your own individual special memories. If he refuses to go and the two of you do not make other plans, consider going without him and having fun with the group.
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.)