Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My wife is a wonderful, creative person and goes all out for my birthdays with surprise parties and trips and such. I have the imagination of a turnip. It's gotten so I feel very guilty because her birthdays with me are so predictable. I give her red roses and mushy notes and take her out for dinner. What could I do to pay her back, just once? It's not that I don't have money to do something big and different, but I just can't think of anything original. -- The Turnip, Fort Garry
Dear Turnip: Find a party planner within your family and subsidize a big, fancy at-home party for your wife's next birthday. Make it almost as good as the events she plans, but don't outdo her. Pay your planner to do everything -- invite everybody, choose a theme and get the whole event -- food, decor, music -- ready to be transported over to your house at a certain time in cars. Your job is to tell your wife 30 minutes ahead to get dressed up, as something special is about to happen.
When the cars arrive, you blindfold her and sit her in a chair while everyone comes in. Let her listen to everything happening around her -- that's part of the fun -- and have everybody hug her and kiss her as she sits there. When the blindfold finally comes off, the ladies can help put on her tiara and then you get down on one knee, say your mushy stuff, and present her with a fancy birthstone ring which she can show everybody for months! Maybe you can't organize this yourself, but you can make it happen, and be her hero.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: When I read the recent letters about May-December relationships, I couldn't help thinking of my parents. They were 16 years apart in age and enjoyed a happy marriage of 46 years together. My mom always knew there would come a time when she would be on her own -- we all did. My dad passed away five years ago and now my mom is struggling.
My parents were the happy lucky ones. I am trying to say there are pros and cons in a May-December relationship. I suggest anyone going into this type of relationship to be honest with themselves: even though it's all good in the beginning, the end can be very lonely. -- Lucky Daughter, Winnipeg
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: Love always means taking a chance, no matter what age. You don't know what lies ahead. In all relationships, whether the ages are close or far apart, the only thing you can do to minimize the chance of pain is to take your time getting to know each other before tying the knot. If you can go around the seasons twice with someone, you've had a few fights, and yet you know you're OK with all sides of that person, you take the chance on forever love. Unfortunately, May-December relationships are often hurried because the older person doesn't want to take the time. After you finally make that commitment, there's really no point in thinking about the age difference except for both people to work hard to stay active and healthy.
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