Prom doesn’t have to mean expensive

Dear Readers: PROM SEASON is almost upon us. This is a time of excitement, butterflies and magic for all high schoolers. There can be a problem, though. Paying for the prom can be a big obstacle for young ladies and young men, and their families.

For the girls, there’s the dress, the shoes, the sparkly bag and other accessories, the hair, the makeup, the pampering beforehand — it’s a BIG expense!

Boys usually are tasked with renting a tuxedo and possibly a limousine, dinner, a corsage, the tickets to the event, and any after-parties. Big dollars.

Contact the schools in your neighborhood to see if they offer a “prom drive” for dresses and shoes; many do. If you have a gently used gown or dress shoes you’d like to donate, the schools can tell you how to make that happen.

Every kid wants to feel like royalty on prom night. A financial need shouldn’t stop them! — Heloise

BIRTHDAY BOUNTY

Dear Heloise: Everybody celebrated my 90th birthday in January. My daughter had photocopied my address book and sent a letter to long-lost friends. So far, I’ve gotten 50 cards! Fun! — Ann in San Antonio

SHOW RESPECT

Dear Heloise: I’ve just retired from doing housekeeping for many families. Please don’t wait until I decide I need to retire to tell me you don’t know how you’re going to do without me, because I’m such a hard worker. Show appreciation to your hired help while they are laboring away at your tasks.

Also, teach your children how to talk or at least greet us. No matter what kind of work they go into, they need to be able to look that person in the eye and show kindness and appreciation for helping keep their world running smoothly. — Deb in Kentucky

SIMPLE SOLUTION

Dear Heloise: For years, I’ve been drinking two cups of coffee (with a little bit of cream and sugar) every morning, but I never enjoyed the second cup as much as the first.

I finally found the solution: After finishing my first cup, I rinse out the mug and start fresh. Now my second cup tastes as good as the first. — Ellen, via email

GERM-FREE

Dear Heloise: After I have ordered from a menu at a sit-down restaurant, I go to the restroom and wash my hands or sanitize my hands with hand sanitizer. Restaurant menus can be covered with other people’s germs.

I never use an ink pen that is handed to me with a clipboard with forms for me to complete. I use my own ink pen. A communal pen can be germ-laden. — Mary, via email

UNDERCOVER

Dear Heloise: I just bought a new sewing machine. It did not come with a cover. I found that the cover for my stand mixer fits perfectly. — Anita G., via email

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Hints from Heloise run occasionally in Lifestyles. Readers may send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE, or email: Heloise@Heloise.com. Letters won’t be answered personally.

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