DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My best friend and I are not talking because we slapped each other. We got drunk and got into a big fight at the bar, and she called me a name. I couldn't allow anyone to disrespect me like that, so I slapped her face. She slapped me back, then security jumped on us and threw us out. Now I want to be friends again, but don't know how to approach her in case she sees me coming and slaps me again. I saw her across the bar last weekend and I miss her friendship a lot. Everybody we know goes there on Saturday nights. Help me make up! -- Sorry Now, West End
Dear Sorry: Liquor may give you courage to open your mouth and apologize, but it can also get you all hepped up in a bad way. Start by sending her a text or email today that simply says, "I'm sorry. Want to be friends again?" If she replies to that note, you can approach her in the bar on a Saturday, say hello, and have a "girlfriend moment" with a hug. If she wants to have a big discussion about it right there, suggest you get together for lunch the next week, otherwise you could get back into the argument, and the booze could make you both say too much.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My last fling was 12 years ago. I'm a recluse now and have chronic, but not deadly, health problems. I'm on medication, but am fairly ambulatory. I'm not good looking, am average height and weight for a 50-year-old (opposite of a Barbie doll, but not a troll) and not interested in sex. The only guys who are interested in me are damaged. I am waiting for a "normal" man to rock my world figuratively. Is that too much to hope for, or am I destined to be alone? Friends and relatives don't introduce me to eligible male friends because I'm damaged goods. I live in the country and know very few people, none my age.
I tried Adventures for Successful Singles 15 years ago, and I had fun, but made no serious or lasting friendships. Now I'm wrinkled and no longer cute. I want a companion who is not mentally disabled, a sex addict or freakish. The last normal man I met for coffee ended with his saying he was uncomfortable. I knew we wouldn't be romantic, but the coffee date ended quite dead. Another new acquaintance just wants sex. I am looking for male companionship and maybe love. What do you advise? -- Stuck in Cement, Winnipeg
Dear Stuck: You say you want a normal relationship, but you don't want sex. Physical loving is normal in a romantic adult relationship. If you just want friendships with men and women you can find them again by rejoining the activity club, but what I think you're really saying is you want a romantic no-sex relationship with a guy. They do exist. There are nice men -- older than you are -- who can't have sex any more, but would enjoy warmth, companionship and cuddling. Maybe they've tried medications like Viagra and other medications and don't like the side effects or their libido has quietened down, anyway.
But, first things first. If you want a guy of any age, you're going to have to improve your attitude and appearance. Psychiatrists referred by your physician are free on Medicare. Talking out your stuck-ness could help you get back into the warm flow of life. You can look more attractive with a little effort -- women are lucky that way. With the normal figure you describe, you can buy cool clothes and great accessories. You can get a free makeover at almost any makeup counter and a nice modern haircut and colour is always available. It's a matter of motivation, and that's where counselling can really help. When you stop thinking you're "stuck in cement," you won't be.
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