DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I can well understand that woman called Need Meds, from Linden Woods wanting to get away from it all, for two weeks. I was in the same boat years ago. And like her, I couldn't even consider taking two weeks off to "recharge my batteries." However I could take a mini-holiday twice a year, in spring and fall. I'd check into the Holiday Inn on Pembina (it felt safe there), during the week to a room on the sunny south side. I'd pack a "self-help book," a few books by favourite authors and a journal, knitting or crocheting. The first afternoon, I'd lie on the bed, and savour the warmth of the sun and have a nap. Later I'd go down for supper, with a book. Back in my room, I'd read, and watch TV if there was a favourite program on. Next morning, I'd journal three pages by hand which helps to clarify what's going on in our lives, and what can be done about it. Even hanging in there and doing "nothing" is a choice. Then I'd order room service breakfast and eat by the window, watching everybody hustling to get to work, while I had a whole free day ahead of me. Later, I'd go for a long walk (essential) and have lunch somewhere, and perhaps pick up something for dinner. Then I'd spend a leisurely evening doing what I wanted -- reading, knitting, watching TV. Next morning I'd journal again, have breakfast, and stay in my room until shortly before checkout. I realize that this does cost, but it was worth it to keep me sane. Another thing I did was ask The Universe to help me love my husband as he needed to be loved. Somehow as I changed, he changed also. Life is good! -- Now a Grandma, St. Boniface
Dear Grandma: Good on you! You took a sanity break, even if people like your husband may have raised an eyebrow. It did you and your marriage a lot of good. More of us -- both sexes -- should treasure ourselves enough to do that. It's not wasted money; it's an investment in the rest of the year, your marriage and your family. What you did was very wise. How did your husband react the first time you packed and did it, by the way?
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I thought you were really off the mark re: Porky Pig, where you advised the insulted man to tell his wife off. In this case, the whole world can see that Porky has increased in size, but what they can't see is his fear that he might remain this way... It's interesting how we will willingly bare our bodies with others, but we will not be as open about exposing our true feelings to these same individuals. So, hunky hockey player has become chunky couch potato. His girlfriend didn't tell him anything he didn't already know. Yes, she did so in a most clumsy manner and in a highly inappropriate setting. Instead of his angrily denying the flabby truth, it was time for some open communication, taking their relationship to a new level of intimacy and vulnerability, one that goes beyond just the physical. They both need to make significant, conscious changes in how they communicate. -- Old Married Man
Dear Married: You have half a point. But, when someone is completely insulted by their mate, that minute is not the one where he can say, "Let's communicate about this in a kind and helpful way, darling." That comes later, maybe after one return volley.
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