DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I lost control and screamed at my stupid mechanic today. He has fixed my car three times, only to have it stop dead on the road in the heat again. He told me to get my $%#@ old lady car out of his garage, and he never wanted to see me again. I screamed some more swear words back at him, and he picked up his cell and said he was calling 911 to come and take me to jail. I demanded my money back, and he told me to "stuff it where the sun don't shine." So I yelled, "See you in court, you moron!" I squealed out and I could see him giving me the finger in my rear view mirror. I got home and told my husband and he said I am a "hysterical nutcase." I phoned my daughters and they told me I need to see a shrink because it's the third big blow-out this month. My oldest said, "Face it. You are a rageaholic." Do you think I have a problem? -- Definitely Not a Nutcase, St. Vital
Dear Definitely Not: At the risk of being a new target, let me say you need professional help. You're losing total control and raging in a way that could get you into legal trouble. It's time you listened to somebody outside yourself, who cares about you -- like members of your family. See your physician for a referral to a psychiatrist or psychologist who specifically treats anger management. In the meantime, your doc may want to put you on an anti-anxiety drug to keep from blowing off. Also get involved in a daily exercise program to wear down that enormous store of nervous energy. The shrink will help you get at the causes of your anger/anxiety, and teach you new ways of thinking and behaving.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: We were at a barbecue at a friend's cabin at our lake. Because we could walk home, the host was making stiff cocktails. I haven't been that tipsy in years. About midnight, half a dozen of us went down to the beach to watch the stars, and started laughing and joking. Then one guy said, "Let's skinny dip, like the old days" so we stripped off and went in the water. My husband was not there; he was back at the bonfire. When I came back to the fire, my shirt was on backwards with the ticket showing in front. He grabbed me by the arm and took me home where he put me in a chair and interrogated me like a gestapo agent, accusing me of having sex with a certain guy there. I mostly convinced him of the truth but he keeps coming back to it. How do I get him to stop obsessing and driving us both crazy? I am innocent. -- Skinny Dipper, Not a Cheater, Lake Winnipeg
Dear Dipper: Next time you get together with your neighbours, bring the skinny-dipping incident out in the open so people can talk about it and joke about it. Then, even if your husband isn't laughing, it will finally be real to him, instead of a big story created to cover up a tryst. Keeping the skinny dipping hush-hush is a sure way for the people who participated to look guilty. Since it was just a swim in the dark, nobody should be in much trouble over this. Next time, take your husband with you.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: Why do women want guys to be the gift givers? If I forgot my girlfriend's birthday, she would howl. She just forgot my birthday and didn't even apologize. When I mentioned it (feeling embarrassed), she said, "Oh I'll take you out for dinner on the weekend, then." Like it was nothing. -- Hurt Feelings, Selkirk
Dear Hurt: She is not typical of most women, who generally remember birthdays, anniversaries and Valentine's occasions. Before you promote her to something other than your girlfriend, think about finding someone more thoughtful.
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