DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: For the girl in Sunday's paper who has Evening Shift Terror, I have ideas for her walks home from the bus late at night. I suggest she not use earbuds to listen to music, as she may not hear if someone is coming up to her. Carry a personal alarm (less than $20) attached to purse or jacket zipper. I used to travel a lot in the early '90s and I always carried one. And I learned this many years ago: if the worst happens, yell "fire!" not "rape!" as people will respond more readily. -- Helpful Hints, Winnipeg
Dear Helpful: Attack alarms ($20-$40) are sold in hardware and security stores. Running stores sell $5 shrill whistles for around your neck. Thanks for mentioning the earbuds issue. People who are looking to mug or rape someone pick the easiest victim and someone who's oblivious because of headphones or concentrating on texting while they walk are easy pickings. Ponytails are another thing predators look for in women, as they are an easy handle to drag someone off.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My boyfriend yells at his big dogs in a very ugly, guttural and violent voice that he never uses with me. I wonder, would he use it on our children if we ever had any? -- Worried Feelings, Transcona
Dear Worried: Why would you stay five minutes with a man who yells like this? Do you not see the threat to your own person, down the road? He's got it in him to be ugly and mean. Would he abuse you one day? Very likely. He yells at beings he feels are under his power, and the threat of a beating can be heard in his voice. This is your clue to run away. If you ignore it, you will regret it. Want children one day? Obey your Spidey senses, and get back out there looking for a kind, loving, patient man.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: A policeman stopped me for a ticket and I was flirting with him like crazy -- not because I wanted out of the ticket, but because he was so cute. He had a little smile on his lips, but he wouldn't play. I'm told I'm a very good-looking woman and I saw evidence he was reacting to that. I even went to the nearest cop shop on a silly excuse hoping to run into him again. I didn't. Now how do I find him? -- Hot For My Copper, Winnipeg
Dear Hot: You may be good-looking, but you have some less-than-attractive personality features. You're conceited, bold and willing to take chances with his reputation. You don't even know if he's married or not and you're already over at the cop shop like a bloodhound, sniffing for him. This policeman does not need the problems that go with a woman like you.
Dear Angry: This is a letter to the angry grandmother who doesn't understand why her own kids don't want to do her yard work and spend time with her: You sound not only angry, but bitter and negative! You need an attitude change and to face some facts. First of all, the maintenance of your home is your responsibility. Expecting your busy children to do your chores is not being "independent." If the work is too much for you, hire people or downsize to an apartment or a condo. Secondly, any grandmother who publicly refers to her grandchildren as "brats" doesn't deserve to spend any time with them. You are looking through the wrong end of life's binoculars.
Making your kids feel obligated to help you as payback for raising them is emotional blackmail. You already have the best payback there is and you don't realize it. You have the opportunity to be part of your grandchildren's lives and leave them with loving memories of your time together. There are many grandmas whose children live far away who would trade places with you in a heartbeat. The next time your kids pick up your grandchildren, have supper ready and invite them to share it with you. Do not say one negative word or mention anything you need help with. Do this a few times and I guarantee they will be more willing to spend quality time with you. -- A Happy Mother and Grandma, Winnipeg
Dear Happy: These are excellent suggestions. To speed up the change, Grandma could apologize and talk about how things will be different from now on. If she doesn't want to babysit the grandkids regularly, she should explain it's too much for her, but she'd still like to do it when the couple want to go out socially.
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