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Stay away from former student

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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I ran into a student of mine from Grade 12 a month ago, and he's a handsome businessman in his 30s now. We were at a bar downtown and he asked me to dance. I thought, why not? One dance turned into many and we had a few drinks and a lot of fun playing catch-up. Then he asked me to go for coffee with him. We talked for hours over coffee. I found out he really liked me in high school but knew I was not available, being a teacher, so he concentrated on his girlfriend. Now, in his mid-30s and unmarried, he is asking me, an early 40s woman who's divorced, to go out with him and I have gone twice to the movies with him. The difference is six years, not much really. I kind of got my mind around the teacher/student problem, but then he invited me to a social where all his old buddies (my former students) would be, and my mind just freaked. I yelled "No!" He keeps calling since then, but I have shut down my growing feelings for him, even though I really, really like the man he has become. What should I do? -- His Old Teacher, Winnipeg

Dear Teacher: The problem is the context. For him, it would be a coup to bring you into the group as his woman. But it would be a sharp drop in status for you to come into the room on your former student's arm, with a bunch of your old students sitting there sniggering. Even though you don't mess with current students, it would give people that idea. It's understandable you freaked at the thought of this date. Had you met him in another city where none of the old school context was there to complicate things, it might have been fine. What was he thinking trying to take a former teacher to a social like that? Did he not get that it might be extremely embarrassing for you? In some ways, he's still a school boy. It's best to stay away from him.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: There's this woman in my neighbourhood who walks around her living room naked at night. I used to walk my dog down the road, but when I saw what she was doing, I started walking down the sidewalk. She seemed to be putting on a show last night, even after my dog barked at her and she knew someone was looking. She doesn't look up or look out the windows but she parades around -- doing a lot of unnecessary walking, as far as I can see -- and stretches her arms over her head, and such. It's quite something to see, like a European movie. Do you think she knows people can see her at night? -- Curious Dog Walker, Fort Garry

Dear Curious: Oh, she knows all right. That's Grade 1, page 2 in exhibitionist class. When it gets dark outside and the lights are on inside, you can see in people's windows perfectly, just like watching a big ol' movie screen. Do you want her to stop? No, you don't. So you will have to keep up your pretence of the sidewalk being the only place to walk your pooch and she will keep up her pretence of innocently walking around at night, naked and "unseen." Sounds like a good pairing of performer and audience, as long as you don't start bragging about it. Good luck with that.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 24, 2012 G6

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