DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm feeling so hurt. I'm recovering from major surgery right now and spent much of the holiday season laid up. I have a responsible job and was working from home right after my surgery. Despite how I was feeling, and against doctors orders, I went to the mall to make sure certain people like my sister and her family had Christmas gifts and I even shipped my sister a very expensive gift, but didn't even receive a card. Excuses? Too busy with her high-powered job, had a cold, and finally: "Sorry I didn't have time." How do I get over this hurt? -- Forgotten Sister, Winnipeg
Dear Forgotten: Stop doing more of what doesn't work. Don't stay home in Canada next year. Start saving now because next Christmas your gift-giving budget will be redirected at a wonderful person -- you -- and a trip with a friend or kids, if you have them, to a beautiful hot spot with sparkling blue waters for Christmas and New Year's. Or perhaps you'd enjoy a cruise? A cruise will serve a lovely Christmas dinner and New Year's party for their guests and you will meet lots of great people to enjoy them with. And how about a short trip in February or March as a balm for your hurt feelings, if you are fully recovered from your surgery. You deserve the best!
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm writing you in response to the woman who laughed at her drunk mother-in-law passing out in her dinner. Laughing can seem inappropriate, but it was probably just a nervous response. You know the saying, "If I don't laugh, I'll cry?" But, this woman's husband really needs to be reassured that her laughing was not because she is cruel. The more pressing issue is the mother-in-law's alcohol abuse. Laughing at what happened may actually have done this poor woman a favour. This may wake everyone in the family up, they will stop ignoring what is happening and get help for this woman. -- Silver Lining? Winnipeg
Dear Silver: It's certainly time for an intervention since this woman's mother-in-law showed everyone she's way out of control and can't help herself at this point. The daughter-in-law who is in the doghouse could do some research about rehab and other help available for this alcoholic lady and discreetly present it to her husband. As for mending fences with him, sometimes it takes repeated apologies to get through to someone you love and have hurt and disgusted. Finally, they will let the apology in with a comment like, "Yes, I know you are really sorry and I understand why it happened and we're OK now."
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