DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: This cute guy rides a certain university-route bus and sits in front of me almost every day. He smells really good. I mean, really sexy. I always sit behind him, if I can get close enough for a whiff. Yesterday we both got up at the same time and bumped right into each other, and I just burst out, "You smell good!" He got all red, and jumped off the bus. Today he had recovered himself and said to me on the way out of the bus, "You smell good, too." Now what? I guess we both passed the sniff test, but I don't know what to do now. I'm not a good flirter and need specific help. -- Sniffer, Pembina Highway
Dear Sniffer: Flirting doesn't require being clever. It does require opening your mouth and talking about something, anything, no matter now inane. That means the next time you see him, you smile and say, "How are you today?" or "What's the name of your cologne?" or "Can I sit with you?" He can take it from there. If he doesn't know what to say, you could offer a second opener such as "Are you going to work or to school?" since a Pembina Highway bus could be his mode of transport to either. If he can't help out with this flirtation after two or three openers, think of him as an exotic potted plant on the bus, and forget about flirting with it.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I went out to dinner with a person I thought was a great guy. We are alike in so many ways -- at least online we were. But he didn't count on how hungry I would be. I ate one entree and it wasn't enough to fill me up, so I ordered a second one and told him I would pay for it, and then I had dessert. You should know I am a very skinny girl. When we were splitting the bill up, he looked at me and said, "I don't think I could afford to feed you, girl!" and he laughed. I didn't laugh. I always eat like this and I'm slim because I'm a marathon runner and I need a lot of calories to support my long daily runs.
He phoned and asked for another date "for drinks only" and made another crack about how much I eat. I went and had a pretty good time laughing and talking, but I don't know if I want this self-conscious feeling I'm getting about my eating. By the way, he's an athlete and he should know what it takes to keep going calorie-wise. -- Not a Fat Slob, Winnipeg
Dear Not Fat: Who said you were fat? He didn't. This guy had just never seen a woman eat with gusto like that. You need a better sense of humour about all this. "What's the matter, you can't keep up?" said with a big smile, would have started some fun conversation. Talk to the man about your metabolism and how many calories it takes to support a 10 K-plus run. The man needs an education right now, before you give up. Tell him his comments make you feel self-conscious and you can't keep hanging with him if you feel that way. He'll start whistling a different tune if he likes you.
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