Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm a single parent. My kids are the most important people in my life. I have a good job and do my best to provide everything for them. Our lives are very busy, but we do find time to be together. The problem is that lately my boss is making it very difficult for me to keep my priorities straight.
She has me driving her to and from work and to meetings. She never contributes to any costs. I have tried on many occasions to say no in different ways, but somehow I still end up being her driver. How can I get out of this without jeopardizing my job? Being her chauffeur is in no way a part of my job description. -- Desperate, Winnipeg
Dear Desperate: She has found herself a free chauffeur with a warm car who always says yes. If you work for a large company, or the government, this is a problem that would be best solved with the help of human resources, as your job would then be protected. Where is your boss's car? Does she not have one?
"My life has gotten very busy with kids' activities now that they are older. I like to help you with work duties, but driving you is one way I just can't help," should be your new mantra. "If I drive you, I leave my kids stranded and unsafe." If you work for a small company and there is no union or any kind of protection, you may have to invent an untruth about what you need to do in the mornings with your kids, as you are a single parent. This is a rather unusual problem, although self-centred people are common. If readers have any experience with this or ideas to help, please write in and share them.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm a 35-year-old woman and I've got a question for some women my age. Where do you get off treating "nice guy" friends like crap when you're in relationships with losers? I know this woman who works while her boyfriend stays home, sleeps until lunch, does nothing all day and can't even make himself anything to eat until she comes home. She brags about him like he's a god. Her nice guy friend works his ass off, and she depends on him for money.
I know another woman in the same situation with a different nice guy and she brags to her girlfriend that he's her "personal banking machine." Maybe these "nice guys" have feelings, too! I hope you witches read this and actually think about it. -- Fed Up With You Girls, Winnipeg
Dear Fed Up: Yes, these women are nasty, particularly the one who calls her friend a "personal banking machine." So what can you do about it? How about telling off these female users when you get a chance? Stand up for what you believe a decent woman should be. As long as no one says anything, these women don't get any wakeup calls.
Also, guys have a responsibility to themselves to disallow people from using them. For some odd reason, they're hanging around women who have boyfriends doing nothing on the couch. These "nice guys" are enabling the relationships to go along happily by giving the women money whenever they need it. Are they waiting for the relationships with the couch potatoes to end instead of looking for their own women to love? Do a spring housecleaning -- drop the users and enablers from your circles.
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