DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: Well good riddance to 2013, which was nothing but a load of rubbish. I have a question about ringing in 2014: I have never received a kiss at midnight in my whole life. I'm going to a singles party on New Year's Eve and I want a kiss, dammit. I know some of the women who go to these parties, but I don't know if you can just lean in for a smooch at midnight or what. One of the guys at the bar today told me you can get your face slapped for that. Should I ask for a kiss, or just assume it's all right because it's New Year's Eve at midnight? -- Hesitant Midnight Mover, Winnipeg
Dear Midnight Mover: If you think about getting a kiss at midnight all evening, you're going to have a determined, and perhaps sleazy, expression on your face. Women have been known to hide out in the bathroom at singles dances if they think somebody they aren't friends with is just waiting to pounce on them at the countdown. Your best bet would be to get friendly and have some great talks and dances with the women around you, then try to get something fun happening, in terms of a coffee date, for the first week of the new year. Do that rather than acting like a heat-seeking missile trying to steal a kiss.
A new year's kiss is not a popular thing these days, anyway. In fact, people are sometimes worried about getting "germs" passed to them by a kiss. Also, some guys who've had too much to drink go in for a French kiss. If you do get a kiss offered, make it warm, and lips-only.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I was wondering if you could give me some advice about what to do with a neighbour -- a smooth operator -- who tells me months before he's going away on such and such a date. The day before he leaves he calls again about dropping off his mailbox key. He never directly asks me if it would be convenient for me to pick up his mail or to check his apartment while he is gone.
He is gone several times a year for 10 to 14 days each time. When he gets home he never gives me anything and hardly says thanks. We live in a high-rise block and talk about condo affairs. We are also key buddies since there is no on-site property manager. At a recent condo event I won a raffle basket of food goodies and wine. I gave him the wine since I don't drink that kind. When I had a water-leak problem a couple of years ago, I called him for help and later gave him a $25 gift card.
When I go away I have another neighbour to get my mail and water my plants. On return I always give her flowers and something I picked up on my travels. She also does the same when I take care of her mail and plants. Any suggestions would be appreciated. My problem neighbour left yesterday again for a holiday and is going away again in the spring. -- Enough is Enough, Winnipeg
Dear Enough: Ask your plant-watering neighbour to be your key buddy. You've had more than enough of Mr. Smooth Operator. Tell him you would appreciate him giving your key back now as you have a friend who's going to be your key buddy, and you'll be taking care of her mail from now on and won't be able to do his, too. If he asks further questions, say. "I'm just making a change, thanks. Could I get my key now? I'll go get yours." Then you do the key exchange, smile and say, "Happy New Year," and be gone. No one can argue with a smiling, "I just don't want to." He could argue with a problem, if you'd state one, but act as if there is no problem.
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, MB, R2X 3B6