DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I ate a lot of barbecued food and drank a few beers in the sun and then puked at my buddy's parents' cabin on an ugly couch. He didn't care, but his mother was grossed out and made up some excuse why he and I had to go back to the city early.
I didn't mean to honk all over the ancient sofa on the screened-in porch, and it was ugly anyway. She said it was OK, but she was fussing about it all morning trying to get the smell out with baking soda. I went home in shame. But I'm not a quitter! I'd like to be invited back out there. Should I send the mother a note of apology or something or are my cabin days at their place all done? -- Shameful Honker, Lake of the Woods
Dear Honker: Send a note, but chances are you won't be invited out until next year, when the faint scent of stomach contents has evaporated from the screened porch. Mom will then remember your lovely, flowery note and perhaps think kindly of you again. She would probably have you back sooner, if you made a big deal about bringing your own tent.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I gave my girlfriend an engagement ring and I know she doesn't like it. That hurts, eh? When someone asks to see it and then doesn't comment, she makes excuses like, "Oh I said I didn't want much, just a little symbol since we're saving our money for a big honeymoon." That's the first I've heard about a big honeymoon. We have never even discussed it and can hardly afford the rent. Should I save up and get her a new ring? -- Kinda Broke, West End
Dear Kinda Broke: Save up for the rent (for the slim-money months). Don't get married until you can pay rent and the bills easily between the two of you and have some money put away for the wedding, no matter how small it is. Being short for the necessities of life -- the rent, food, utilities -- should tell you this is not the time to bring on additional wedding expenses. Put off the wedding for a bit. When the time comes, pick out a ring you both like together and make plans.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My son has come out in Vancouver and is wearing women's clothes now on a day-to-day basis. He hasn't had the transgender operations yet, but intends to. I am all right with it as his mom, but his dad is not.
Our son/now daughter wants to come home to Winnipeg in September for a visit wearing her new style of dress all the time, and my husband says he's too embarrassed. What should I tell my new daughter? I won't tell her that she can't come to her own parents home. -- Not a Hypocrite, North End
Dear Not a Hypocrite: Dad will need to get used to this change, so don't give in to his non-invitation hints. A gentler reintroduction might work best. If your new daughter comes home, the deal is you two do lots of things outside the house as well, so it isn't a disapproving dad staring at his new daughter with the transgender issue hanging overhead.
Give dad a chance to get to know his changed offspring in female clothes. That gives dad time to get used to it without a 24/7 thing going on. His daughter is moving forward, and would appreciate his coming along.
Here's an idea that would be fun for you, as the more accepting one: Go out to visit your new daughter and meet all her fun friends in Vancouver.
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.