DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My older brother is in his 30s and still lives up north with my parents. He did have a well-paying job, but recently lost it. I’m a younger sibling, living on my own without much help, and he asks me how I manage to pay rent and all my bills, with a lower-paying job.
Budgeting! My parents are good people and taught us well, but he didn’t catch on, and thinks he’s entitled to everything without working hard. He smokes a lot of weed and cigarettes, swears in front of anyone and uses racist terms.
My partner is part minority. My partner’s parents are religious and not open-minded, I cringe to think of the day they’ll meet my brother. The last straw? Recently my brother has been talking about how all he would have to do is kill a drug dealer and steal his money, and he’d be set. I don’t know if he was serious or just talking big.
I’ve offered him a place to stay if he came to Winnipeg and looked for a job, but don’t know how long I’d be able to handle him.
Where do I get him help? I think he may be open to rehab if I could just get him to leave the northern city where we grew up.
But, he doesn’t have money to do that. I’m sure my parents are getting fed up. Sometimes my mom says, "Either he leaves or I will!" Please help. — Concerned Sister, Wpg.
Dear Concerned: Take back your offer to let him stay at your place, because he would hit a few bad bars and his new associates would be dangerous. Your brother is so difficult he could come between you and your man. You’re not responsible for bringing up an older brother. What you can do is research online the rehab facilities in his northern city. Winnipeg is not the only place offering rehab to people with addictions. Find out what it takes to get in, whether it’s completely free, or you have to pay a certain amount. Then speak to your parents. You don’t mention which city he lives in, so I can’t be specific. Get this information to your mom, dad and brother.
Then it’s up to him. In the meantime, keep him far away from your life here. Your brother would make a scary visitor or room mate, and he would leave when he darn well felt like it.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I’m playing fifth wheel to a zoo. I’m in love with an animal-loving man, and I only wish I could get the affection and attention he gives those dogs and cats and rabbits. He doesn’t think to hold me and stroke me and call me sweet names. No, it all goes to his zoo, as I call it. Meanwhile, they jump up and crawl all over him — he’s so busy going from one to the other, I feel like an alien. It’s all about animals here, not humans. I appreciate that he is a loving man, but not to me.
When I talk to him about it, he says, "I kiss you every day when I get home and we have sex three times a week. What more do you want?" That translates to a three-second peck and three 10-minute sessions after the news. He doesn’t get it. Help! — Jealous of a Zoo, Selkirk
Dear Jealous: Stop doing more of what doesn’t work. Show this man what you want.
When he does come in for the perfunctory peck, catch him and say, "I would like an eight-second full-body hug and a real kiss when you get home." He may laugh at first but he will get the message — you can count to eight with your fingers on his back. When it comes to sex, you can change things.
Switch the bedroom TV to another room.
Light some candles, put on sexy music, wear something beautiful and don’t strip it off yourself. It’s not particularly sexy for men to have after-TV winter-night sex where both partners have undressed themselves and jumped into the bed, wearing pyjamas or Tshirts and underpants. Turn up the heat!
Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave.. Wpg, R2X 3B6 or email firstname.lastname@example.org