DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: The recent letter published by the parent who raised "fools" instead of children (adults who would not leave the nest) hit home with me. I am a parent of six children, and all are successful in their life situations. One of my expectations as a parent was that eventually they'd get jobs, establish careers and leave home. If things got bad for them the home was there as a refuge, if needed, and they could always come home and start over. But, my expectation was also made known that if the chicks didn't leave the nest, the nest will leave them. My advice to the parent start preparing to sell your home and move to a smaller home with very limited guest spaces. -- Dad Who Knows, Winnipeg
Dear Dad: Moving to another house because you're too scared to tell your 20-something kids it's time to get an apartment, shows to the "kids" that you don't have adult courage either. The parents in question need to say pleasantly but firmly: "Anybody who's in their 20s in this house has to move out within three months. You're welcome to take your old beds." (Once you get their beds out, they can't come back for extended sleepovers.) Moving out means they have to get a decent job, or two part-time jobs, and make a living. They might not like it at first, but they will respect their parents in the end. And within the first few months, they will notice the "living out" situation turns out to be a lot more fun than staying with mom and dad. It may not be as easy or as cheap, but there's a lot more privacy and it's a social situation -- a special time with friends before mates and kids. On the serious side, they learn how to pay bills, and buy food and clothing, and what everything costs in life and how important it is to get a good education and a career going.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm crazy about my funny dentist and don't know how to see more of him. He's single -- I heard his receptionist mention it about six months ago. Since then I have had all my teeth fixed and cleaned and whitened and rechecked for cavities. There's nothing left to do. He is hilarious, and pleasant and sweet. I think he likes me, but it's hard to do much talking with your mouth open and equipment in the way. I know it's not proper to hit on your doctor, but a dentist isn't really the same thing. I mean he's on only seeing the inside of your mouth, not anything really private. What do you think? -- Crazy About Him, Winnipeg
Dear Crazy: Find a new dentist who only makes your gums tingle. A dentist is a professional and can't be fooling around with patients any more than a doctor can, so it's time to back off this guy. You don't need any more dental work, so take the next half year before your next checkup to look for someone who's single and available. Chasing unavailable people is a way of avoiding a real love life. What payback do you get from having a dream lover instead of a real lover who can hold you and love you and take you out? Are you still hurting from the last breakup, or not feeling "in shape" to be dating? Look, there is no next move to be made except to change your attitude and look for a new dentist, since this one is filling your dreams as well as filling your teeth.