DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I have a giant, friendly dog, a big old farmhouse and a lot of land. There is more than enough room for my girlfriend, who's balking at moving in. There are also a couple of outdoor cats and some horses here. I do all the "farm" work and wouldn't expect her to do any. I have so much land, and am well back from the road, so I don't have the dog tied up, don't have to walk him or clean up his poop -- this is definitely not the city. He's a great dog, protects the property and he loves my girlfriend to the point of slurping her knees, which she hates. She is cold to him, and to all the animals, for that matter.
I work at a government job in Winnipeg, and met her that way. She doesn't understand my relaxing "long commute" of 20 minutes outside the city. I fell in love with this girl mostly by seeing her in the city and staying with her at her downtown apartment. I gradually introduced her to my rural life, and she pretended to like it at first, but now she freely admits she doesn't want to live here and hardly comes out. I'm 32 and a little set in my ways, but I want a wife and kids. She's younger by five years. I love other things about her, but not this. -- Farmer Boy, South of Winnipeg
Dear South: Start backing off. You would regret selling out on your country life to live in a city apartment with none of that. You'd soon resent this young woman who wouldn't even want a dog. Your love would start to lessen and it would be very bad indeed to be married to each other with a baby on the way. Just state you won't be moving and let problems with her go without fixing them. Let it get really irritating. When you have to break up down the road, it won't hurt so much.
Allow yourself to start thinking about how great it would be to be with a woman who gets a kick out of the same lifestyle as you and can't wait to spend time on the farm. In other words, stop trying with this young babe and dream about your real match coming in the future. A woman in her late 20s or early 30s with a country upbringing might be better for you.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I just had it out with my neighbour and shook my rake in her red face. I took hours raking my whole yard clean yesterday and she didn't touch hers. Lazy and inconsiderate, that's what she is. The wind came up and blew her leaves into my yard and now I have to rake her leaves to have my clean yard back. I went over, rake in my hand and gave her an ear ringer. You know what she said? "Back off! You have nothing better to do with your time, and if you don't put that rake down, I'm calling the police right now!" So now I'm writing to you. What can I do about a horrible neighbor who threatens me? I should be the one calling the authorities. -- Senior Citizen, Winnipeg
Dear Senior: Without a fence, you raked a little too soon. This is going to happen again and again, coming from both ways. End this needless fight with an inexpensive piece of roll-out wire fence for gardens you can just poke in so it's two feet tall. It'll catch the leaves before they get in your yard. Or, just give up the fight, say you're sorry for the rake-shaking incident in a nice note in the mailbox and invite her over for tea. We can all do with neighbourhood friends in the city.
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