Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: An old friend from university had been hinting for a while she wanted to see me, so I booked a trip to visit her this summer, a few provinces over. She said she was super excited, but two months before, she Facebooked me to say she had basement flooding issues recently and couldn't put me up any more. This seemed odd and premature.
She apologized profusely but never really explained why I couldn't sleep on her couch on the main level of her house, other than saying her house is on the small side, or why she wouldn't be willing to come see me instead. She also didn't offer a place with a close friend or family. I would have been fine with the sleeping bag on the floor! I was coming to hang with her.
And now I see she's travelling to Europe in the fall. I feel like a chump. Am I overreacting? -- Chump in Winnipeg
Dear Chump: Write her off. This is not how a close friend behaves. She doesn't care nearly as much as you do, and may or may not have basement issues. She's saving her dough for Europe now. Her hints about your coming may have been empty words. Her desire to see you disappeared when she got a better offer -- and she's saving her dimes for Europe. Be glad you didn't waste any more money on this trip.
Since this is really hurting you, be sure you unfriend her on Facebook so you don't see her bragging about her big trip. If this issue keeps bugging you in coming weeks, write her a note, and tell her how you feel.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I was walking down the street near my apartment the other evening when this guy started following me saying things like "Oh, sexy lady" and making kissy noises. I walked into a store fast and asked them to give me a safe haven from this creep. Later the shop owner walked me home, which was very kind of him. My co-workers (male) said I should have turned around and told the guy to "F off," but I was afraid. What do you think? -- Escaped Assault? Downtown
Dear Escaped: You did exactly the right thing. One never knows how crazy, cruel or violent the person might be who is following you. He clearly had sexual intentions. If you'd stopped and turned around, he might have grabbed you. Saying something vulgar would have encouraged him. Getting away was the smartest thing you could do, and getting into a protected environment make sense. You might also have called the police from the store and reported this creep in your neighbourhood.
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Winnipeg R2X 3B6.