DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm shocked that my workmate is often in the bathroom doing some sexy you-know-what. How do I know? She tells me, "Well I'm off to the bathroom to have fun with myself!" I am shocked, but I am a shy guy and don't say a word. I am often left all alone in the store at night while she takes off to do that, or talk on her phone to friends. It messes me up to even think about what she's doing. She knows I won't go and bang on the restroom and haul her back to work. It's not even safe late at night to be alone in the store. Should I report her to the supervisor? What should I say? I don't think I can even get the words out to talk about it. -- Forced to Cover Up, Winnipeg
Dear Covering: Warn her you're starting to keep track of her many breaks and how long she's away each time. There is probably a security camera in the store to back you up. She may smarten up, or she may laugh in your face -- whatever -- but keep a record over a week or two to show your manager. If you decide to report the sexual things she says to you, and I hope you do, don't give this manipulative co-worker time to fabricate a worse story about you. What she says about her sexy bathroom activities is meant to stun you so she can take tons of breaks and you'll be silent. She needs to learn she can't use visions of her sexual behaviour to manipulate men in the workplace.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: Around Christmas time, I get very sad and the tears are never far away. I can't tell my present husband that I'm missing my deceased husband because he is already paranoid about not measuring up. My first husband was a jolly prankster and Christmas was always full of his surprises. My dear new husband is a nice, loving guy but not very imaginative. Last night we put up the Christmas tree and it was so quiet and boring, I ran off on a walk outside and cried my first husband's name over and over again, the tears running down my face and freezing. How do I get over this? I can't hurt my new husband with this anymore. -- Christmas Crybaby, Tuxedo
Dear Crybaby: Your first husband wouldn't want you to be crying over him at Christmas time. Imitate him instead! It's time for YOU to become a bit of a prankster and let your former husband's fun-loving spirit channel through you. Dazzle the new man who is trying his best to please you without saying, "This is how so-and-so did things." Your new man may be a little nerdy, but you trained with a master of fun and have all the templates. It's not disrespectful to do the things your former husband did for you; it's a sign of respect.
If you can't manage what I'm suggesting this year, at least book a counsellor for some sessions so you can find a way to deal with this. Your new husband doesn't have to be part of these talks. Just do it for you. With professional help, you can compartmentalize your deceased husband's jolly memories, and create a new world with your new man at each new occasion of the year. You don't have to have disappointing Christmases, Valentine's Days, Halloweens or Thanksgivings ever again, if you lead the way.
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