DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I have an ugly face with an upside-down mouth. The corners of my mouth turn down and I always look like I'm frowning and disapproving, unless I am smiling really hard like an idiot. People often say, "What's wrong?" or "Are you mad at me?" I wasn't always like this. I got this from DNA and aging, so I have both inner-face jowls and a turned-down mouth. I looked in the mirror this morning and thought, "You really look like a bloodhound."
The thing is I'd like to have a facelift, which the doctor says would change all this, but my husband doesn't want to pay for "unnecessary" cosmetic surgery. We both work, but he makes considerably more than I do. I have some inheritance money from when my mother died, but I was hoping to save that for a rainy day. What do you think? Is this the time? -- Ugly Bloodhound, South End
Dear Bloodhound: Feeling the way you do is giving you a lot of rainy days now, and the problem is not going to magically go away. Maybe this procedure is meant to be a gift to yourself instead of a gift from your husband. How would you like it if your husband asked you to pay for cosmetic surgery for the bags around his eyes that make him look tired and old? On a more sensitive note, he may be secretly worrying about financing this operation to the one he loves, as almost every surgery poses a small threat to one's life. Would he consider going half? If not, you might still consider doing it yourself, since it's causing you so much angst.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm a male pig -- not a macho pig. I have very good manners, but I'm a porker and I eat way too much. I am always stuffing my mouth in front of the TV and computer. This month I'm 70 pounds heavier than my wedding-day weight and my doctor just told me I'm "morbidly obese" at age 30. My wife is a totally fit runner. I can tell she is disgusted with my fat, although she still likes sex. Now, it has to be with her in the superior position, because she's the athlete and I'm too heavy. I also found out she's afraid I might die during the act. She only whispered that once when she was half asleep, and not quite conscious of what she was saying. That made me cry. How can I stop? The doctor's warnings only made me nervous, and I eat way more. -- Fat Husband, Wolseley
Dear Fat Husband: You can't stuff your face when you're out of the house in the middle of an activity, so book yourself into a number of activities this fall to fill up the time when you would ordinarily be at home watching TV or sitting at the computer. Clubs, hobby groups, the gym -- anything to get you away from the place where you are killing yourself by continuing to overeat. Take your wife with you to some activities she'd enjoy and go to the rest with buddies or on your own.
You also need to see a psychologist who has dealt with eating problems and try to get to the bottom of what is eating at you -- it could be many things together. Your family doctor may have a doctor's name to suggest, or you can ask around. Patients generally make their own appointments with psychologists and you may have work insurance to cover it. Overeaters Anonymous would also be a good place for you to work on your issues in the company of other courageous people. For info and meeting times go to www.oa.org.
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