DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I don't want to come home from the lake. The kids and I are so happy here this summer with my bossy husband visiting on weekends only. When he comes, we are happy to see him for the first few hours only. When he goes home on Sunday, we can finally relax. He is a Type A high-achiever who is always interrupting any conversation or activity we do with his lecturing on how things could be done better. Then there's his Blackberry, which I'd like to throw in the lake. It's like he has a lover in a little black box, and she is present with us at the lake. It comes before all of us. I find this as revolting as an addiction to booze. I told him so this last weekend and he took off early. He probably parked around the corner as soon as he was out of sight to get on the $@#& Blackberry for an hour! I'm plain sick of it and him and our whole life back In Winnipeg, but the kids and I can't stay at the lake forever. I feel trapped, heading for a big depression. What to do? -- Tears, As I Write, Lake of the Woods
Dear Tears: The good news? You're not stuck. Don't let yourself sink into depression. Don't get sad, get righteously mad. Start to fight for a better marriage and home life. If you don't stay the same, your husband can't react to you the same. What you need to do now is look at two lines -- the bottom line and a deadline for change. You need money to raise kids and it seems you're either a teacher or you're not working outside the home. Or, perhaps you're just a meek mouse. You need more power, woman and money is power, to a great degree. That means you need to be bringing sufficient funds to support yourself and the kids -- even if you're hoping to work things out with your husband. Tell your husband right now you want to see a relationship counsellor, as soon as you're back, because you're that unhappy and concerned. Work at two things -- the marriage and getting a career hopping -- with the same energy. And, speak up even if it rocks the boat! The worst thing you can do now is go home, press your lips together and "put up with it" for the kids. After a time, you'll be so angry and depressed you won't be able to rescue yourself.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I have a crush on this hottie who pumps gas near my house. I go for $5 worth at a time, just so I can see him every day. He is so cute and he's only about two years older (like 17 or 18). I asked him if he's going to high school and he said yes, but he didn't say where. Is it wrong to try to pick up a guy at a gas pump? -- Crazy About Him, Winnipeg
Dear Crazy: Ambitious guys who are still going to school can certainly work at gas pumps as first jobs. It's not a career path, so don't make too much of it. Look, your flirting techniques need addressing. Just popping in and out and handing him the $5 isn't going anywhere. Get right out of the car and talk to the guy using reporter questions that start with W's -- who, what, why, where and when. You may find out he's not available or interesting, or he's very single but not very interested in you. On the other hand, he may like you back and just need a little bringing out. To find out if he's a hero or a zero you have to get past his hot looks and find out who's in there. From now on, go less often and buy enough gas to earn you a five-minute chat.
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