DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My 30-something neighbour lies out in the backyard by her pool in the bottom half of a string bikini, bare-breasted. I have three teenage boys with bedrooms on the back of our two-storey house, and a clear view of this woman by her pool. In July I told her that her fence isn't high enough to shield the boys from seeing her, and she said, "Pull the curtains." She persisted in sunbathing semi-nude.
Last week, one of my boys said she sometimes swims in the pool nude now. Enough! I marched over and told her to cover up, for the sake of my teenagers, and she said, "Your so-called boys are old enough! Your family is spying on me, including your creepy husband, so close your damn curtains!" I called her a tramp and a few other names. Please help me. -- Helpless Against Peep Show, Winnipeg
Dear Helpless: This is a grey area. The lady is in her own yard, but there are indecency laws. To break them requires intent and doing it to upset others. You have certainly complained to her, so she is well aware. Winnipeg police have community support departments to help settle disputes. Call the downtown number (204-986-7386) to get the number of your closest one. Officers will go out, speak to you, as the complainant, and the woman next door, and probably issue a warning. They will try to settle things amicably. But if the person committing the indecent act continues after a warning, charges could be laid.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm in love with a woman 14 years older than I am. I'm in my late 30s and she's in her early 50s. I'm her lover and she takes me everywhere with her, and we see all her friends. But she draws the line at living with me, marrying me, or hanging out with her family. Some friends have said she might not want to share her money with me if she dies, as she already has "children" of her own. I don't need her money. I have a great career of my own.
She says there will come a time when she'll be old and need nursing help and die, and I will still be a middle-aged man. She says she doesn't want to be a burden on me and she doesn't want me to experience her this way. What is she going to do? Move somewhere I can't track her down and prove, all over again, how deep my love for her goes?
I love her so much and it hurts she won't marry me. She says she loves me. What is she waiting for? The way things are going, the world could blow up by the time she gives in. -- Seriously in Love, South Winnipeg
Dear Seriously: Maybe it's time to believe her. She's not disrespecting you in front of her older friends; you are very much there with her most of the time. She's committed, but she doesn't want legal marriage to a much younger man. That doesn't mean you can't be strategic and improve your chances of marriage to her.
1. To close the friend gap a little more, intensify existing friendships you have with people closer to her age, while still keeping younger friends.
2. If you want the feeling of living together, engage her in travelling more with you. She will see how good that can be and may miss not having you living with her when you get home.
3. Does she live in a home she used to share with a previous mate? Maybe that's a problem. Is your place inviting for her? Make it so!
4. Have you actually had the "I don't need your money and would be happy to sign a prenup" talk yet? Do it!
Good luck in your quest, young-ish Romeo!
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 R2X 3B6.