DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My boyfriend keeps exotic pets and I am planning to marry him. I don't, however, share his love of snakes and other creepy crawly things and will want to do away with them. I don't mean "kill" them, of course, but give them away before we get married. I'm planning that he'll ask me on Valentine's Day -- gentle hints laid, cards played, but there's still the pet problem. Everything was going smoothly until last night when I broached the topic. He's not co-operating! It's not like the pets can love him! They are wild and just his captives. I tried to explain this, but he didn't get it. He says he loves them and they love him back and he's not doing away with pets he loves. I said, "But what about me?" And then he said, "I love you, too and if we had any kids I would love them as well, but you don't seem to have that much extra love to give." I thought a man's wife was supposed to be first and foremost in his life. It seems I am tied in first place with a bunch of rodents and spiders. Last night, before I went home, I said, "It's either me or the weird pets" and he said: "I'll have to think long and hard about that. Now go, as I'm beginning to lose it." What does that mean? -- Second Fiddle to Creepy Pets, Wolseley
Dear Second Fiddle: This man is mighty turned off and angry and it's good you left the premises when you did. You're quite the little planner and manipulator, but you just came up against a cement wall. You were trying to push your man into an engagement, with a huge price. He must get rid of living creatures he loves in order to have you. You are the queen and you have said they must go. But, he is the king of his life and he has said no. He's seen an ugly side of you and he's not going to be dumping his pets off and riding out to get you a diamond, ma'am.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I went on a week's ski holiday with my boss and no one was to know. She said she had told no one and I thought we'd be A-OK. I'm not married and she's divorced but still, we didn't want people at work to think we were seeing each other. Well, when we returned to work on the same day, everybody was looking at us and trying to hide their smirking faces. My male across-the-desk mate said "Have a good time apres-skiing?" I told him to do something anatomically impossible and he said, "Have it your way, but everybody knows." So, who told? Apparently, my boss told her best friend and executive assistant and swore her to secrecy, and then had her book our tickets. My lady called her assistant into her office end of the day and a big fight ensued. We couldn't hear exactly what was said in the outer office. Now my lady/boss is studiously ignoring me both in the office and out and my feelings are hurt. We weren't in love but we had a wonderful time together when we were away. Now what? -- Totally Ignored, Downtown
Dear Ignored: Be pleasant and fake being OK with things returning to status quo. Your boss is deeply embarrassed and paying the price of her unwise dalliance now being the subject of gossip and tittering when she got back. People will get back to work and worrying about their own love lives, as long as she ignores you and they think it's over. She's actually doing you both a favour, no matter how she feels about you. If you had clearly become office pet, life at work would continue to be difficult at work for both you and her. People would stop talking to you about anything work-related if they thought you two were still sleeping and gossiping together past the holiday, imagining their words would get right back to her.
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