Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I would like to reveal a secret method for women to judge whether a guy is a good man. I judge all men by their hands. If they're large and strong, the guy is probably a hard worker and capable. He has a big heart and is a good lover, well-equipped. A small man with bony hands is petty and tight-fisted, and has a small capacity for sex and love. I have never been wrong yet. -- The Observationist, Osborne Village
Dear Observationist: This unscientific hoo-ha is totally unfair. For one thing, you have wiped out millions of men -- whole races -- in one swipe because of the relative structure of their hands. Also, you can't possibly have studied the hands of enough men to have any kind of statistics of your own.
More and more people are falling for silly notions like this, backed by the enormous amount of goofiness appearing in online ads and dodgy websites. You do yourself and other people a disservice by believing this nonsense and then trying to sell these ideas to others.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: This is for the 32-year-old heartbroken guy who wrote you. I'm going through the same thing. It hurts! I cry and cry. The pain you feel is like death. You need to grieve. You will cry, but you can't cry forever. Nobody ever died of a broken heart.
I've been single five months; it hurts, but each day gets better. My mistake? I went back to my ex for two weeks thinking everything was all good. The woman he cheated on me with called to say she's pregnant. I left him again and was at the bottom of the barrel again. I told him then to go back to her. We already share a 10-year-old child together.
This is my first heartache too. You're not alone and there is help. Go talk to a mental-health worker and go to emergency and get some stuff to calm you down. I did. I needed the help. The last thing anyone needs is (street) drugs, booze or rebounds. All that junk makes you feel worse and sets your healing journey way back. Don't chase anyone; if they wanted to be your life they would have stayed. Stay strong. Time is all you need to heal. -- Emerging From the Pain, Winnipeg
Dear Emerging: Thanks for taking the time to reach out to another person who is still in major breakup pain. The first stages are nasty but it gradually eases up, especially if you take care of yourself physically -- eating, drinking water, taking vitamins, walking. It's also good to get back to work after a few days, so eight hours of your daily life is taken up with doing something you can feel you're good at. Too much time for rumination on the reasons for the heartbreak -- and what you coulda/shoulda/woulda done differently. So much of a breakup is just finding out you're not a long-lasting fit, and it's a matter of the dumper finding that out first. So often there's nothing the dumpee can do to change that rejection feeling, because it's just a feeling, but a very important one and the ultimate deal-breaker. Counselling can be an enormous help in shortening the heartbreak.
Please send your questions or comments c/o firstname.lastname@example.org or mail letters to Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg R2X 3B6.