DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: Eight days ago, I ran into an old love in the Polo Park mall. We were each other's first loves, and it was a no-holds-barred kind of thing, unmarred by fear or "baggage." We were 16. At 18, we were torn apart when her parents sent her to the States to go to the same university her American-born mother used to attend. I always thought it was to stop us from getting married young and having babies. We wrote heartbroken letters for a year-and-a-half and only saw each other a little. Finally, we agree to date other people and the inevitable happened -- for both of us. Well, guess what? Her husband died a few years ago, and my wife and I have been talking about splitting up. I didn't tell my former love about that. I wouldn't want her to ever think it was her fault, but if there were a ghost of a chance I could be with her again, I would break up with my wife immediately. My wife and I have been ships who pass in the night for years -- she may love my money, but she doesn't really like me. When I saw my true love, everything came back to life again. How should I handle this? What if she doesn't want me either? I think she does, though. I think I saw it in her eyes. -- Dreaming of Her, Selkirk
Dear Dreaming: There's only one way to go. Get counselling for your marriage with a view to ending it as amicably as possible, if it is truly dead, as you say. If you break up, wait a few months and contact your first love then. She will not want you trying to hustle her while you're still with your wife. That would be disgusting. A chance meeting, like the one you had, is one thing. Secret meetings at bars, coffee shops and hotels are quite another. Widows are less amused by this kind of nonsense than most people.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I am 45, divorced, and sick and tired of being thin. Everybody talks about taking weight off, but nobody talks about putting it on, in a healthy way. When I asked my doctor, who is fat, he laughed and said, "Do you know how many people want to be slim like you are?" Miss Lonelyhearts, I am a GUY, with a nice face and great hair, so I am told. But, I don't want to look like a weakling all my life and I won't take steroids to put on the weight and muscle. What do you suggest? Who can I turn to? My goal is to put on 20 pounds and be a normal weight for my height with some noticeable musculature. Right now I look like a stick figure. Some people wonder if I am ill. -- Good Looking Skeleton? Winnipeg
Dear Skeleton: See a dietitian and get into a weightlifting program at the same time. Believe me, you don't want to be a skeleton with a pot belly, and in your 40s, that can easily happen. You need someone who can guide you from skeleton to hottie instead. That will take time, but it can be done over a period of six months or so if you pay close attention to calories out and calories in and muscle toning. (This would not be a good time to take up long-distance running.) If you're like many ultra-skinny people, you often just forget to eat. So you may even have to start setting a watch alarm to remind you it's time to strap on the feedbag every few hours. Don't try to get bigger by eating fast food. Fill yourself with nutritious food and some high-calorie treats. Good luck!
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