DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I am ready to throttle the three other cabin co-owners. We bought this cottage together in our 20s (10 years ago) and we got along fine until the hidden owners started showing up -- the female liaisons. Now I want out a decade later, and I want fair money.
It was fine and dandy when we were young and single and bought that cheap place together, but now it's worth a lot. I am the only single guy left. I can't bear that cabin (on a lake I absolutely love) as the women bring their families and girlfriends and there is never anywhere to be alone.
Also there are a few micro-managing women trying to tell everybody what to bring for food each weekend so there'll be enough/no repeats/health considerations. I saw a cabin nearby come up last week I want to buy, so I told the other three owners at the cabin I wanted them to buy me out, and all hell broke loose. They don't want to buy me out for one-quarter of what the cabin is now is valued at.
I hate them all at this point and told them we should all sell the damn place and then split the money. Now all the girlfriends and wives have gotten into the fight. What should I do? -- Lost My Friends, Need the Money
Dear Need the Money: Grown-up people should have their own places. This cabin was purchased as a singles hangout for guy friends, and occasional girlfriends. Life has changed. You guys are in your 30s. Right now the cottage world for your friends is falling apart because of your desire to be bought out. Own that part of the problem at least. Do your best to help solve this problem, so other people are happy besides you.
You could help loosen the knots in this problem by finding out if there are other cottages coming up for sale on the lake now, or after season. Then call each of the co-owners privately and find out where they stand. There may be one or two who want to buy the cottage you all own now, and actually have the money to do so. Plus, there might be other appealing cottages down the lake for the other buddies you could point out, and you could all end up being friends again.
Or, it may be best if you all just sell, and buy elsewhere. The current higher value of the cottage will be fine with new buyers. Those of you who can't afford a new cottage will get one-quarter of the higher value -- instead of trying to come up with money to buy out one guy at the higher rate. As for the legalities of all this, see a great lawyer who isn't another one of your buddies.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My woman is of colour. I am lily white. I know she loves me but isn't crazy about my pasty skin. We went to a wedding social lately and she danced a lot with guy who had some considerable colour in his background and worked outside. She said admiringly he had skin the colour of mahogany.
I didn't think she should be talking about his attractive skin colour to me and told her so. She said, and I quote, "Nobody called you Whitey, did they?" And I said, "In a way, you just did, baby!" Then she said she was "making allowances" for me, because she usually dates guys who aren't white, but that she loves me as a person. That doesn't sit well with me. I want to be loved as a person and also a sex object. I don't even want to get naked with her this week and that's unusual for me. -- Feeling Messed Up, Wolseley
Dear Messed Up: Turn this around and it becomes clear. If you had said you were "making allowances" for her colour of skin, she'd be hurt and mad and self-conscious with you. That goes double if you'd been crowing about the ivory shade of some woman's skin. Put it to her that way and then have a whole new conversation. If skin colour is an issue for either of you, you don't have a viable relationship for much longer.
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