DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I absolutely hate the way my wife dresses and walks now that she fancies herself an elite athlete. She has run a couple of marathons now and she dresses like she's going out for a run 24/7. Last night I took her out for a fancy dinner with friends and she wore an expensive running suit and running shoes. She loves it if someone asks her if she's an athlete and goes on to bore them about her marathon running "career." Ha! She's a clerk in a store as a career, for God's sake. What if I wore my hockey jersey from my casual hockey group, instead of a dress pants and shirt to go to a gourmet dinner? What is wrong with her tiny little brain? Talk about putting on airs and acting like something you're not. -- Disgusted Husband, Tuxedo
Dear Disgusted: Finally, your wife feels she has an identity. The store clerk job doesn't do it for her in her eyes (or yours) and she knows it. But, now she has a passion and a career as a marathon runner. People exclaim over amazing running ability and will ask about her upcoming race trips. She goes off to events that are dramatic and challenging. Unfortunately, she feels she has to wear a costume all the time to attract attention to this new identity. But a race suit worn to a fancy dinner is inappropriate. Next time you're going out somewhere formal and she puts on the running gear, ask her how she'd like it if you wore your hockey jersey. Make your point verbally, with gentle humour. But, if she insists on the running suit, put on your shirt, tie and hockey jersey and wear it just until you're ready to leave the house. By then, you might have made a deal with her to change.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm heartbroken. Myself and a number of friends used to be real close. We felt so at ease with each other that we could discuss our relationships openly, everything from money to work to sex. From out of nowhere, one of my friends' dads put a stop to it. He says it's because of his religion and what we were talking about was simply outrageous and not acceptable to him. It's not really right, but a few of us went behind her back and still discuss stuff, just without her involved. I feel torn. I know she's hurting not having us to talk to, but I also feel the need to continue sharing my feelings with these other people. She was the one who originally started the discussion group, so I almost feel like I am somehow cheating on her. Should I tell her, and hope maybe she sneaks behind her dad's back to join us again? -- Feeling Guilty, Winnipeg
Dear Feeling Guilty: You don't say how old you are, but you must not be yet be college age or we wouldn't be having this discussion. This dad has no right to stop anyone other than his daughter from doing anything. If she's not allowed to participate, that's no reason to shut her out as a friend, but you also should not rub it in her face that you still talk at a deeper level with the other friends in the group. There's a point at which people don't tell their parents everything and don't let their parents rule their lives. She will reach that point one day. Do you think she wants her father ruling your lives, too? Not likely! She just doesn't want you to ignore her and stop being friends with her.
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