DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I am a man in a seniors residence and am surprisingly popular. I'm just an ordinary guy, but the ratio is in my favour -- there are hardly any men -- so I look good. We each have our own little suite here and some privacy. Unfortunately, one of the ladies who has a crush on me got into my place when I forgot to lock the door and I found her in my bed asleep because she had waited so long for me to come home.
She was in her nightie and her robe was on the chair. I shook her shoulder to wake her up and she wasn't even embarrassed. I asked her what she thought she was doing and she said, "Waiting for you!" I laughed as if it were a big joke, then said, "Well, this joke's over. Time to go home now," and guided her out into the hallway. Unfortunately, another resident was coming around the corner and now we are the subject of a lot of gossip. What should I do or say? -- Uncomfortable Now, Winnipeg
Dear Uncomfortable: If anybody makes a reference to it, just smile good-naturedly and say without embarrassment: "Oh you heard about that? Mrs. So-and-So came over to visit by mistake and I was sending her home." That says it all without saying anything. You're saying it was her initiative, it could have been a mistake and you had gently steered her towards home. Then allow yourself to have a rock-star moment.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My wife snaps at us like a scurvy dog. She's often in a crabby mood and warns the whole family by shrieking like a banshee: "Stay out of my way!' Who does she think she is? She would never allow one of our kids to behave like this. She can be terrifying and the kids cower. Last night at supper, I lost it when she was in one of her nasty, angry moods. I told her to leave the house and not come back until she was back in control of her emotions. Well, she went at me like a rabid skunk, then grabbed her coat and purse, left and didn't come back until morning.
I was about to call the police, but knew where she was probably staying. She has an ex who's always sniffing around. I'm so heartsick and tired of all this. I'd like to leave and take the kids so none of us has to endure any more of this. She can have the damn house! I have money for another downpayment. -- At the End, Winnipeg
Dear At the End: Don't try to leave just yet. See a marriage counsellor first and talk about her getting anger management help right away, even if it's just for the kids having to deal with her. If that doesn't work, and she isn't working on her problem, see a domestic lawyer. Describe the dramatic situation in living colour and all the reasons why you think you should get custody of the children. Sometimes kids are awarded to fathers now, but still not as often. If it's clear the kids need your shelter and protection, you may be successful if you are well-prepared.