DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My boyfriend hit my mother the other day when she was drunk and cussing him out. She threw his dinner on the floor and then he lost it. I wouldn't have blamed him for giving her a smack, but he knocked her right over in her chair backwards to the ground. What does this mean for me now? Am I next in line? -- Very Scared, Downtown
Dear Scared: Dump this guy by phone, right away. You don't need more proof. He has no problem hitting a woman in times of stress and one day you will qualify for backhands and beatings. Yes, your mom was drunk and provoked a fight, but not violence. Why did she throw his dinner on the floor? What is the rest of this story? Most men would have just walked out in disgust, but this man assaulted your mother instead. You are smart to be scared. Change your life. Get rid of this violent boyfriend and also push your mom into rehab with all your might as she is heading down a dangerous road. Call the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba (204-944-6200) for specific advice on how to get her help.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I invited my ex-boyfriend and his girlfriend for Christmas Eve at my place and he let me know they are happy to be coming. This morning I told my boyfriend and he said he wasn't comfortable with it unless he could invite his ex and her new husband and child. I said, "Go ahead. Sounds good!" although I didn't really mean it. My BF knows I'm kind of jealous of her. So now we're having this weird Christmas Eve party. What should I do? -- Nervous and Mixed Up, River Heights
Dear Nervous: Pad the party out with more people and you won't notice nearly as much. It is the time of softening of feelings and forgiveness of past problems. Lots of people need a good place to go on Christmas Eve. Ask the neighbours over and some other old buddies these exes would be happy to see. Turn the music up a little to fill in awkward spaces. Good luck with this! Write back and tell us all how it goes.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: We at Villa Rosa were pleased to be mentioned in your column in response to Heartbroken Baby Mama's letter. (Villa Rosa is a prenatal and postnatal residence offering a variety of programs for pregnant women needing support.) We will be pleased to try and assist her if she contacts us. Any single, pregnant woman or new mother may access our services. We actually have no age limit (upper or lower) for the clients we serve, or who may qualify to live in the prenatal residence. Over the years we have had pregnant women as young as 11 up to age 40. Hopefully HBM will be in touch with us and we can attempt to support her in whatever manner she requires. --Villa Rosa, 784 Wolseley Avenue, (204) 786-5741
Dear Villa Rosa: Thanks for writing to clarify the age availability for help. Also, many women don't realize single moms can live at Villa Rosa for some time after the baby is born -- they are not suddenly out on the street when the baby arrives. And Villa Rosa isn't just for people living in residence. Single moms-to-be, who don't need to actually live in residence, can still phone and/or go in for advice, support and connection to all resources available to help them.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm 19 and a student. I slid on ice on Wellington Crescent and hit my girlfriend's car into a snow bank and dented two doors. She said she'd get it fixed privately at her uncle's garage and give me the bill rather than go through Autopac. Yesterday, she finally paid the $300 and now she expects me to pay it back right away so she can buy Christmas presents. I don't have that kind of extra money. What should I do? She finally paid for her car and got it out of the garage and now she's pressuring me to fork over the money. Where do I get hundreds of dollars in a hurry? Rob a bank? I only have a part time job. -- Broke University Student, River Heights
Dear Broke: Don't try to let it go by saying, "I'll give you the $300 when I've got it." That doesn't cut it. You bashed her car and need to repay her now. That's a lot of money for you -- but very little for a repair job. You must give it back starting right away, even if you have to shovel walks up and down the street. Here's a few possibilities: 1)Borrow the money from your parents or a bit from several people to pay her back the whole amount. 2)Sell some of your stuff -- like electronics, sports equipment, collectibles online. 3)Ask for an advance on your pay cheque at work. 4)Give your girlfriend several post-dated cheques now, to pay it back as you get paid.