Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'd like to change my whole name, which I hate. I am in my 30s. The first names are for fat, old-fashioned ladies and the last name sounds dirty when pronounced. My sister says that it is immoral to change my name, even though she got teased for that name, too. She got married five years ago and quickly took a new name, but I will never marry! What do you think? -- Immoral Over a Name? Winnipeg
Dear Name: Ignore your sister and her "immoral" nonsense. She's out of harm's way, having married into a safer, nicer name. You have much life left, and have already suffered years of teasing and derision over some unfortunate syllables.
You can change the whole name through the department of Vital Statistics for less than $200 dollars. Make it good in all ways -- great sounds and meanings, and nicknames coming from it that would be fine. Instructions are concise on name-changing in Manitoba at the website www.ehow.com/how_5588542_legally-change-name-winnipeg.html and you can get all the details on the Vital Statistics site, by province.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: Every Saturday morning my wife has an eight-hour list of chores for me to do -- early morning to the market to carry her bags behind her, antiquing for two hours (her stupid hobby, not mine), grocery store and mall for $200 worth of meat and other household stuff, then lawn-mowing our acreage, dog-walking, gardening, washing all the vehicles. I am exhausted from doing Joe-boy work every Saturday after a 60-hour work week.
I finally realized I am still doing "hired man" work, except no one pays me. Hey, I didn't put in a big-ass pool to do this. I put it in because we finally have a lot of money, and all because of me. I should not be her personal slave, like I was in the days when we were poor.
She hands me the list at 8 a.m. Saturday morning, when she's shaking me awake to go to work for her. She doesn't work outside the house, and the kids have jobs outside on weekends as they are 18 and 19. I've had it. Any ideas? -- Not Her Slave, South St. Vital
Dear Slave: Open a conversation Friday morning that goes something like this... "Don't bother making up your Saturday list of work for me to do ever again. We are in the money, darling, and free on Saturdays. As of this week, I have hired an assistant to do the work I did and a cleaning lady to do the heavy housework. You are a lady of leisure now. Call a friend to go antiquing, if you like. Personally, I hate it and won't be going. I would like to take you out on the town Saturday nights, so here's a credit card to go shopping for dresses and jewelry.
"As for me, I will be on the golf course, or doing other leisure activities that please me. Let's have some fun with our money on the weekends from now on." If she squeaks in protest, pretend she said, "Wonderful!" and carry on with the plan in a casual happy manner. Just say, "Be dressed up and ready to go at 6:30. Our reservation is at 7 p.m. at a surprise restaurant." Let us know how it goes.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: How do I know my husband has a mistress? He had two necklaces in heart shapes made up at the same time, with identical inscriptions. I found the bill with the instructions. The other necklace is obviously for some unlucky woman I don't know yet. If I did, she'd have two black eyes. Our twin engravings say, "Love Always."
The guy who engraved the necklaces freaked out when I phoned the place, and wouldn't answer my questions. He must have phoned my husband ASAP. My husband quickly bought a third identical necklace and brought it home for my daughter with "Love Always, Dad" on it. He gave me mine at the same time. It wasn't our daughter's birthday or anything; he was just trying to put the cat back in the bag. Now what? -- Not Leaving After 21 Years, North Kildonan
Dear Not Leaving: It'd be a big mistake to let your daughter know what's happened -- a trauma for her. Since you're in shock and say you're not leaving, put your necklace in the box and put it in your husband's sock drawer, or his car. He will know that you know something, but he won't know how much you know. Give him the inscrutable sphinx look.
If you intend to wait out this affair, ask him privately to stop seeing the other woman. Tell him breaking up the family will break your heart and that of your daughter. If he loves you and this is simply the greed of an arrogant person who thought he could juggle sex with two, he may be scared enough to stop. Or, he may want out. Counselling for the two of you, or just you alone, is in order right now, as you are likely to emerge from the denial stage soon.
Please send your questions or comments c/o firstname.lastname@example.org or mail letters to Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg R2X 3B6.