DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I was at a mall with my sister and just about to go into a shop when this guy approached her, and said, "How come you never wrote me back again?" She said, "Because you aren't the age you said you were in your ad." My sister is 72, still quite an athlete and looks great for her age, but I had no idea she was online dating. I looked at her in shock and horror and she laughed and said, "Mind your own business, you lonely old woman, and I'll keep enjoying mine!" I asked how long she had been dating online, and she said, "Since before my jackass of a husband died, and right after I found out he was cheating with women online." I was flabbergasted until I had time to think about it. Starting now, and I may regret this, I think I'd like to meet some men, maybe for coffee and conversation. I haven't had a man in my life for 11 years. My sister is on some seniors' sites and says she's had a lot of fun. What do you think? -- Tempted To Try, Winnipeg
Dear Tempted: Talk to your sister to learn everything she has picked up since she's been online. Also find out about online dating scammers and how to spot them -- it's not difficult once you know their tricks, and there are many anti-scam info sites on the Internet. Then, get a series of good photos taken and have some fun.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My girlfriend and I are in different high schools, one bus apart. We are of different races. Our parents would not approve if they knew, but they would love her kind of personality, which is funny and lovable. One of my brothers found out my secret. He said if I didn't do things his way from now on, he would tell my parents what was going on. This morning he asked me for $10, and although I didn't have much money, I had to give it to him. Please help me. -- Scared of Losing Her, Winnipeg
Dear Scared: The best way to end blackmailing is to put the truth out there yourself, but be careful. Bring this girl home as a "friend," with another person or two in the group, when your brother is not around. Let your parents get to know her casually. Then tell the most liberal parent first that you really like her. Keep bringing her over to do homework. Then tell the second parent. It is surprising how much more liberal people become when they know the person for real.