DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My boyfriend's jealous little dog is a leg biter. He has nipped me a half a dozen times and I'm scared and unhappy to be around him. Last night I gave my BF an ultimatum. I told him it was "either me or the dog" and he said this speech: "My dog is my family, and you are not, so it's the dog."
I said, "I thought you loved me!" He said, "Yes, in a sexual and friend way, but not like family." So I have been dumped for a dog, and I have been a "friend with privileges" all along. How does that make me feel? Pretty lousy. -- Lower Than the Dog, Downtown
Dear Lower: Most people just get dumped over lack of interest or feeling and there's no dog excuse involved.
Maybe you could stop and re-think this. This guy says he didn't love you in a big way and he'll keep the dog, thanks. That's not such a bad deal. Now you know, ahead of schedule, he didn't really think of you as a keeper, and he didn't mean "capital-L" love.
Now you can heal up in all respects and get on with your life, without the bites and bruises on your legs. The next woman who comes into his life will encounter the same little nipper crunching on her calves. Perhaps you can find some satisfaction in that thought, once you stop feeling small, and start feeling angry!
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm hurt about the way my mother favours my sister because she lives out of the house and has a job and money. I quit school in Grade 11 because my teachers didn't like me, and now I can't get a decent job. But, I do help my mom out a lot in the house and garden and work part time. Mom always says, "Why can't you be like your sister?' I say, "Because I'm me and not my sister, who is lucky." What can I do to make my mom love me more? -- Staying Home, Wolseley
Dear Staying: Your mom has given you the clues, although she hasn't been sensitive about it. She is worried you are not going to "launch" from the house. Momma wants you to get more education and a job so you can be independent and get a place of your own or with friends. First step to feeling good about yourself is making the first step of change. Getting your Grade 12 to qualify you to go after a career is what you need. Please write back quickly and tell me how old you are and we'll go from there on finding programs to get that happening soon.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My boyfriend is a loser and I know it, but he's all I can get. All my girlfriends have boyfriends and that's what they like to talk about. If I get rid of him, I won't be part of the group any more.
My dad had a "little talk" with me this morning and said he was "concerned" about my choice of boys, and asked me if I would think about that. Can you help me? I don't really like my latest boyfriend but I don't want to be alone and left out by my friends. I am 14. -- Stuck With Him? North End
Dear Stuck: Clearly you don't respect the guy you have now. Open your eyes and look around. Luckily, school starts in a few weeks. Now is a great time in the year to free yourself up. You might also reconsider hanging with this group of girlfriends, who don't want a pal who is single, and look for different activities and a new group of friends in September. Being single can be a lot of fun, with good friends around you.
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.