DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My husband Mr. Tightwad is already starting up his excuses for not honouring me this Valentine's Day with a gift. Today he was ragging on about the commercialization, and how stores have been full of Valentine junk since Christmas. Finally, I shouted, "Shut up already, you miserable unromantic tightwad!" and he shrunk back into his recliner for the rest of the night, watching sports. I scared myself. I shouted for 12 years' worth of not getting decent Christmas and Valentine's and birthday gifts and I cried in the bedroom, big sobs he must have heard. My younger sisters and my girlfriends and many of my co-workers get treated like queens by their men, and they reciprocate. I happen to know my sister feels sorry for me. Her husband likes to go all out with flowers and chocolates and she dresses up in special new lingerie for him and they have a special sex night. My husband doesn't want to squeak open his wallet for anything more than a dollar-store card after I cry at supper time. I always give him a gift. He said this morning, through tight lips, to stop doing that. Then what are we left with? Nothing. Why won't he honour me when everybody else is being honoured? -- Hurt and Humiliated, Winnipeg
Dear Hurt: You know the answer. Because he's cheap and lazy and doesn't know what to pick, and feels like it's something he "has" to do. When boys are immature, they balk at anything that they feel forced to do. Your husband is immature. He knows that the no-gift issue hurts you, but it's still more important for his ego to balk, than to give you what you want. Don't be ashamed of finally making a big fuss. In fact, make it even bigger so he doesn't win his let's-forget-the-day bid. Don't buy him a gift for the first time, and go out with your single friends for dinner and some nightclub fun. Let him feel the cold breeze. He's the one who left the door open.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I have had two interesting boyfriends since Christmas and it is difficult enough juggling the two under ordinary circumstances. Now both of them want to take me out to dinner on Valentine's Day. I like them both equally. They both know I am not exclusive to either of them, so I told one of them I could go to lunch, but I am busy for dinner. He is very unhappy. What else can I do? -- Torn between Two, River Heights
Dear Torn: Damage control? You have made the two dates. Now keep them, aware you may get dumped by lunchtime's dessert. That's the danger of juggling two significant non-exclusive boyfriends. Let's hope you chose the right one to get the lower billing -- as I'm betting you may lose him altogether, unless it makes him feel competitive. Are you sleeping with both of them? Not fair and not safe. If you are, you'd better be using good quality latex condoms each and every time. It's definitely time to make up your mind, girlfriend! But usually, indecision like this means neither one is the real answer.