Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I broke up with my sweaty girlfriend - Miss Au Naturel - because I can't stand her armpits and summer is coming. She seems to enjoy being in the centre of a cloud of body odour. I tell her about it and she just laughs and says "I kinda like it when it's new."
When I finally dumped her over her armpits, she said I was old-fashioned and would probably die of aluminum poisoning from my own anti-perspirant. I really liked her otherwise, but I don't see any solution. -- Not Into B.O.
Dear Not Into B.O.: There isn't a solution. She needs another au naturel person who loves their body odours, and they can get together and have a marvellous time. Just let this stinker go and don't fret over the parting shots. You hurt her feelings, so she was getting you back - and it worked. Think of it as a soccer game, that ended up one-one.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: A few years ago, I had a little crush on a man who rides the 68 bus with me. He is a quiet, good-looking man with a sweet smile, who is always reading a book. I was involved with someone at the time, so it was never more than a one-sided, mild flirtation and then, one day, he wasn't there any more. I never really thought much of it until now.
My relationship is ending and I've started taking an earlier bus, only to find my former crush had just changed his hours of work. I'd love to follow up on this, but when our house sells, I will move and take a different bus. Until then, I am living (but no longer sleeping) with another man. What should I do? Would I be cheating if I start something while I'm still sharing a house with my soon- to-be ex? -- Bus Lust, Winnipeg
Dear Bus Lust: My, you are a frisky filly, and so eager to get out of that gate. Could you keep this transit romance gentled down until you divest yourself of the marital home and the man you want to lose for good? It will be better for the finances if you aren't actually "cheating." You need a new place of your own badly. For now, befriend the bus lust guy but don't ask him out until you get away from the marriage house.
By the way, what does it matter if the bus passenger is only on your same bus route temporarily, if you have decided to actually get to know him this time? You could find a way to meet - rent a car, pick him up in a taxi, the back of a scooter. Where's your gumption?
Dear Readers: This letter is in response to Wildly who is several work levels above the guy she lusts for at work, and they have recently shared some passionate attack-style kisses. -- Miss L.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I was appointed as the first sexual harassment investigation officer at a university in Canada and have since handled several hundred cases of every type of harassment. The writer and her fellow are in a difficult situation, but both can be protected and safe. Sexual harassment is about power, and usually the abuse of this power. This does not appear to be the case here. The company also has to have it's rights protected.
If these two really want to explore a relationship, they must apprise upper management. As she's at a higher level in the company, she must not supervise him, or have any input into performance reviews. Both should be given a document drawn up by legal counsel, recognizing the relationship, and absolving either party of any kind of coercion or harassment or reprisal should things go south, and also absolving the company of any responsibility, should things not work out. Once it's out of the closet, they must remain professional and above reproach by other employees.
I had this work successfully on more than one occasion. On another occasion when one party did not agree to explore this option, it became very clear that other motives were at play. -- One Who Knows, Winnipeg
Dear One Who Knows: Thank you for writing to help. It's refreshing to hear there's a solution to this problem, as so many people of both sexes work and a huge percentage of people now fall for people within their own companies. If they're on the same level, it minimizes the problem, though people working around the lovebirds often don't like the extra tight bonding in their midst.
Would Wildly and her lusty crush really want to go to upper management to say they wanted to explore a relationship and write a kind of workplace pre-nup? Probably not right away. Maybe they should, if things get emotional. But, to just go to management and say, "We're thinking of dating and trying things out" would take a lot of courage at any stage. Your idea sounds great to me, as a counsellor type, but realistically I think people would not want to alert the upper mucky-mucks until it was getting serious.
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.