Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm so annoyed with my know-it-all daughter who uses this smart-alec tone on me. I want to throw her out on her butt. She's going to university and has this entitlement thing now that drives me crazy. She's 21 and taking arts. Big deal. She has tons of spare time to work and never works a moment.
Her room is the whole basement now, according to her smart mouth. Yesterday she said in this valley girl voice, "I'd appreciate it if you didn't come past the laundry room when you're down here, and because of the way you help yourself to my room, I am putting a lock on my door! I've had enough."
I said, "Good, and don't come out of that room again until you're ready to move out!" Then she said, "You can't talk to me like that. I'm telling Dad!" Then her father comes huffing and puffing up to me, and asks me why I'm "speaking abusively" to his daughter. I started to cry. Honestly, I have my own job and I will move out if necessary! I love my daughter but I can't stand her right now -- absolutely furious looking at her nasty spoiled expressions. Please help our family. -- Les Miserables, St. Boniface
Dear Mrs. Miserable: Tell your daughter she needs to start looking for a roommate and a job to earn enough money to live outside the house. Lots of arts students do, and support themselves completely with part-time jobs and loans. Tell her she made that decision when she spoke to you with complete disrespect in the basement. Remind her that she owns nothing of that house, nor do you owe her free room and board three years after she's turned 18. You know she is going to go screaming to daddy about this, so be prepared to stand your ground with both of them. He needs some straight talk from you, too. Stand up and roar. You're not moving anywhere, but your daughter is.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I just came back from a holiday before Christmas, supposedly with my "guy friends," but really it was with a special friend. I had a great time down there, but I'm worried sick my wife is going to ask my buddies about the holiday. The two of them are supposed to pretend they went with me, but they are bozos and might forget. As a result, I refused to have our usual New Year's party because I am "overrun with work," but really it was to keep them all apart.
Now my friend, who I thought was a fun-loving girl, wants me to make a decision to leave my wife and be with her. What? Why would I do that, when I have my wife and the kids and the house and the dog to support? It feels like the sky is falling over a silly holiday. I don't want to break it off with my girlfriend and I don't want to lose my family either. Help, please. -- The Sky Is Falling, Winnipeg
Dear Falling: You weren't born to play this nasty little gambling game. If you were, you'd know you don't involve anyone other than your lover. You certainly don't tell your buddies, or ask them to cover up for you, or tell your wife you're going on holiday with a group.
Certain types get away with taking their illicit partners on sunny holidays. But you will rarely spot these lovebirds on the beaches or in regular hotels. They go to hidden resorts in unpopular destinations where friends and neighbours would never fly. How about saying adios to the girlfriend you aren't serious about and trying to fix what's wrong with your marriage? Forget being a married playboy. Your body may want to rumba, but your mind isn't suited to the sunspot sneak, a particularly difficult dance.
Please send your questions or comments c/o email@example.com or mail letters to Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg R2X 3B6