Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm terrified of rodents and my wife thinks this is funny. Last weekend our cat left two dead mice on the rug at the bedroom door and I almost stepped on them in my bare feet. I freaked. I jumped back into bed and pulled the blankets over my head.
My wife said to me with a voice of contempt: "Well, you big baby, I am carrying these mice over to the bed and I'm going to throw them on you." I jumped out of the bed in horror and screamed. She was laughing at me, holding the mice up by their tails and wiggling them at me. I begged her to take them and get out of the house. She finally did, but won't let me forget it.
I happen to know she's deathly afraid of spiders. I would never throw one on her head, but now, God help me, I feel like it. I love her, but I am deeply angry over what she did. I need to do something to get rid of this feeling of humiliation and anger toward her because I haven't been able to have sex with her since the incident. -- Cold Side of the Bed, Island Lakes
Dear Cold Side: Sit her down and say, "I'd like to talk to you about the mice and the spiders because now we have two problems: you know my worst fear and mocked me for it, and I know your worst fear -- and spider season is coming up. I don't like feeling this way -- like getting even -- but I do, and I probably will find a way to do it unless we talk this out. What do you suggest we do?"
Then wait while she digests that piece of information and don't crack a smile. Just wait. If she can't think of anything but to call you stupid and immature, you say: "That may be, but you still might want to get back to me before spider season starts, darling." Your sex drive should come back soon.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I think the advice you gave to the woman who says she's a "blimp" to go to Overeaters Anonymous really stunk. You can't lose weight and not gain it back. All you do is yo-yo and end up fatter. People should just eat healthy foods like I do and they would never get fat. I was only fat when I had my babies and then it went away. Why? Because I am sensible about my eating. And pep-talking herself in the mirror to fix her self-image is a bunch of silliness. I would never do that. -- No Problem, Teulon
Dear Sensible: And you have no weaknesses and are the point against which we should all measure ourselves? You may be sensible, but you're so full of yourself it's a good thing an engorged attitude doesn't have calories.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I love the advice you gave this overweight lady. I'm trying to lose weight right now myself, and that's who she has to do it for, herself! I've been getting up every morning and getting on my treadmill for over four weeks steady now with a couple of misses when I was sick. I'm going to start incorporating more things as I progress. If we can develop bad habits, we can develop good ones, right? I wish her luck! -- On the Right Track, Winnipeg
Dear Right Track: It's a multitrack problem and the more things you can do at once, the better luck you will have in beating being overweight for good. Some people are born slim, others are light eaters and others have metabolism that allows them to eat tons of food and not gain a pound. Some have skinny ancestors and others have heavy ones. It's not a level playing field. "No Problem" in Teulon probably lucked into good DNA. Good on you for trying so hard -- a changed attitude can take you a long way.
Please send your questions or comments c/o firstname.lastname@example.org or mail letters to Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6