DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: Last Christmas I bought my girlfriend a very hot see-through black outfit with garters from a sex shop for Christmas. It is still sitting in the box on the top shelf of our closet. She never wore it once. I feel like wrapping it up again and putting it under the tree as this year's gift. I asked her "Why don't you wear it for me?" and she said, "Think about that statement." I did, but I don't get it. That outfit cost me more than $150. If she bought me anything she found sexy I'd wear the thing to please her, even if it was ridiculous. That's the kind of guy I am. What's wrong with her? I don't know what to buy her this year -- flannel pyjamas with bunnies? -- Bitter, Selkirk
Dear Bitter: You bought a gift to provide entertainment for yourself. You intended for her to put it on and give you a jolly good time and wear it for you. That's not what gifting is about. The present is supposed to be for the receiver, not a set-up to give you sexual thrills. So don't give her anything from a sex shop or lingerie department this year, and forget the revenge pyjamas. Instead, look at her interests and her personality and give her something she would love, if only she had the extra money to spend.
And then there's always jewelry -- something personal. Take her shopping with you and see what she gravitates toward, and then sneak back and buy it later. That will make her so happy she might spontaneously start feeling warm towards you. The idea is to engender a free and happy emotion with a gift, not about buying yourself a sex scene. By the way, was your partner hoping for an engagement ring last year?
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: Your advice was sexist to the person signed Mr. Mom. If it were a woman asking you for this advice, would you tell her to leave her support group? Yes, tell the wife to tell the woman who has a crush to stop, however, why should he give up his social life as a stay-at-home dad? Would you have told a mom to go get a job, even part-time?
Many women are sitting ducks in our neighbourhood, but we are expected to deal with it and keep on taking care of those we love. Why should he change his lifestyle because of her behaviour? Just reverse the gender and I think you will get my point. -- Old Timer Still Fascinated By Life, Winnipeg
Dear Old Timer: Most women are not sitting ducks in their neighbourhoods because there still are hardly any Mr. Moms in 2013. There are more single dads with custody, but they have to go out to work because their exes aren't paying enough to support them staying home. Kids' activities and support groups for parents and toddlers are still 95 per cent peopled by mothers.
I'm interested in keeping families together, which means navigating around big pitfalls. When a guy is an attractive Mr. Mom and he's getting hit on it's a dangerous situation. If he went back to work part-time instead of hanging out with the many moms at groups (and the one who drops in to visit) then he and his wife would feel better.
Lots of marriages go through additional strain when children are young, and too many parents split up by the time the kids are in school. It's hard when one parent stays home a long time and isn't bringing in any money. Sometimes this work/financial imbalance creates enough resentment to break down intimacy within the couple, then everything unravels emotionally and physically and the kids lose their intact family.